Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Kind Of Courage

I've never been courageous about facing confrontation, especially physical violence. It's downright un-American of me to be that way, but by the end of elementary school, I had learned that, against my fragile frame, the playground bullies always prevailed. My uncle the paratrooper always wanted to teach me to fight. My other uncle, a prizefighter in his youth, had nothing to say to me on the subject; I think perhaps he had had enough of broken noses and cauliflower ears not to want to see his nephew experience the same. And Dad... Dad was a scrapper if he had to be, but by choice, at least in my experience, he would rather simply avoid the fight if possible and resolve the confrontation some other way. I have not changed a great deal from those days to these, and I still dread the prospect of a fistfight. There has to be a damned good reason to hurt that much, and most verbal conflicts are truly awful reasons.

There are other sources of pain, and sometimes one doesn't get to turn away. My current challenge... the "not feeling well" mentioned below... is a fine example, the latest of many in my life. This time, I have problems with my feet (especially one of them) which have, for about a week now, made it very painful to walk from one room to another, even with the aid of a cane. I have learned to plan the trips, managing as few as possible to as much effect as possible. I am re-learning not to forget things... the extra book, the jacket or wrap, the sandwich... that would have been no problem to fetch in a separate trip a week or two ago. One must summon some kind of courage to confront one's own physical shortcomings as surely as to confront the playground bully or the lying bastard in public office.

I'm getting good at it. I hope I don't have a great deal more reason to get better at it.


  1. Steve---just a thought: get a sonogram; maybe there's a blockage restricting blood flow.

  2. mandt - thanks; actually, I have an excellent doc as a PCP, and he's working now on diagnosing it. I see him Thursday; all I have to do is find a way to get to his office. I can't drive, and Stella is always fully committed elsewhere during the workday. This isn't quite an emergency, so I'm checking around, hoping for a friend who is a house-spouse (a man, in this case) to give me a lift. I have great confidence in this doc; he'll find the problem.

  3. Sorry you're down old man. I wish there was something I could do to help you out. Glad to see you can see a doctor about it. That's something a lot of folks are having trouble doing right now. Kepp us posted on how you are progressing.

    My verification word is 'aspress' is that a hidden message?

  4. fallenmonk - that made me laugh. Do you know the old story about the central European man who entered a music store in NYC and asked for "Kodaly's buttocks-pressing song"? After an hour of puzzling, the clerk finally pulled out the right item; Leonid Malashkin's "O could I but express in song..." yes, I ROTFLMAO every time I hear that.

  5. So sorry, Steve. Mitchell's "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" is so apt.

    We remember moving freely and easily just yesterday, so where'd all these crinks and pops and cracks come from? ... Besides all the things falling off....

    May things go well and find you literally back up on your feet!



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