Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it. After last weekend’s blissful quietude, I was wishing for another, and I’ve got it. Confused? Me, too. Yeah, it’s a nice, quiet Sunday, peppered with such stalwart Sunday-isms as drinking endless cups of coffee while reading the paper, cooking up a big brunch, visiting with friends and catching up on my writing. Unfortunately, this time its an enforced quietude rather than a freely earned and spent one. Last night I got up half asleep to go to the bathroom, and Wham! I jammed my toe squarely into the dark door jam. After a lot of hopping up and down and swearing, I resolved to just ignore it, but by morning it was clear that it was broken. Black and blue, big as a radish, un-shoe-able and thoroughly undignified.
Breaking a bone is painful and incapacitating no matter which bone it is, but to break a toe is to give up all claims on sympathy. No one can see it. It doesn’t have a cast or even a band-aid on it. Its so small no one – even myself – really believes that its breakage could leak out much pain, but it does. And it stops you from doing just about anything that involves ambulation, yet it really isn’t bad enough to require crutches. Toe breakage is to personal injury what Lichtenstein is to Europe. Or what Rhode Island is to the United States. Who really knows anything about Lichtenstein or Rhode Island? What are their principle exports? Average wintertime temperatures? Population? We know nothing, and yet, were one of those small states to vote to, say, give asylum to Osama bin Laden, or (worse yet) our own Dick Cheney, you can bet we’d get educated pretty fast. Toes are like that. Little tyrants.
And in the insult-to-injury department, just go ahead and add that this day is one of the most picture-postcard perfect, pristinely clear and bracing autumn days ever invented. It started out suitably drizzly and cold with the threat of snow in the low clouds carded out on the trees like wool going to the spinner, which is a perfect backdrop to having a silly broken toe and needing to stay indoors with it propped up, but then it cleared into a day with not the threat, but the promise of snow before morning, with the clear focus of unpolluted mountain air; a day of such poetic beauty I want to just board up all my windows and go to bed. It really isn’t fair. Someone should write their senator or governor about it.
On the upside, today would be a good day to write wry poetry. It wouldn’t be the least bit hard to rhyme “pus” with “all of us” and not throw the poem in the fire for at least a day – when the threatened or promised snow finally either lay in sodden grey, oppressive sheets or shone like moonlight on the limber golden grasses, swaying hypnotically in the fresh breeze. It wouldn’t be hard if I were a poet, that is, which I’m not. Instead, I think I’ll have a glass of wine. Oh, and send money. Why does everyone ignore that part? I’m in pain here, folks.