Thursday, November 01, 2012

Go Johnny!

Fittin' in just fine with the other shuffleuffagusses on the city bus now that my ligaments (or whatever) are torn (or whatever---people without health care don't know such things!) After whatever giving out Saturday, I was bed-ridden Sunday, Monday, Tuesday... Was kind of scared that work would tell me not to come back, as the temp job in NYC did back in '07 after the cat bit me and I couldn't walk/come in to work for 2 days, but I now have a govt. temp job, not a job with a worldwide financier, the former a little more understanding toward the decrepit and infirm! ;p

Wednesday, I could finally move, but not really well enough to hop on/off buses and walk a few blocks. So I sprang for a cab into work...$14 for about 5 miles! Given that rate, I took the bus home...Aargh! I wasn't in constant pain while moving, it's just that there was no pain ONLY if I shuffled along like the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Luckily, it was Halloween, so maybe no one noticed...

One thing about physical infirmity: People really relate to it! At work, people were full of advice and/or stories:

"Put ice on it and elevate it."

"You haven't been to a doctor? What? You don't have health care? You're a grown, intelligent woman..." (ME: "Um, I made $17,000--TOTAL--last year freelancing. I couldn't exactly spare $200 a month for health care.")

And then: Someone on my floor knows a lady on the 4th floor who tore a ligament years ago; it never healed properly, and now all she can wear is tennis shoes... Great! Thanks for sharing! :) I was already feeling dowdy after having to wear my one pair of Naturalizer shoes for the past couple of days; nice to know that I have a future of only sneakers (maybe nurse shoes on holidays, if I'm lucky) ahead of me!

Another lady asked me how my foot was doing:
"Not really painful, just frustrating not being able to MOVE!"
"I know how that is; I have arthritis in both hips..."

I've officially joined the ranks of the middle-aged when I'm bonding with peers by sharing "physical ailment stories"! Teens/Twenties: bands and boy/girlfriends; Thirties/Forties: husbands and kids and work; Fifties on: Grandkids and sickliness! I PROTEST this stereotypical Progression o' Conversation Topics Among Women! :) In fact, one of the most horrifying things Sandra--someone artistically brilliant--ever said to me was during one of our last phone conversations, when I asked what was going on and she replied chirpily, "Just busy bein' a mom!" (And her "kids" are in their 20s and live 3 hours from her! And she's a serious artist! See the "Woman is the Nigger of the World" video I posted below for brainwashing techniques.)

One of my favorite movies is 1993's "Naked" by Mike Leigh. And one of my favorite movie characters is David Thewlis's "Johnny." At the end of "Naked," after a couple of days of extreme chaos and (mental and physical) pain, Johnny and his on/off girlfriend (whom he's looked up in London while trying to avoid some thugs from their hometown of Manchester; she's now a shopgirl with flat-mates) seem to come to an understanding: After everything they've just been through together, they'll return home to Manchester. She's an emotionally aware, decent person who loves him. The idea seems a safe haven, a relief from everything they (and we viewers) have just witnessed...

Here's the very last scene/shot of the movie: what the injured/gimpy Johnny--who has just been offered what we think of as salvation and who has absolutely no other prospects--decides to do...I was completely horrified/knocked out/exhilarated, in '93 and now.

BE TRUE TO YOUR (GIMPY) SELF.



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