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2007-09-28 - 5:21 p.m.

My master plan right now: Write “Before you ask…” on one side of my cast, and “I fell off my scooter,” on the other.

This particular epithet has replaced hello, as my general greeting.

I went and got x-rays on Tuesday, and sure enough, the wrist I insisted to all was ‘just strained,’ had a dark grey line bisecting one of the bits of gravel that hold my wrist aloft. It’s the modern era so the doctor wasn’t holding up over sized sheets, he simply pointed to a change in contrast on the jpeg on his laptop.

Within a minute or so, the doctor slapped a fiberglass mitt on my right arm, pinning my poor thumb into solitary, and running down to a mere two inches from my elbow. Bad enough that I look like I’m robbing accessories from Shredder’s wardrobe, but thanks to the frayed gauze sticking out at each end, my gauntlet looks fur trimmed.

I’m telling you, it’s the new look for the decade. MJ rocked the single glove in the eighties. JQ is rocking the single gauntlet for the aughts. (What are we calling this decade, again?)

The doctor’s office was on the upper-west side, a neighborhood George Carlin used to call ‘white-Harlem’ in his teen years. The real name is Morningside Heights, and, well, as George correctly opined, no one shakes in their boots when they hear that the ‘boy’s of Morningside are coming for your head.’ Not too shockingly, I haven’t heard too often the call to wander into the neighborhood. The rare roller-derby match at City College not withstanding, it was new enough to me.

So I wasn’t sure exactly where to wander when I plopped onto the sidewalk, saddled with oversized print outs of my scaphoid akimbo. The doc didn’t want to futz around with the sheets, but he made sure I carried them out. I’m to flash them at a surgeon on Tuesday, so he can figure if I need any accessories to my cast; namely, a small screw to keep the bone from traipsing about my innards.

Years of setting of metal detectors await me.

I can’t help but hope I can talk them into going the Bionic route if they need to dip inside. I don’t need anything too fancy. Maybe just a watch permanently installed. That way it’s conceivable I could get a timepiece that I wouldn’t end up sacrificing to the Gods of “now, where the fuck did I put that thing down?” At least, in theory, I am a rather devoted worshiper of said deities. Maybe they could even gussy up the face a bit. A surgically grafted watch would take down my Rolex lusting co-workers a notch or two.

In any case, the more pressing problem was working out how exactly to hold the gargantuan mimeograph, that probably should not be folded, and refused to be placed pedestrianly in my satchel, while at the same time readying the ever so necessary steady intake of nicotine and Imogen Heap, that I require upon the arrival of bad news, and/or fiberglass gauntlets.

Multitasking while in mid-step down a Manhattan sidewalk is a challenge in and of itself. When one of your hands could serve as an extra in a bondage film, the logistics become about as complex as the circumnavigation of the globe powered only by two unladen swallows. Papers pinched between two piggies peaking out of the plush plumes of gauze, with smoke fuming upwards into my needled nasal cavity, I clicked through with my good hand, trying to find something soothing to assuage my eardrums, all the while relying on my well trained feet to slice uninterrupted paths through the oncoming hordes, just released by the tyrant time clock.

That I didn’t end up knotted up in a ball, like a Twister trauma patient discarded from the game and lumped onto a street corner, can only be attributed to sheer luck, since I spent the previous day in an hour long battle-royale with a bag of Kettle chips that refused to yield their inner golden bounty. (Honey mustard potato chips…who knew?)

I detoured through Central Park. I didn’t feel like contending with the mangled web of trains required to go cross-town. Of course, I ended up trying to wheedle a path to the east that met quickly with the reservoir. Working my way around the disconcerting pond from which our grey tap water stems, meant heading north, and out of my way, but it simply refused to listen when I politely asked it to ‘scoot.’

The path by the water allowed a rare clean view right down through the city, one I should have enjoyed. Instead, as I learned about fifty feet down the path, I was intruding on a jogger’s route, and I was apparently going the wrong way down it. Every spandex clad, mini-iPod wearing, health nut that passed gave a bewildered look to the disheveled gent in business casual, puffing away at yet another butt. Waving my cast at them simply added nonplussed to their list of adjectives.

Had the trail not been bounded by a steel fence, I’d have leapt from the torrent of Nike aficionados. Hell, I would have considered a dip in the reservoir, if that action wouldn’t have guaranteed either jail time, typhoid exposure, or the company of a few mob informants. I skittered along the rail and smiled a lot.

An hour and three miles later, I stumbled into the subway with barking heels, a sweat soaked t-shirt, and a new growth on the particular tumor in my brain that dislikes joggers. In minutes I’d be at my regular bar, where the annoyance of a cramped right arm, the last vestiges of summer heat, and people with better calves than me could not bother.

I hadn’t figured on the fourth plague: Swarming young professionals.

Despite being greeted by name by the bartender, it took a solid ten minutes before he could make his way down to me, as he was being bludgeoned by martini orders detailed to the milliliter. If not that, then the run down of microbrews that they’re shocked a bar of good standing would be without. Instead of taking a quick glimpse at the taps to see what actually is on demand, they’d run through a list of five different rarities, run in small circulations, and exported from Tanzania only once in 1994, and then react with horror and revulsion that they had to stoop to the level of Stella.

Once I got my ‘piss-beer’ Ying-Ling, I settled into the only available chair not being assailed by the seemingly endless crush of better-dressed, better-employed, betters that might possibly be breeding in the back garden. I was too afraid to glance back there and confirm my theory. When they appear, they come en mass. I just stared down the bar, waiting for the Met game to start, occasionally clanking my cast into my beer glass before remembering that I’m a lefty by default these days.

I left after one beer.

When I got home I checked in on the Mets.

They were down by three. Again.

It’s the days where all the little things go wrong that get to you.

I went to sleep before nine.

Sometimes its better to hit the reset button a little early.

The next day, I’d learn to write with my left hand, by copying down poems by Yeats, writing out the first scene of a new play, arguing with a friend about story structure, shared in the glow of another friend’s recent achievement, and watched Mythbusters. All while supping the fine nectar of Johnny Walker Black.

Not a bad day.

Of course, the Mets still lost. (They have to. I bought post-season tickets.)

Please…Don’t mention them to me.

And if you need to know about the cast…

Just read the damn thing…

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