Never mind London Bridge, or William H. Macy’s character in Falling Down, which I grant refers to a different kind of falling, but could written as a satire starring yours truly. I fall down on such a regular basis that I should carry a portable stretcher around with me.
I never managed to successfully ride a bicycle and stay on, catch a ball except with my face, do a cartwheel or tie my shoelaces. At age seven my attempt at a cartwheel during casting for the school concert resulted in a tumbling act incompatible with the personification of winter, and more suited to the character of a seal emerging from a graceful swim and flopping on the rocks like a sack of potatoes.At the age of nine an uncle managed to find a way for me to tie my shoelaces which actually worked most of the time. They still come loose from time to time, but at least I can retie them in passable fashion.
I have never been able to tie a necktie as this involves a knot beyond the ability of my brain to communicate to my fumbling fingers. Luckily one doesn’t need a tie these days, even to weddings or funerals and they are just additional unnecessary wardrobe clutter, which serve no purpose having started with an English attempt to identify “Old Boys” . They have a tendency to be associated with snobbery. Their actual purpose, beyond being some kind of club insignia to identify fellow professionals, is something of a mystery. Even the majority of professionals such as doctors have dispensed with these unnecessary accessories to the male wardrobe.
I could never get the gears right when handling a manual shift vehicle. The tortuous and sinuous movements involved in shifting the gear stick while simultaneously pressing the clutch pedal with the left foot whilst keeping the right one on the accelerator of brake, was beyond me. It’s also hard for me to work out where I am in space sometimes, which has resulted in a few nasty falls, as well as unexpected physical confrontations with road signs and street lights. My watch has been bumped off my arm at least once by contact with a lamp pole. I’ve slipped over cat’s eyes and stones, possibly even a few bones, adding a few more scars to my biological vehicle, which still has an excellent engine but whose exterior has so many scratches that I wish spare parts were indeed available.
Last week I also saw the stony ground coming towards me in what appeared to be slow motion at that instant, but was actually so quick that I don’t even know which body parts made contact with the ground in a brief but rough embrace. Blaming gravity as usual, which makes no sense but makes me feel a bit better, I struggled to my feet to continue my interrupted run, a colourful trickle of blood decorating my right shin. Recovery is usually quick but the constant falls have resulted in a few scars reminiscent of a cowboy learning to ride a bucking bronco, and adding a Redford-like rough edge to my otherwise fairly youthful features.
“Report back on the terrain to be covered, Agent Zorion!
A few new scars are nothing much and I never worry about them. What really gets to me is chafing between the legs when I forget to apply Vaseline, and cramping during a long run. These two running hazards irk me. It gets to me when showering and applying soap to raw meaty patches of tender skin, and when cramping, especially when lying peacefully in bed when a sudden cramp develops in my thigh, causing instant wakeful agonies that require drastic action while letting loose some colourful expressions.
Other pains and injuries bother me hardly at all.Once during a lengthy run I was bitten by a large dog in a park many kilometers from home. He bit me under the shoulder. The owner politely offered to take me to the doctor since he had been careless enough to have his dog loose in the park, but I politely declined as I didn’t feel like having that dog as a fellow passenger in his car.
Running home I got the impression people in passing cars were staring at the blood streaming down my arm. Had I been climbing over barbed wire fences as well as running? Had a tipsy tramp lunged at me with a broken Castle Lager bottle? It was a public holiday, during which most minor disasters occur. When I got home my lodger insisted to take me for an anti-tetanus jab, something which I would not have bothered with had I been staying on my own.Two years ago, just two weeks after the Comrades Marathon I began to feel feverish and just could not get warm. Yet I did not feel as if I had flu or any illness, as there were no body aches, except that I had painful spots on two places on my right leg and there was a rash there, detracting from my pleasing complexion. For several days the symptoms became progressively worse and I could not get warm, day or night, despite piling on all my warmest clothing in layers. Eventually I realized it was time for medical intervention and asked my mom to book me in at the doctor. After examining me he diagnosed cellulitis, which is generally caused by an infection, possibly a spider or insect bite. He prescribed antibiotics, which began the healing process. Although I am not really a fan of unnecessary antibiotics, in this instance it was essential to my recovery! But I wonder if my stoic resistance to going to the doctor except as a last resort, and suffering in silence, is also a fairly common Aspie / Autie trait. We seem to have a tendency to ring the doctor at death’s door, when others are thinking about ringing the undertaker instead.