Wednesday, February 17, 2010

These boots are made for walking

Midtown office workers and UN Filipino staff foreheads remind me it’s Ash Wednesday once again. And I have an announcement to say. Nothing Easter related. Luckily I am not in one of the melancholic moods conducive to rants about spring back home, the smells of Semana Santa in Andalusia and so on. Nope, I am in a happier more lighthearted place. And so is my announcement:

Starting today I am wearing two shoes again. That means one in each foot. Simultaneously. A small step to my left leg and a huge step for yours truly. Fabulous.

Since my seclusion started in late December, the never ending recovery has been punctuated by pedestrian events (absolutely intended pun) that only a cripple can appreciate in their full awesomeness as they progressively bring me back to a semi human state: the first time I mustered the courage to put on pants (the end of the pajamas era); my first real shower (the end of the big stink); the first time I took a walk and sat in the timid but oh so delicious January sun (thanks Pamen); my first day back at work (shut up if you don’t have anything nice to say); and today… the first time both of my feet wear the same thing. They are like two unfortunate twins in a Victorian novel reuniting after a long separation. Awwww. Hollywood and I love a happy ending to any story. Even if for now and until Dr. Rosen says otherwise this one is going to have to keep an impatient but more hopeful than ever TO BE CONTINUED…

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Viva las Vegas

I try to act green. A little. When it’s not too difficult. Nor to expensive. Nor too weird. But here I am, probably in the most excessive anti-ecological city on Earth, with humongous whimsically shaped hotels, beautiful fountains in the middle of the desert and millions of neon lights illuminating the hordes of smoking gamblers, buffet eating tourists, bachelor(ette) party going twentysomethings and working girls… My hotel room is awesome, by the way. My handicapped friendly bathroom (the size of my bedroom back in the city) has the mongo shower and the low-rise bathtub. So this morning, given the fact that I can’t engage in juicier more interesting sins in Sin City, I opted for a little anti-ecologic misdeed: taking a bubble bath.

For some reason foam baths remind me of a Farah Fawcett soap ad that used to air in Spain back in the seventies. As you can imagine my bald, hairy, out of shape, crutch toting self has very little to do with any the Charlie’s angels, including homely Sabrina, never mid bomb shell Jill. But comparisons aside, I decided to do something I’d never do at home and go for the foamy dip.

So here’s the conclusion: in terms of fun, wellbeing or pleasure, to me taking a bath is roughly equivalent to pulling my nose hair out and barely better than doing my physical therapy exercises: a pain in the ass (a little like another overrated ‘wellness’ activity: getting a not happy ending type of massage, boring and/or painful).

You start by filling up the tub, dumping the hotel provided salt and soap and waiting. Of course you forget about it and provoke a little flood you try to soak with your hotel towels (another green no-no). By the time it seems ready, the water is scalding hot, your testing hand seems to have heat-enduring superpowers that the rest of your body lacks. You man it up and jump in anyways. ‘This is how lobsters must feel’ is the first thought that crosses your mind when you finally lie in the damn thing. Sweat appears on your forehead, you start adding cold water, provoke a second flood and hit your head against a wall a couple of times, all while doing Cirque du Soleil worthy contortions with your legs trying in vain to keep most of your body under the water.

And then it happens: those 10 seconds when the temperature is right, there are some dollops of foam sailing around your chest hair and you kind of say to yourself, ok, this is why you go through all that preparation. Problem is, it is 10 seconds. OK, a minute maybe. After that the thing starts feeling cold. Back to tampering with the water tap, adding, draining, testing… And at that point you realize you are swimming in your own dirty water. Yuck. With your dangerously stiff only working leg you get up as fast as you can, open the tap this time in the nozzle mode and take a beautiful shower to get rid of all that nasty bath water… It feels so damn good to act green.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New shoes

Yeah, I know, one word: lazy. I can’t keep ignoring anymore my three-people audience’s clamor (you know who you are) so here I am again in this mean old blog.

This is going to be a more focused entry. Enough of my random ramblings. Isn’t this supposed to be a journal anyway? So. Many things have happened since my last post. Nasty world events. I won’t dwell on the horrible Haiti stuff. It’s awful on so many levels. It makes my dramas embarrassingly trivial. Poor poor people.

So let’s get to the triviality. My cast is gone. That’s major. Of course I am still screwed, but boy, does it feel nice to sleep without the heavy futhermucker on. Not that I am going to dance bhangra anytime soon. I’ve gone from the fiberglass monster to an oh so fashionable Robocop-Star-Wars-imperial-trooper-futuristic-drag-queen-platform orthopedic air boot.

Today I had my first physical therapy session. Kim will be dealing with me and my hapless foot. She seems sweet, patient and, unlike most doctors, interested in hearing how I actually feel… an almost forgotten sensation. One peculiar instruction she gave me though: I am to put on my injured ankle 20% of my weight, not more, not less. I just pretended to have a clue of what she meant. And confirmed once again that locals sometimes have a funny logic that I’ll never full grasp no matter how long I stay here. I’ll tread lightly. And pray that it’ll work.

Last but not least, not just major, but rather MAY-JAH, as Victoria would say: I am going to be an interpreter! It’s taken more than a year, an iPod full of speeches and the help and support of very very patient friends and coworkers. I did it. And I am happy and proud and dizzy. It was a remarkably long shot. But hey, I think I am a lucky person. Very lucky indeed. Except when I slip on icy surfaces. Oh well. At least I have professional help to learn to walk again on platforms. Take that Lady Gaga.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wake Up, Little Susie

Today I overslept. Advil PM and all, I was awake before nine o’clock. No alarm. On Sunday. Lately 7:30 seems to be my usual waking hour.

I know, I am turning into my father. Every day it’s been like this since my new crutch enhanced life began. I don’t think I’ve voluntarily and consistently gotten up that early ever in my life. Am I finally becoming a respectable person? Since I was a kid I’ve been subject to insult and humiliation from friends and family alike for my inexcusable and horrible sin.

I really don’t know why early risers get such a great reputation. And conversely why individuals like myself, at least my old two-legged self, are reduced to the level of sloths, parasites, bankers and other useless life forms. It’s just an alternative lifestyle, people! We don’t choose to be like that, we are born this way! Plus what’s so great about mornings? Everybody looks miserable. Smiles start at noon, we all know that.

I've always thought that mornings should be forbidden. That’s one of the things I loved about living in Marbella. You couldn’t even dream of making any kind of appointment before 10:30. That’s civilized. My kind of civilization anyways. Compare that to waking up at 6 AM, being surrounded by unhappy people rushing to their boring jobs, people giving their fellow subway riders the evil eye, morning people.

But what am I saying? For the last 22 days I’ve been up without alarm clocks, coercion or threat. Yes, I have. I think I should call my dad. It took 38 years and a badly broken ankle, but I finally did something he can be proud of.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Today I got screwed once again by bureaucracy. After Tuesday’s rescheduling, my interview was re-rescheduled again this morning. That’s nothing new, really; nor was it new my frustration at the whole situation. However after the initial and inevitable anger outburst, I realized that it was yet another instance of a recent trend: life throwing at me shit that I can do absolutely nothing about. Probably the trend was always there and I never paid attention to it, I don’t know. Also, I am aware that as disrupting and annoying as this whole thing is, nothing of what is happening is really fuck-you-over-forever serious, that I have to admit. Nevertheless all of it is unnecessary, random, fruitless, frustrating… and the worst is that ultimately I am pretty much helpless in the face of it.

It all started with my fall and nasty injury, of course. The beginning of my little big ordeal. But many other small misfortunes followed through: almost failed hunt for a doctor who was not on vacation, cleaning lady getting pneumonia when I need her the most, many friends going on vacation for Christmas, mistaking the date of my doctor’s appointment… all the way to today’s ridiculous incident.

So is life trying to teach me something? I hope not, I am a terrible pupil. More than mystical I am kind of superstitious. Or, putting it in nicer words, I still have in me a little magical thinking left -thanks grandma: indeed by writing this I’m somehow trying to conjure away this stupid chain of events.

But as much as I have never gotten the mystical, stoic or whatever “wise” approaches to life (sorry for patience and resignation, I’m a proud whiner) I must say that this afternoon I kind of embraced the whole thing. Breathed in, breathed out. Twenty phone calls later I had redone the logistics and it was fine. And I truly felt better, I wasn’t angry. I know, I’m surprised too. Am I getting enlightened? That would be scary. The only nirvana I know of is the overvalued grunge band. But working, it did. Om mani padme hum.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I got love in my tummy

Last Sunday Paul and Mike brought me a Spanish omelette with chorizo. A baguette, some Iberian lomo and chorizo sausage, a little Emmental cheese which wasn’t Manchego but still did the trick and a bottle of Rioja that I barely tried (I don’t want t turn into Paula Abdul with the vicodin, thank you very much) completed a most delicious Spanish lunch.

Of course the great company didn’t hurt at all, but that handful of flavors alone was able to put me in one of my best moods of the last mainly joyless weeks. Comfort food. That’s what Americans call these magic foodstuffs able to take you two decades back and five thousand miles away in the blink of an eye. Comida como Dios manda, as we would say in distant eternal Spain.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Secret Agent Man

It’s official: I have no life. When successfully taking a shower becomes the main event of my weekend, it’s pretty clear that I need to do something, namely getting a brand new ankle and my ass out of this couch (paging the 3 Wise Men, you are still on time). In the meantime, I don’t think they’ll be writing a movie script about my thrilling story anytime soon.

Or maybe they will. If it’s a French movie. Or if the director is Danish. But then there will be a lot of hand held camera shots. No way, that makes me dizzy. Much better with the French. I can already see the ad in The Village Voice: “Ma cheville et moi: une histoire d’hiver”. For the first 45 minutes my character, played by Sergi L√≥pez with a full beard, will be lying in bed looking at the ceiling, there will be a lot of gratuitous nudity and occasional masturbation and in the end somebody will be looking at the gray sea with an ominous soundtrack. FIN.

It will go on to win a special mention in Cannes, Manohla or one of her minions will argue that “the rich colors and deep sonorities somehow illuminate an unusually austere emotional terrain” and it will end up playing in front of a 15-strong crowd at the Quad. My life imitates art.