|This ended badly|
I’m getting real sick of being sick to be honest. I don’t like this aging process at all. Especially since I’m only 34. I don’t like how it takes me longer than a fat woman carrying 28 balloons to get on the Q18 bus than for a fractured toe to stop piercing me with pain or for a sprained wrist to heal. I timed that woman and counted her balloons by the way. I take everything personally. I’m good at Tetris, I’m good in crowded public transport situations.
I’m a lot heavier than I used to be. I’m not fat, it’s just that when I fall over in the apartment, sometimes stuff falls off the shelves. Books I’ve half read or badly arranged snow globes my fiance collects mostly. If it’s really bad, a pot in the kitchen drops on the bare floor and the landlord asks me if I’m okay later when he sees me as he sits hairy and topless on the stoop critiquing the neighbours parallel parking. He’s Greek and I live in Astoria. He talks by shouting. I built all the shelves in the apartment and I used a spirit level app on my cell phone so I’m not gonna be too hard on myself.
In the last three months I have broken three toes, sprained my left knee and continue to nurse a pretty bad hip injury from last year which resulted in me missing a Cake concert. The band, not an actual living sentient cake with a guitar, that would be highly disturbing although I could totally see a three tier wedding cake sing like Cher. That’s one of my many pointless gifts, the ability to perfectly and in graphic detail imagine a wedding cake strut its stuff to “If I Could Turn Back Time” around a dance floor in some function hall in Jersey. Personally I don’t strut stuff or dance or anything because old people always ask me if I’m okay. They even offer me a chair or ask who I’m with.
The point is, I am now realising that I am suffering the repercussions of a lifetime of avoiding sports. I hate sports, I hate the concept of sport and I have little or nothing in common with people who like sports. There are exceptions, but then again, there are not. I have the eye-hand coordination of a drunk baby. When I was eight I played on a football team for an entire year in which we lost every single match. Hail, rain, or overcast-windy-dull-misty-leaf-blown-blustery with the occasional bright spell day I played almost every team in every shitty part of Dublin being shouted at by chain smoking oul fellah’s in trench coats on the sidelines I didn’t know. Most were fathers of the other players but some seemed to be just old men who came out to shout at kids because their own didn’t talk to them or lived in England.
– Watch you’re house!
– Get in there, get in there, get the fuck in there, Jaysus, get in there!
– Close him in, close him in…
– Watch for the cross!
– Don’t be a hero, pass the ball!
All of the above was alien to me and the last one was irrelevant due to the fact that I hardly ever had the ball in the first place. It was child abuse. I wanted to stop in the middle of the game and scream: What the fuck is going on? My method as a right full back was to run out and meet the forward of the other team, he would run around me to the sidelines, I would catch up, old men would shout what I should do or cheer the other guy on. I would escort the guy to our goal keeper looking at the side of his sweaty face not knowing what to do and he would score and I would throw my hands in the air and pretend to be disappointed. I repeated as required for a year until I quit.
In short, I never learned that basic human condition of Team Work. Being on a team, working for the greater good, getting out of something more than you put in and all that bullshit. I’m a lone wolf, I masturbate alone, poop alone and pee in the dark woods of “I’m not with them” which is fine with me. I howl at the moon, smell my own farts and am loser free. I’ve never lost sleep over it.
So what is this all this about? I never grew up developing eye-hand coordination. Simple as that. I’ve staggered through life like a half inflated blimp because I never knew what my left hand was doing in relation to my right leg. My eyes tell me one thing but my slumbering limbs tell me another. I break a toe, furniture gets rearranged. I sprain my wrist, I learn to take the door off the latch. I sprain a knee, I learn not to climb over a fence because it looks easier than dealing with the rusty lock on the gate. It’s all about eye-hand coordination, and common sense. When you fall, you roll. Don’t fight back so much. Everything is stronger than you. Everything. And eventually you don’t heal so quickly.
Once, when being treated for a sprained ankle when I was around ten years old, the Doctor while reviewing my well thumbed file noticed a long list of previous injuries. We sat in a room together just feet from my father outside in a hallway of finger painted walls.
She leaned in close, made sure my father was still outside and whispered “Is this really what happened to you?”
“Yup” I said, like I said it before too many times. I had. I had only myself to blame. I was trapped in this thing.
The doctor remained unconvinced.
“You can tell me” she said a little firmer.
“Yup” I said, “I can feel my heart beat in my foot” I continued staring at my now black and blue ankle. It was true and I wanted to change the subject. Before puberty a woman talking that close to your face can be disgusting.
The Doctor bandaged me up while occasionally glancing over at my flirtatious father with a look of pure hatred in her eyes.
As I limped out to the car he never knew that he left that hospital a child abuser purely because I could not kick a ball in a straight line.
How did I sprain that ankle?
I have no idea. Football, I think. Falling out of bed, walking down a flight of stairs, placing a plant on a window sill. It was never an interesting story. I once broke my thumb in two places simply by throwing a ball at a fat kid who was beating up my best mate.
I’m a cluster-fuck. I got a BMX one Christmas only to have my injuries become conversation starters the following Christmas. I’ve set fire to myself, fallen from trees, slipped into drainage ditches, crashed my car due to daydreaming, walked into a road sign and broke my nose, and once when I was five I almost bit my tongue off by simply trying to sit in a chair at school. I spent the following two weeks eating jam sandwiches as my tongue slowly knit itself back together. Some very cruel adult informed me that my teacher, Ms. Mar had since asked for a transfer due to the distress of the incident. I never knew if that was true but I do know that I never saw her again after that day.
I am me, here, and my body is that thing all the way over there and somehow I am trapped in it. I look at it and it does what I want it to do, most of the time, but it’s not me. I look at my body like I’m looking out the window of a tall building at its impressive limestone exterior, ugly gargoyles and rain stained gutters. It has not failed me yet. It rarely gets sick and the only real problems have been self inflicted. I don’t smoke, eat pretty well, drink responsibly unless I’m in good company and go for long cycling trips to nowhere in particular on the weekends so my joints don’t seize up. That’s enough for now. I am not a sportsman. They can collect their trophies and I’ll collect places I make up in my head and go there when they try to speak to me.
Cycling, It’s more an addiction to daydreaming than exercise to be honest. Cycle through the industrial sections of Ward’s Island listening to Trentmoller, Leftfield, or Bent and tell me it doesn’t make you feel like you’re on another planet.
It might not have hurt to play a little bit more sport when younger I suppose but like religion, I could never truly get into it. Sport was filled with crashing bores and there was no real passion in religion. Mass was phoned in by aging priests every week and shrinking attendees half chanted it back to him.
Now there was a place to daydream. Mass. Was I in Donaghmede church? or the remains of a spaceship that crash landed eons ago and was being attended by the descendants of the crew to discuss the continued defence against the savage natives who liked to collect our bones for trophies and use our brains for soup?
Y’see what i’m saying?
Maybe reincarnation is true and in a previous life I was a mollusk or something with less limbs and more eyes than a human. Either way I am young and these scrapes will heal up, not as quick as they used to but eventually, the same way that woman managed to get on the bus with those balloons. To be at one with oneself is exactly what I’m not. I will continue to bumble through the obstacles of New York like a sleepwalking flatulent clown.
I am in here and my body is out there and at 34 years old I continue to live like a bad driver with a new car.