Friday, November 4, 2016

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee



My Vespa story continues to be different than I expected.  I woke this morning with a terrible pain in my right knee.  I have just returned to the gym after a three week layoff, but I haven't done anything that would hurt it.  Somehow, I thought as I lay in bed, my knee must have come out of socket.  When I got up, I tried giving it a twisting shake to make it pop, but what popped were my eyes.  The pain was scalding.  Gingerly, I put weight on my leg.

"Ouch, ouch. . . oh, God. . . ouch."

Or something like that.  My knee didn't want to straighten, didn't want to bear weight.

I know what caused it.  It wasn't the gym.  Last night, I wanted to take a little Vespa ride, so I went out and tried to start it.  I held the brake and hit the starter, and. . . nothing.  What?!?  I tried again.  Maybe it was the battery?  But no, the lights were on.  There was no indication of that.  The Vespa has a kick start on the back, and I had watched a video on how it works.  So I tried.  And tried.  And tried.  It wouldn't work.  I decided that I would have to take my scooter to the Vespa store in the morning.  Just my rotten luck, I thought.  But then something occurred to me.  There is an on/off switch that I never use.  I moved it and tried the starter again.  It started right up.

An on/off switch.  Jesus.

I realized this morning it was the awkward angle of my foot pressing down on the starter pedal that tweaked my knee.  I am certain of it.  I may have torn more of the meniscus that was already frayed.  And I know the fix for it.  I had it done to my other knee two years ago.  Here we go again.

There is nothing that makes a man look old like a good limp.

Oh. . . the sprinkler guy worked a long time yesterday.  He did things I couldn't have done.  My irrigation system was trashed.  He's a nice guy who has fixed my system several times in the past few years, so when I payed the bill, I threw in a little just for him.  It sure made him happy.  That's the way things work, I guess.  As Hemingway said, it is a simple exchange of values.

I will attempt some real Vespa stories this weekend, but I don't know.  Is it me?  I am having a hard time finding people who aren't like the ones you see on television, sort of ditto copies of the types.  But I'm tired of telling domestic stories about my trees and sprinkler and roof (just as I say that, the washing machine begins to make a desperate noise--perfect).  Maybe it is not other people at all who have become those ditto copies.  Maybe it is I.  Yes, it would seem so as I attempt to maintain a perfect suburban bliss.  I have built my little hell out of roofs and sprinklers and washing machines.  These are all ingredients of an apocraphyl tale written by any of the Barthelme brothers.

So. . . I guess I'll skip complaining about the maids who are set to arrive soon.

This is what life becomes, kids. . . if you are lucky.  Of course, there are a few other ways to go.

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