An Exercise in Humility or Humiliation?

So far this whole broken foot fiasco has either been an exercise in humility or humiliation, maybe equal parts of both. I’ve had wonderful people offering to help and I’ve had horribly sobering moments where I sort of float outside myself and think “Aw, who’s that sad sap crawling up those stairs?”

Some random moments:

WORK

River City called me in to do one of my recurring voice-overs. I’m the Phone Lady for a major local health care group, so you can blame me when you hear prompts like “Thank you for calling. To speak with an operator, please hold for 27 minutes or so while standing on one leg, then maybe we’ll let you through” OR “If you are bleeding profusely, please hang up and dial 911.” Okay. Tangent.

So when they called me, I thought “Sure, I can handle this. This is a five minute gig.” I’d forgotten about the stairs. And the slope in their driveway. I got in the car, harder than it sounds since my driveway is an obstacle course of slush and ice, pulled my crutches in, drove, and was faced with a slope of sheer ice. I slipped my way up, rang buzzer and faced The Stairs. Granted, these stairs are not a big deal if you walk like a normal person. If you’re on crutches for the first time in your life, they are The Steep Stairs of Death. I stood there, looking at them, and thought “Fuck it”…and I crawled. That’s right. On my hands and knees.

Then there was another set of stairs leading to the basement studio. No big deal, I thought, I’ll just scoot down on my butt. Only there was a leak in the ceiling and I sat down on wet carpet so by the time I got down the stairs, not only was I butt crawling, but now looked as if I couldn’t hold my bladder.

Thank god everyone there has known me forever. My foot is broken, but my bladder works just fine.

DATING

I thought I was ready for this. Especially with my ex remarrying I feel like I ought to at least be dating. I decided to meet someone I’ve been writing to for a while online, and damnation, I was bound and determined. Plus I had a goal with my writers’ group to go out on a date with a man who wasn’t gay. (Though I really wish I could date gay men.) I limped my way to the restaurant and had a fine time talking, but at the same time, I was acutely aware of how I must smack of just a little bit pathetic. I managed to not wear stretchy pants, so that was a bonus.

I had these flashes in my mind of what sex would be like with a cast. I can’t take a bath so shaving is out. Imagine a heated moment and I lose my balance and fall over onto the floor. Or I’m trying to be sexy while I unzip my pants and then can’t get them off because they’re stuck on my cast. And then…naked bodies…imagine the awkwardness of a solid, rock hard CAST in the way. Not to mention my Sasquatch legs.

I’m thinking dating is out for a while.

HUMILIATION #459

The most recent humiliation with my ex. On the phone. Presented in dialogue.

ME: Hi, P. I’m calling because my foot is really broken. Like seriously and I need some help with the kids.

P: Okay. Well, I have them this weekend so that should help.

ME: Yes, but what I mean is…

P: Me and Miss R. are going to decorate the tree. Just want you to know in case they talk about that.

ME: Okay, but what I was going to say…

P: She was pretty upset about you having all the Christmas decorations since somehow in her split she didn’t get the Christmas decorations from her ex. But I told her it would be fine. We’d just give the kids some money and they can each buy an ornament and we’ll hang them all together and it will be a wonderful bonding experience for our family.

ME: (silence)

P: So. What are you planning on doing with the kids?

ME: Oh, you know, I have a broken foot and can’t take care of them and I’m single and can’t offer them any family bonding so I thought, I don’t know, that they’d watch TV while I eat chocolate bonbons on the couch and cry my heart out. Thanks for asking.

END SCENE

That dialogue is true, except for the last part. The last part I just thought but wanted to say. He doesn’t even realize how his words affect me.

Blast.

THE FUTURE

I talked to my sister. “You know, you’ve got to stay off your foot.”

“I know.”

“Seriously. Because if you don’t, you could have surgery.”

“I know.”

“P. is a fucking asshole.”

“I know.”

“He’s going to get testicular cancer…”

“Heidi…”

“No. Seriously. It’s karma, man. And after all you’ve been through…you know what’s going to happen?”

“Tell me.”

“Something fucking great. You’re either going to transform into a real superhero or you’re going to be rich and famous because of your books.”

“Do you really think so?”

“I know it.”

With that thought, I sit back on my couch and change the channel on the TV. Good things are coming. My sister says it’s so, and if there’s one thing I know, you don’t mess with my sister.