Real Stories, Real Life, Real Pain

I do like the look on people's faces.
My right arm is in a sling, wrapped in layers of Ace bandage, a hard plastic brace and 3M Coban tape. The end result of a two-hour surgical procedure recently to reattach my right bicep muscle to the radius bone, were it belongs.
I ruptured the tendon. Completely tore it from the bone.
Salsa dancing.
"Is that dangerous?" the orthopedic surgeon asked.
It can be.

The historic hotel in town offers free dance lessons on Tuesday nights. Normally, there are substantially more women who show up than men. Meaning the women cycle through the men who happen to be present.
If you love women, it's a no-brainer proposition.
Everything was going well. I like to dance - remember my foray into charity dancing - and I was there with friends.
The move that has changed my life slightly involved throwing my partner forward and holding her arms while she leans forward (think Kate Winslett on the bow of the Titanic); she then leans back into a dip, moving her arms into mine like a bicep curl. Only her right arm moved the opposite direction.

"What was that?" she asked as we completed the move and went back into the salsa's three steps on a four-beat measure.
"Slight muscle tear, no big thing. Totally fine."
I went to fetch my drink, stood off in the corner to look at the damage.
A hole in the crook of my elbow, where my bicep was supposed to be.
And the bicep, rolled up like a busted shutter, at the top of my arm.
OK, I went a little white.
"Are you OK?" my friend - and favorite dance partner - asked.
"Not so much," as I showed her the arm.

Pleas were made to take me to the ER. I declined, on the grounds that the ER could do nothing for me. I went home, grabbed an ice pack and waited to get a surgical opinion. 
"Lets get that fixed, shall we?" 

I do like, when people ask about my arm being in a sling and my dance-partner-in-crime is present, to say I injured myself salsa dancing.
All eyes turn to her.
"It wasn't me!" she protests, and I smile.
Life is rough-and-tumble and no one escapes unscathed. 
And the best stories come from real life.

Addendum; as I typed this with one hand - and I am limited to wearing snap-button shirts, warmup pants and sandals for the next six weeks - it might be a bit quiet on The Tension. Not for a lack of material, just a lack of arms.

OneWord, "Secret"

The OneWord prompt - a website that gives writers a word and 60 seconds to scribble something - is secret. A good word, secret, since we all have them. 

Life In Real Time

Carrying its weight feels, at times, like I’m drowning. 

Well, not drowning, really. More like a slow grind, maybe like geology, where I, in time, will become just bits and pieces, dust. 

I figure that’s OK by me. Penance for my sins. 

Keeping this secret. 

Holding it tight.

Knowing we’ll never be able to come out of its inky shadow. 


The words over at Three Word Wednesday are emotion, falter and touch. 

We lead separate lives, you and I.

Separate and separated.

I see you walk through life, unaware of me, doing the most mundane things and I can’t help but love you. 

Secretly squeezing the tomatoes a little to hard in the grocery, then popping grapes in your mouth while no one’s looking. 

The way you flirt with the barista at the coffee shop, he’s what, 17? His cheeks are ruddy by the time you turn and bounce away, carrying away your tall latte. 

The way you greet friends at lunch, it takes my breath away. The hug is real, no air-kisses. You plant one on the cheek – and it’s beautiful and wonderful and makes me love you even more. 

You looked at me once, and the emotions crackled through my being like electricity. Thank you. You’re beautiful. 

You were out to dinner with your family, and I was at a table alone and I played a game where your conversation was our conversation, but it was sad, harsh words between you and him and I faltered and spent nearly the rest of the evening getting drunk and punching a hole in the sheet rock of the garage.

I’m fine, really. No need to worry. 

 The stitches come out next week.