Monday, July 19, 2010

Toe stubbing and other events of the day...

When I was in college, the week before graduation, I broke my toe by falling out of bed.

Which meant I had to have two of my toes wrapped around each other so that the broken one could heal, since you can't get a cast for a broken toe any more than you can get a cast when you break your tailbone. (Interesting--I seem to have only broken bones that don't require casts...)

I had to buy slip-on shoes at Roses, the local version of Walmart, a size bigger than my feet. I think I paid five dollars for them. And so in my graduation picture, the one where the Dean of the College hands me my diploma, you also see my feet, wearing hideous white canvas slip-on shoes a size too big. Therefore, I hate my graduation picture. (This was before digital cameras and easy cropping.)

Today I stubbed my toes twice. Both times were while I was a patron at the Edgewood Library, so I couldn't scream, just mutter obscenities under my breath. Right now, I have two ice cubes in a tiny bag sitting on the little toe of my right foot. Something tells me Tylenol would be a good idea too. And I wonder if my toe is broken again.

(After examination, I think probably not, but it is swollen, and the toenail portion HURTS.) Thank God for ice.

But if stubbing my toe was the worst thing that happened to me today, I'd say I'm doing pretty well.

Here are some of the good things:

  • My psychiatrist actually remembered who I was and informed me that one reason why I might have missed the pain portion of Shingles is that I'm currently taking one of the drugs they give people who suffer from Shingles-related pain. Woot! Score one for psych drugs!!
  • I went to Ritters and had fried green tomatoes and a tuna melt. I read On Writing Well, my current "restaurant book" but also eavesdropped. Did you know that the Mortuary school here in Pittsburgh is the best one in the nation? One of the waitresses at Ritters goes there. To describe a Ritter's waitress: a dash of spunk, a dash of grump, and a healthy portion of sweetheart. Sort of like hard candy with goo in its core.
  • After my early bird special, I called my parent's house and got my dad. We talked for a while. How I love that man. He mostly listened. (Sometimes, though, he starts to talk and you cannot get off the phone. It's kind of cute...)
  • I got an email! From a guy I had coffee with a few months ago! He wants to try that Thai place I told him about! That's all I'm saying! But if I wasn't nursing my toe and it wasn't hot hot hot in here, I might dance a jig!
(You realize the exclamations are only because I hardly know the guy so he doesn't really have any flaws yet, any annoying qualities. He's just this cute guy!)
  • I went to the Edgewood Library, one of my favorite libraries (toe stubbing aside). I met Rachel, who graduates from library school next week, and I read magazines, something I always say I'm going to do. It was so nice to BROWSE. Also, Rachel put a book about the steps of Pittsburgh on hold for me, because I was wearing my StepTrek* shirt.
On the way home (sorry, the bullets were getting to me), I thought, I need blueberries for tomorrow's breakfast and a microwave dinner for tomorrow's dinner. I had two options, the Co-op or Trader Joe's. I knew TJ's would have what I needed, and probably cheaper than the Co-op, but it was about to storm so I turned onto Meade Street. Of course a tiny box of organic local blueberries costs a small fortune and the microwave dinner is almost double what I'd pay at TJ's. But as I'm paying, I hear my name, and it's Sheila, a woman I work with at the polls 2x a year. I hadn't seen her in forever, so we sat and talked, waiting out the storm. (Sheets of rain. Buckets of water on the sidewalks.)

She's doing census work, so as I sit down, she collates papers into envelopes. I tell her about Shingles, she tells me about her new car (a used Toyota Corolla). She's going to England for two weeks. (Her husband, after 10 years of marriage, is still a subject of the Queen.) I imagine they'll be there to visit family.

The storm stops, we walk outside to our respective cars, I drive home, take the garbage cans from the curb back to the side of the house, and move my car a little forward so that I can open my passenger's side door. And who pulls up behind me? Max, the man on the first floor (who I dated, eons ago.) Guess where he was for those two weeks we brought in his mail? England and France with the chorus he does accompanying work for.

As I went upstairs, sorted laundry to do a load, I thought, my evening was so well-timed. (Well-timed seems like such a boring word, I want a word like kairos.**) If I hadn't left the library right when I did because of my stubbed toe, if I hadn't turned onto Meade St., if I hadn't taken the time to move the trash cans from the curb, I would have missed talking to Sheila, I would have missed talking to Max.

My English teachers always said I needed help with the conclusions to my essays. I guess not much has changed in twenty years...

*StepTrek is this really cool urban hike that happens in October on the South Side Slopes, which is covered with steps. There's a whole history of steps in Pittsburgh, which, there would have to be, there are so many hills. I've done the StepTrek three times, and today I was wearing the t-shirt for 2006.

**kairos is a Greek word for time. Whereas chronos is chronological time, kairos is a word meaning the opportune time, or the acceptable time. It was a word loved by Madeleine L'Engle so much that she named one of her books An Acceptable Time. She talks about chronos and kairos a lot in her book on art called Walking on Water.


Badger said...


Where you said "broken tailbone" I honestly thought you were going to say "broken heart". TOLD you I was feeling morose.

I have An Acceptable Time sitting RIGHT HERE on my bookshelf, an arm's length away. And when you first said "kairos" I thought, "Oh! Madeleine L'Engle taught me that word!"

Once when I went to IKEA and needed something from the terminal end of the human habitrail that is that store, I decided to walk in through the exit instead of the entrance because it was closer. And there were my parents, walking out. We ended up having a lovely lunch and afternoon together, and we never even would have run into one another if I'd gone in the right way. Love that!

Helen said...

I can relate to both the broken toe AND the broken tailbone. Don't know which was worse. Oh... probably the toe since I broke it in Las Vegas where everything is miles and miles away by foot. Broke the tailbone Xcountry skiing and that was a pretty painful return trip too as I remember. At least we haven't broken our noses yet, right?

Serendipity. It sure is great to run into people by chance! My husband can go through any airport in the US and SOMEONE will call out his name. It is a real joke with us how often he is recognized by people he hasn't seen in eons. He says he'd never be able to go to a brothel (we live in NV) because someone would be sure to recognize him. Ha, works for me! (Not that he would go to one in the first place!) Well, this comment took a curious direction. Glad to see you writing again.

We will be on vacation for a bit but I will catch up on your blog on my return.