I always wanted to be a ballerina. As a child I took a class, dipping down like one of those wooden water birds that sip from a plate. I also took gymnastics, but quit after falling off the balance beam in such a way that I'm surprised I ever peed again.
I am not graceful. No matter how many yoga classes or tree poses or dances to "The Nutcracker Suite," I am pigeon-toed and off-kilter.
Which is how I found myself on the carpet last month, my cheek pressed into its fibers, my legs tangled in the dog gate. It was the first time in years where I've been so injured that I burst into tears. Way to go, graceful.
A month later and I'm still gimping along. Fortunately, I didn't tear a tendon (as originally thought) or need surgery (as originally proclaimed). I've gotten a lot of reading done while sitting in waiting rooms. Something called "rehabilitation" has entered my vocabulary, as well as "miniscus" and "effusion."
Recovering from a major injury is like heartache - you think you can rush out there and do things as before, but you find yourself inept or curled into a comma on the floor. My knee likes to trick me on the stairs and let go of its job as leg-holder-upper, spilling me thunk-a-thunk down the steps. It is a fine balance between relearning how to live and hoping things will stay the same, silver memories of running along a tire rut, a concrete-filled chest heavy with want.
It interests me that two of the Best of the Man Booker "contestants" are stories about South Africa. I wonder how these books were chosen as "the best."
I still need to read The Conservationist, but it has to be pretty magnificent to beat Oscar and Lucinda. Your votes?