I imagine there aren’t too many times in a man’s life when he really starts to wonder, in a non-joking fashion, if some supernatural force is out there to get him. I also imagine sprouting a tumor four days before the most important exam of a man’s life might be one of those times. And if not then, then certainly when his diagnosis gets changed again and again and again, two months after he started treatment. And if not then, probably when a nice, gentle round of “prophylactic” treatment turns his life into a horizontal hell from which he fears he might never emerge.
And if all of the above events left your faith unwavering, perhaps it would be the week where that higher power decided to incapacitate him just before flinging a couple natural disasters in his general direction. What do I mean?
I’m sitting there on Sunday watching a floor hockey game, waiting for ours to begin (I’m playing floor hockey now). Forgetting the power of my words – remember the time I taunted chemo and then it got revenge by half killing me? – I mentioned how it was odd that “more people didn’t get hurt.”
Minutes later, a stick would separate from blade and catch a player in the eye. About an hour later, during my own game, I break into the zone without the ball and pivot, preparing to receive a pass when KABOOSH:
In roughly 20 years of playing sports, including hockey and football, I have never been unable to get up because of an injury. I don’t recall ever leaving a game because of an injury, and I can think of one game I missed because of an in-game injury (sprained knee in high school). Until one hour after I noticed how odd it was that more people didn’t seem to be getting hurt during these floor hockey games.
The funny thing about ankle injuries is that everybody on earth has an o-pinion on them. Like “You gotta rub some mayonnaise on it! That will make the swelling go down!” opinions. Some guy mentioned something about filling a styrofoam cup with water, letting it freeze, then peeling the styrofoam off and…I don’t know what the hell I was supposed to do with that. But I did this in the first period of the first game of a doubleheader, so I had to listen to about two hours of ankle rehab tips from a bunch of Doogie Howsers.
I was debating whether or not the injury was hospital worthy. I didn’t think it was, but after hearing a steady stream of with doctor remedies followed by “oh yeah, my ankle hasn’t worked right since,” I decided to go see my old friends at the GW ER once again. At the very least, they could give me the supplies I needed. And I really couldn’t put any weight on the foot, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to have somebody who went to med school look at a picture of the inside of my ankle. I’d prefer to use the thing and have it work properly in the future.
There was virtually nobody in the ER, so it was the right call. Plus, I have now been to the ER more times in my seven months in DC than I had been in my 25 years in Michigan. So that’s a cool stat. And they punched my GW ER frequent customer card, and my next visit is free. I’m in no hurry to use it.
So Monday I’m in some serious pain and I need to go get some meds, which turns into a roughly 45 minute ordeal with the damn crutches. I get a little bit of work done, but with mobility limited and simple tasks taking three times as long, not much is getting accomplished. I’m not in the office, which isn’t usually a problem – most of what I do, I can do just as well at home, and half the time nobody will even notice if you’re not in the office for a day.
Except on Monday. On Monday, people wanted to have meetings. And there were deadlines. And all that jazz. So I spilled the ankle news, got some heartfelt condolences (seriously – they’re all good people), and said I would be in on Tuesday when I would hobble into the office and into whatever conference room I needed to be in.
So that’s why I went to work on Tuesday.
Tuesday was the second day in my life I had been on crutches. On 50% of those days, we had an earthquake:
I’m probably with the west-coasters on this one – chill the F out, east coast – hence the picture above. But it was at least an interesting experience. First you wonder who’s rolling a giant cart down the hall, then you wonder if there’s a helicopter overhead, then, since we’re in DC, you think bomb/airplane/some other terrorist attack, and then, once the shaking continues (and gets worse), you finally think “Shit, I think this is an earthquake.”
Well I had another step in there: a very calculated, “There’s no damn way I’m going to be running out of here, so what should I do if this gets real.” Fortunately, it never did. By the time I went through the above progression and was just planning to dive under my desk (which would have been a slow process in and of itself), things stopped. And the entire city was reduced to a sort of “bemused milling about” as one friend put it. Except the government, of course. They freaked out, sent everybody home, and half their buildings still aren’t open. Real confidence-inspiring.
Props to the co-worker who asked me if I needed to be “piggy-backed out of there,” though.
Which brings us to this weekend, and, as you might have heard, this:
You’ve probably heard the comments – God is after all the jackass politicians; he’s specifically targeting DC; the universe is trying to finish us off out here. Entirely plausible. I mean, how often do you get an earthquake and a hurricane hitting the Northeast in the same week?!
Well how often does a guy get incapacitated, run through an earthquake, and subjected to a hurricane all in the same week? Fortunately I have the old man’s advice, via e-mail:
I think you should buy snorkeling equipment and submerge yourself in the pool on the roof. I'm not sure what to do with Brady.
Which, even if for some reason I decided to take that course of action, I couldn’t. Because the damn Georgetown Law students in our building broke a beer bottle in the pool:
The lap pool…is down until further notice. Glass was found in the pool and DC health code states that we have to drain the pool, have it thoroughly cleaned out, then re-filled.
This is why our rules clearly state that absolutely no glass is allowed in the pool areas. Anyone caught with glass in the pool areas will be issued a lease violation, and repeat offenses will result in an eviction from this community.
They should force those GLaw students to clean the pool themselves. It will help them prepare for post-grad employment. BAM.
So yeah…you know those dreams you have where you’re running, trying to get away from something but you’re just moving so slow and you just can’t get away…that’s how I see this ending up. Me with a busted wheel, Hurricane Irene, a serious aftershock from Tuesday’s quake, and Georgetown Law students…those are the four horsemen of the apocalypse right?
So you know what I’m going to do? I’m gonna go all Lieutenant Dan on Irene. I’m gong to drag my gimpy ass to the roof with some Whiskey and/or Gin, and meet that sucker head on. And if I don’t fall off the roof, I will have made my peace.