Oh man, when I was younger, I thought you were so cool. Just so freakin’ bad ass. A kid would come to school with crutches, and something inside me would just curl up and whimper with jealousy.
I had visions of being stoic and silently suffering such great pain…of cheerily swinging along on my crutches, saying oh this? boring story really…fell off a mountain / horse / slipped while climbing across a waterfall to save a drowning puppy.
Probably this all was the result of reading, when I was pretty young, Midnight in the Dollhouse by Marjorie Stover, in which a girl falls while climbing a tree, breaks her hip, is bedridden for like the longest time ever (maybe nine whole months), and spends that time playing with this beautiful dollhouse, where the dolls come alive at night and want to help her because she is just so sad and suffering and yet also cheerful and forbearing, but of course she doesn’t know they’re alive and can hear her and talk about her and that they go on adventures and such.
Also the result of reading, when I was about fifteen, an absurd number of Dick Francis books. In which jockeys are always falling off the horses during career-making races (usually due to foul play) and sustaining terrible injuries, but of course they refuse hard plaster casts, because pain they can deal with, and soft wraps heal faster and straighter, and being bedridden is intolerable to these (tough yet intellectual) men of action. Of course some thug usually comes along and thumps on the still-swollen yet rapidly healing ankle to excruciating results, but that’s not the point.
Now, whenever I see someone on crutches, I think about how sore their armpits must be and what a freakin’ pain in the ass grocery shopping is when you’re not fully mobile.
Still, crutches, I thought you were really desirable for something like 17 years of my life, and probably pretty not desirable at all (are-you-kidding-me-obviously-what-was-I-thinking) for a much shorter period of time (albeit more recent), so this one’s staying in the fan mail pile. Ha. How’s that for logic.
PS– Plus, casts really itch. And itching might be the worst sensation on earth. Maybe. Just saying. Except for vomiting. And coughing. Maybe being in labor; I don’t know.