When I decided to go travelling, this intensely personal, spiritual journey, it seemed like everyone and their dog had a travel story. Especially the great Australia to London odessey. My sister did that. My friend did that. My dog did that.
And I’m not knocking it. I loved those stories. It lead to what Casey calls Place-Dropping. We would practise imaginary Place-Dropping back home. You lost a lighter? I remember one time I was in Vienna and I lost a lighter. It’s cold? Yes, reminds me of autumns in Madrid…
You get the idea.
So the new thing is accident stories. And again I love them. Although some are painful. It seems quite a frightening amount of people I know have seriously hurt themselves in their lives. Tales of collar bones, hips, broken thumbs, broken jaws, flying over the handle bars and in one case, getting hit by a taxi, this time in New York. The recovery stories are also lovely. 3 months in bed. 3 months in hospital. 3 months hanging in the water tank Luke Skywalker was in at the end of the Empire Strikes Back.
Everyone I know has suddenly become experts in medicine. In particular, orthopedic experts. I’m hearing (and reading) perfectly normal friends of mine use words like ‘femur’ in conversation. Apparently, all bones take 5-6 weeks to heal, regardless of which one. But according to another expert, foot bones heal quite fast. Maybe I need a 22nd opinion…
So the new game now is Body-Dropping. As Debbie told me, when her uncle got sick, he decided it was from then on completely OK to talk endlessly about his body. Quite inappropriately intimately too. It’s stopped hurting to urinate. The scabs on my legs have started to peel off. There’s still heaps of dead skin from where the cast was. Want to hold my glass eye?
So for me, my hip is fine, but when I cough or sneeze, my muslces in that area naturally seize up, and it hurts like hell. Laughing is also not as fun as it used to be. I’m getting pins and needles in my left foot a lot. And yes, most of the large cuts and stuff have now scabbed off and odd, innocent-looking, new pink skin has revealed themselves.
(Body Dropping, like Place Dropping and Name Dropping, is only fun for the Dropper. But it’s so much fun.)
Which all goes to show
a) how unextraordinary my situation is, really.
b) how much sickness and injury touches our lives. I’ve spent a bit of time in hospitals, both for myself and to support friends. And none of them have been good times! And…
c) how amazing the human body really is. It really is.