"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, November 05, 2007

What I Didn't Do

A list of things I didn't do over the weekend:

1. I didn't snap a tendon in my right wrist. Mind you, this is a common occurrence. On every weekend of my life thus far, I haven't snapped a tendon in either of my wrists. But on Saturday night, it seemed a distinct possibility. The freak accident occurred in the stupidest way--it involved nobody but me. I simply opened our refrigerator door. Didn't do a very good job.

I spent a solid hour making noise, first a lot of shrieking in shock and pain (while simultaneously stomping dramatically about the house in a bent-over stance), which subsided to moaning (crumpled up on our bed). Eventually I lapsed into whimpers (stretched on the sofa with confused but sympathetic beasts) and at last silence after medicating with lots of ibuprofen and a couple of glasses of wine.

During that time I worried a lot about whether I would ever type again, walk a dog, strum the mandolin, drive myself, manage a suitcase.

I'm supposedly left-handed, by the way. (Runs in my family.) Yet I regard myself as the sorriest example of left-handedness, because the only things my left hand can do for me is manipulate my silverware, write, and sew. (The first two activities are essential to my health, livelihood, and general wellbeing. The third not so much.)

I really need my right hand. And the wrist attached to it.

As I discovered at bedtime that night, I can't even brush my teeth with my left hand.

By yesterday most of the pain was gone. I was typing and toothbrushing without any difficulty. Most likely I had a slight sprain. It's barely noticeable today. Barely.

2. I didn't practice the mandolin. See above. I'm making up for it today.

3. I didn't freak out on Sunday at church when I went upstairs (before our Eucharist in the Undercroft) and saw the sanctuary in its present unfamiliar state. The water-damaged carpet was taken out and all the pews and decorations removed. The place, built in the 1860's, is having "work done." It started as a re-roofing project. Due to unfortunate events, it turned into something more. I was able to examine the broad, antique floorboards, and left with an entirely different sense of the space.

4. I didn't properly welcome my husband when he returned from a 3-day business trip. My space heater was on in my office and muffled the sound of the returning car and opening garage door. My mind was stuck in late 17th century England and I didn't hear him enter the house. Not a single dog alerted me to his arrival. Shortly after I realised he was home, the unfortunate refrigerator door opening incident occurred, and I got lost in my fog of pain.

He was wonderful, by the way. "Shouldn't I take you the hospital?"

"No!!! If I've broken my wrist/snapped a tendon, I don't want to kno-ow-ow-ow!!!" Cue the keening sobs.

That would be the stage they call Denial.

5. I didn't ring my mother back like I said I would. That's why God made Mondays....I was waiting till I knew my wrist was ok. I'm not even going to mention it to her. You know how mothers are.

6. I didn't see the couples' intros at the start of the new The Amazing Race, so I spent most of an hour asking the Chap, "What's the deal with those two?" mostly about the "dating couples" because everyone else belonged to a clearly identifiable group: lesbian ministers, goths, brother-sister, dad-daughter....Sure, and Western Ireland was looking like itself: wet and wild one minute, bright and heavenly the next.

7. I didn't feel surprise when I heard the Writers Guild of America negotiations collapsed and a strike is on. Yes, it will affect our entertainment options in coming weeks and/or months. I may whinge about it from time to time. But I understand and approve. I'm on the side of the WGA, and anybody else seeking fair compensation for highly profitable enterprises resulting from evolving technologies. I'm thinking WGA is loosely associated with the Authors Guild (though not a union), to which I've belonged for (gasp!) these twenty years.

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