Saturday, April 6, 2019

Careful



I took this photo a long time ago.  She was a "feminist painter."  That's how she described herself.  Her paintings were pretty good for someone starting out.  They were better than that.  She'd wrestled on the boy's team in high school.  She was impressive, dramatic.  I think she might have hurt a man who tried to sniff her hair if she didn't want to be sniffed.  She was leaning in before it was popularized.  We kept in touch for some time, but I am bad about that.

Since I got run over, my relationship to the world has changed quite a bit.  Most women could beat me up now, and so I am learning what it is like to be careful.  Phrases like "stay safe," and "take care" had no meaning for me.  "How do you do that?" I'd ask.  I wasn't sure of the steps, so to speak.

I am learning.  Mostly, it boils down to avoiding danger.  That used to be anathema to me.  Now. . . well, I've learned to look the other way.

Q says the accident will probably save me from being beaten to death.  Others, too.  Maybe they are right, I don't know.

I am learning to live with physical weakness.

I should say, though, that I am highly motivated.  That is how the therapists describe me.  Two days of physical therapy a week.  Two days of upper body weight workouts in the gym.  Two days of legs and aerobics.  Hell, yesterday I bench pressed 100 pounds for fifteen reps, and that is after only two weeks.  I started with just 45 pounds.

I used to bench 305, but not for reps.  Just once.

I still can't use my left arm for many things, though, and it hurts all the time.  Same with my ribs.  I can't even describe how my ribs feel.  They are foreign objects, thick and swollen and full of strange and weird sensations.  I don't even want to be bumped.  I am nowhere near as tough as the girl in this picture.

But I can walk and talk and write.  I want to see if I can still make pictures.  I may try to use my 8x10 camera today, and perhaps some of my 4x5s.  Just to experiment and relearn.  Just to see.

Don't count on it.  One of the results of the accident is that I tire quickly.  Perhaps.  Or maybe I've just gotten lazy.  These are not mutually exclusive, of course.  It may be a combination of the two.

I'd like to take pictures of people again, but I'm not sure what I'd do.  I'd need a theme.  I can't just take random portraits.  And I'd need something safe.  Provocative is the new devil.  Pictures are exploitive.  At least if they are taken by OMWC.

But I am weak and careful now.  Perhaps there will be an allowance.

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