I’ve always wondered how I’d cope with being handicapped. I figure it can go one of two ways should you be unfortunate enough to end up in a wheelchair: basketball or cider. You can try not to let it affect your enjoyment of life any more than is unavoidable: join a wheelchair basketball team, that kinda stuff. Or you can hang around outside kebab shops, drinking cider, looking pissed off at the world. I think I’ll be the latter.
Walking on crutches is really difficult. It’s nowhere near as fun as it looks. It takes a while to get the rhythm (“Only Shallow” by My Bloody Valentine is perfect for keeping the right pace), things’ll go okay for a while, but if something knocks me out of the rhythm (turning a corner, slowing down a bit to go over some cobbles), I’ll be all messed up and have to stop, and start again. And it hurts my hands.
Another thing I realised is how many little things I do with my hands when I’m walking down the street. Having my hands full of crutch handles makes it tough to get cigarettes out of my pocket, then the lighter, then smoke it, tough to push my specs up when they’ve slipped a bit, getting money or Tic Tacs, changing songs on the iPod. I set it on shuffle. Not a good idea. Too many songs that I don’t want to listen to. And three bloody Steve Miller songs came up on one hobble to the coffee shop. Nothing wrong with Steve Miller, but on the Friday morning when I woke up to see that the Yankees had beaten the Mariners in Seattle, at a game I had tickets for, the last thing I really wanted was other reminders of the last, err, phase of my life. Steve Miller is on the radio a lot in Washington state.
I’m just feeling grouchy at the moment, I guess. I’m annoyed that I can’t play softball, I’m annoyed that I’ve still not got an apartment (although, I’m about 70% sure to that I’ll have one by the end of the month), but mostly, I guess I’m just annoyed that since I left the States, I feel like I’ve been treading water. My new life back in Berlin doesn’t feel like it’s begun yet, and I don’t really feel like I’m anywhere close to entirely understanding what 2009 has been about. My head feels like a dog running on ice. I guess it’s only a matter of time before the flakes in the snow globe stop swirling around. But that’s not happened yet. And I need a haircut.
Still, it’s Saturday night, I’ve got my ankle elevated with a bag of frozen peas on it, “Bad Boys II” in the DVD player and a bottle of wine. Life could be a lot worse. I could murder a jalapeño popper, though.