My nose got broken when I was a kid. I am sure I walked straight into something, because if it had been a fight, I would have remembered. What I do know is that my nose is still feels weird about its “new” configuration.
My foot got broken when Lindsay decided that I could learn to skateboard in the living room, and it didn’t go all that well. It was just a hairline fracture until I worked an entire shift at a restaurant waiting tables without realizing that the pain was because of a broken bone, ensuring that it went from a nuisance to a big damn deal.
I went to the ER when I got home, after a concerned girlfriend said I should probably get an X-ray and everyone else was asleep. I think she must have driven 45 minutes to an hour to make sure I went to the doctor instead of just telling her I would. Incredibly sweet on her part, because like as not it would still be broken and me scratching my head as to why had she not been persuasive.
I broke my wrist in front of a Starbucks, because I tripped on the sidewalk going towards the door. That’s the most painful and irritating thing I’ve ever been through. My cast was a hot mess. Luckily, everything healed correctly and no lingering pain. The funniest was not being able to make it to my appointment to get my cast off, so my girlfriend’s dad took it off with his Dremel.
Speaking of which, my girlfriend’s dad was a good time, because he was conservative as shit, but made me laugh on a regular basis…. This is because he was funny both when he knew it and when he didn’t. He also lived in Corpus Christi, which is why I was away from my doctor in he first place. Katharin and I had driven to Corpus for a visit. Corpus is one of my favorite places now, because I’ve spent enough time there to get to know it. The beaches are just amazing, and I didn’t think I could love a beach more than the ones where I lived on Galveston.
Since then, which was probably 2015, I haven’t broken anything. The worst thing that’s happened is falling downtown and hurting myself, which by now has happened too many times to count, not all of them memorable. The ones that are stick out. The ones that don’t leave bruises, so I know something happened, but not when and where. Having cerebral palsy makes you off balance all the time, and not having depth perception on top of it makes me a bit of a comedian to the outside world. I run into doorjambs the most, because I can’t calculate the distance of my shoulder from it, nor can I pay attention to both sides of the jamb at once. I overcorrect left and right, so my shoulders look like I box.
Maybe I should box. I could work out and go an entire sparring session without being able to hit anything. 😉 I can just picture trying to punch in the right direction and missing the target by half an inch…. And that would happen more than once, every instance funny in its own way.
Breaking my wrist was awful because it was my right. I can’t write for shit, especially with my left hand. I couldn’t really type one-handed, either, but I managed that easier than a pen. I remember long, rambling phone conversations with Dana in which I was trying not to let on that I was in pain while she chatted about the latest goings on in Portland and the entire plot of the M*A*S*H* episode she was currently watching.
There’s a story there, and it fits in well with the theme of Katharin being good for me and not. Katharin was funny and engaging in public, and behind closed doors was a very unhappy person. I couldn’t do anything about that. There were several red flags surrounding this one, but this one crushed me. I spent time and money running around getting her flowers and an enormous cake for her birthday, and I got no thank you for it. I got a treatise on how sad it made her that I didn’t get her a card. I didn’t do it intentionally, I was just excited about the cake because it was themed especially for her. She told me once that she loved white cake, because it reminded her of special occasions, like birthdays and weddings.
Not only did I get her a white cake because of it, I remember that quote so fondly that white is my favorite cake now, too. I love weddings and birthday parties, or the idea of them, anyway. It’s like the first few minutes of “Love Actually” when you see people greeting each other at Heathrow.
I wrote her what I thought was a beautiful essay about how much I was grateful she was born, and it still took her several days to get over a slight I hadn’t intended and thought she was making a mountain out of a molehill.
In fact, what drove me away was her treatment of Dana.
She didn’t have the right to be concerned when Dana was in Oregon and I was in Texas, because I wasn’t giving off those kind of vibes. In fact, it didn’t occur to me just how stupid I’d been until Dana saw how Katharin treated me and read me the riot act over it, that it was painful to watch. This is because Katharin knew that Dana lived in SE Portland and forbid me to see Dana at all, so she’d check my bank account and see if any of my charges were in SE. Just everything she could do to spy on me to make sure I was keeping up my part of the bargain….. one I did not make. She didn’t have the street credibility to ask something like that of me, because I’d never been in love with Dana and I didn’t see it happening until I realized how much it touched me for Dana to hurt for me. That she was the kind of person I needed to be with rather than the one who set to tear me down instead of build me up.
This is because I’d won an internship with the Human Rights Campaign to write Sunday School curriculum for churches all over the nation. I would have been amazing at it, but Katharin didn’t want me to go and my friends said that it was a big deal for her, because who manages the house for three months, etc? My opinion was that Katharin and I hadn’t been together long enough for me to worry about her on that level…. It had only been a few months, not a few years. And even then, what spouse actively throws a fit over their partner getting the job of their dreams?
I threw away an amazing opportunity with the reward of continuing to get beat up emotionally all the time. That’s when Meagan and Deah came to visit, and when they wanted to spend a night with me, I said “of course!” Then, the day before they got to my house, Katharin was so mad at me for letting an ex spend the night (with her wife and child in the guest room, hello…… we’ve been friends since high school……) that she punched a hole in the wall. Luckily, it was fixed and painted before company arrived.
Katharin also had very specific ideas about what would make me less of a flake, which she phrased in just that way. I couldn’t stop the behaviors that made me feel bad, and I had such hope for the future. We were going to move to Portland together, and she started flaking on whether she was coming or not. She must have told me she wasn’t coming twice before I broke up with her for good, but that didn’t stop her from going nuclear when I did, because she needed to believe that I left. Realizing that she’d put on a show of saying she was excited about moving, then going to Corpus for the summer and getting settled in was her own choice, because it made it harder to leave when she was so integrated back into her first family. By this time, I knew I wanted to be with Dana, but it wasn’t the only reason I broke up with Katharin. I would have broken up with Katharin because of Dana’s opinion regardless. If my best friend is saying “I don’t like how she treats you” and she has known me longer than you, guess what?
I didn’t need Dana to tell me what to do. I knew what to do. She just confirmed that it was as bad as I thought it was. These things weren’t normal, particularly going through my bank transactions to see if I was even in the same quadrant of Portland as her. You would just have to know how many of my friends live in SE to know how laughable this really is. I don’t think I have any friends anywhere else in the city because those neighborhoods are too normal for us.
The love affair with Dana started in earnest when she drove with me to move my stuff into my new apartment, but it was just a whisper. Nothing happened on that trip at all, it just opened my eyes to the fact that when Dana’s plane took off, my entire world was going to go with it. I let her go, because I didn’t have any plans to return to Portland and wanted to move on with my life. Then, Houston got in my way. I just wasn’t happy because I wasn’t the same person in that context and I liked Portland Leslie better.
So, being with Dana never would have happened had I not gone back. It wasn’t that I didn’t see it, it’s that I couldn’t indulge it.
I think Dana felt the same way, that it would have been a great story.
When I moved back to Portland, we realized that we were both settling for fine and wanted to reach out for fabulous. And we were, but we weren’t the same people Houston, either. It seemed like such an incredible opportunity, and it was wasted.
I don’t regret ending my relationship with Dana when it got bad, I regret not keeping it amazing. When it was time to be there, it was necessary. When it was clear that we were turning on each other instead of towards, the signs were clear that starting over was going to be easier than going straight through.
But I’ll never forget being in so much pain in the ER, my wrist limp beside me and the pain meds struggling to keep up. Katharin said, “who’s Mama’s brave little soldier” She was actually imitating her mother, I think, because it made me crack up.
And laughter is the best medicine.