The good news, my doctor told me, peering over my xrays, is that my hips are in good shape, sparing me the embarrassment of having oldpeopleitis. Bad news is my lower back is an arthritic mess, a result of decades of heavy lifting gnarly dudeness, four decades almost of seizure meds, once being the only guy holding a one ton satellite dish, eight zillion heavy boxes, one helluva seizure and various physical activities. Such is the fate of college dropouts. Some pompous intellectual twit I’d make. Anyway, I guess I get a shot to alleviate discomfort, which is a shame, because my canesmanship is going from merely groovy to almost styling in a haplessly clumsy kind of way and apparently someone found a very cool, very hip cane for me that I cannot wait to see and wave about and point with. Anyway I’ll put off the shot till after payday, which is Boxing Day, exciting, which will also allow my friends to make gimp jokes at my expense while eating all my food and drinking all my booze and smoking all my dope because my friends are such sick f*cks, gawd love ‘em.
But enough about me.
Today is one of those days when a big gnarly fifty something hurts all over from being a big gnarly twenty something. Every single injury ever reminds you it happened. Amazing how many joints there are in the human skeleton. Ouch.
I was never an athlete but was a heavy lifter warehouse guy for years, among other things. I remember a beat up forty something UPS guy telling me I’d regret it some day. I laughed.
I probably lifted thousands of heavy loads–boxes mostly–onto my left shoulder. You know how it’s done–you lift the box up about waste high on bent knees then as you straighten up you toss it up onto your shoulder where it lands, hard, and you steady it with your left hand and, if really heavy, your right too. Takes what, two seconds, maybe three? My left knee is gone now, completely, disintegrated, and it wasn’t until today that I realized what I did to that knee. It was defective to begin with, always falling apart and sending me in a tumble to the floor–hurt like hell for a minute, that did–but I always waited till the pain got manageable again and got up and kept walking. My knee probably popped like that a hundred times at least. I never iced it or even stayed off it. Never took pain pills even. And still I kept throwing those boxes on my left shoulder, and the impact would have been focused on that knee. The knee as shock absorber. Who knows how many boxes–ten thousand? Twenty thousand? Two decades worth, plus some. A helluva lot of boxes. Each one a violent jolt to my disintegrating left knee.
And now I sit at a desk typing this into the ether, aching and remembering and laughing an aging stud’s laugh.