Have I been here before?

I broke my toe. Not doing anything special, just walking down the stairs, slipping, and catching myself by whacking my right foot into the metal bar that turns a corner at waist level and becomes the railing. This bar/railing, I bought rust-inhibiting stripper and almond-colored metal-coating paint for back in August. The stripper and the paint, and some special green gloves, and a special brush, are in the basement, in the bag from the hardware store, waiting. The railing is also still waiting, and my toe is waiting to heal.

This was 10 days ago. My first broken bone since age 6 when I rolled out of my bed in the middle of the night. Ostensibly in my sleep. According to my description to my parents, in my sleep. In reality, and according to the description I finally gave the doctor, who, noticing my nervousness as I told the story, banished my parents from the room and asked again and again for the real truth: I was not sleeping. I was supposed to be sleeping but I was awake, and was reaching across the bookshelf to pull out the next book in the Wizard of Oz series without getting out of bed, when I leaned a bit far, fell, and landed backwards on my bent-over hand. The relief of the doctor. My relief when he agreed to keep my secret.

Ten days ago, both ostensibly and actually, I was walking down the stairs to put on my shoes and go running. Which I did not do. But I have thought a lot about bones. Mending themselves. The doctor at the emergency room used bad grammar (“It’s broke.”) And told me the bone would heal “after a couple of weeks” but would be “gummy” for a couple of more weeks after that. Gummy! Bones!

Even my kittens have grown up. I’ve repainted my writing corner and put up squares of cork to hang up inspirational items on. Friends’ old dogs keep dying. I try to write poems but every word seems indelible. Makes it hard to commit.


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