It seems like you have 365 days when you start the year. But then you have to take out all the days you work, all the hours you sleep, all the times that you’re sick, and then all the times you are unexpectedly sick. Like last week.
I was cruising down a trail in Griffith Park when suddenly I realized that not only was the hill too steep, but the gravel made it feel like ice. My back tire started to fish-tail, and then I was falling, just to the side of the handle bars as the bike went down. Hand and knees striking first. The bike and I sliding another five feet or so on the fine powder on a steep incline. Coming to rest, I lay still, taking in the dirt, the coming darkness and how quiet the trail was. If I’d broken something, would anyone else be coming down the trail? If I had to stay there the whole night, would coyotes find me? Eat me? Or just toy with my broken body as I screamed in vain?
I felt my body, nothing broken. And I’d worn workout pants and a long-sleeve jacked and gloves. Very, very lucky because usually it’s just me and shorts and a sleeve-less t-shirt. My knees were banged up, but I tried not to pay attention to the dirty black-and-red streaks under my pants. If I could just get back to the car, stow the bike, and get on my way, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so bad.
Now it’s about 2-weeks later and I’m on crutches and fitted with a one-size-fits-all leg brace. A growing dome of fluid on my knee cap, bruising, and odd grinding noises told me something was wrong. Toddling off to the Emergency room two days ago, I had it x-rayed and looked at by a doctor. No breaks or fractures, but maybe something wrong with the ligaments. Further doctoring is in order.
In the mean time, keep it elevated and warm (not iced). Until then, I’ll be out of circulation for a few days. Despite a fairly busy schedule of writing, reading, and revision, a year always has moments that you can’t plan for. That’s why they tell you to have your manuscript ready when you write to agents. Because they don’t want to hear, “Well, you’re not going to believe this, but…” It was J.M. Barrie who said that some times is precious precisely because it’s wasted. Here’s to the two weeks I’m losing to a bum leg, laid up at home, reading books, hanging out with my boyfriend and our cat. Maybe it’s a God-imposed vacation. Or the universe reminding me that some of the 365 days granted at the beginning of the year have already been struck from the calendar by fate.
Now get back to your books!