Friday, January 03, 2014

Toothbrushing is the new Cardio

Was it simply the long hairy arm of coincidence? On the exact same day I learned I do not walk properly, I found out I can't brush my teeth right either.

Last December, the 14th if you must know, I was sitting in an oversized comfortable chair reading the unabridged Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and underlining majestic clumps of words like "amiably drunk," "vivid vermeil" and "coltish subteens." I twisted upon a plush velvet cushion, reached for a glass of pomegranate juice and heard a terrible grinding noise in my hip that hurt like a white-hot bitch. 

I hobbled around for months. Whenever anyone asked, I had to admit I had been incapacitated by an incident involving soft upholstery. Every day I would wake up in incredulous denial. Occasionally I tried to go running. That was a medically poor decision.

In March, I finally doddered to a doctor and discovered my left hip joint is a pocked and battered warzone. The lounge chair had little to do with it; apparently, I walk all wrong. 

I went to physical therapy and they had me lie on my belly on a gym mat and try to squeeze my butt muscles without moving my hamstrings. You could have said you'd pay me a million dollars in that moment and I still couldn't have done it. My brain quivered and froze up. The elevator could not heave itself to the top floor. I tried really really hard.

A guy came over, a fellow patient, and asked if he could use the gym mat I was resting on. I stared at him malevolently.  He went away.

At four PM that afternoon, I went to the dentist for a cleaning. Nancy the hygienist took one look at my gum line and called me an "athletic brusher." I thought that had a nice ring to it, especially since my current athletic training apparently looked a lot like napping. 

Nancy pulled me out of the exam room. We went into a remedial alcove equipped with a set of plastic demonstration teeth and a flip chart where I learned that "athletic brusher" is a euphemism for "you are a maniac with a toothbrush."

Clearly I need to tag along with some kid for a couple days to refresh my rookie hoof & mouth life skills. 

(You probably expected me to conclude by arcing back to the themes of coincidence and the seminal work of Vladimir Nabokov. It would have been my only chance to execute a tidy writerly finish ... but no. Not gonna happen. The end.)
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