I spent the morning considering Julius Caesar. Was Cicero being snarky as he praised the dictator for life for his victories and his clemency and his poetry? Did Caesar err by allowing his enemies to live? Since one of those who survived was Brutus (of Et tu? Shakespearean fame) perhaps it wasn't the best decision he ever made. Would the proposed Caesarean reforms have preserved the Republic had Caesar not been assasinated before they could be implemented? Did he really have a sexual relationship with King Nicodeme, as Suetonius's epigrams suggest? My brain was afire as I hobbled from the classroom at noon.
Three hours of sitting and listening is more than my recovering hip can handle happily. Sometimes I bring a footrest, sometimes I sit straight upright with my feet planted firmly on the ground, sometimes I cross my legs, one over the other, switching the over to the under every 15 minutes. I'm still looking for the appropriate solution. The result of stimulating my brain for hours is a stiffening of my hip joint and a hobbling gait that resembles Walter Brennan in To Have and Have Not. I'm quick but I'm wobbling.
The drive to the restaurant for lunch was too short to stretch my constricted ligaments; my gait worsened with every step. The parking lot was full; I left The Schnozz across the street in the lot for the meeting to follow and gimped into the nearly empty dining room. Where were the drivers of all those cars in the parking lot? As we ate and chatted, my friend and I watched as the Arizona Republican Club dribbled out of the meeting room behind the big wooden door to our right. Not one of the attendees walked without assitance – a cane, a walker, a friend's arm – and not one of them appeared to be younger than 70. I compared my walking abilities to theirs and I sighed.
Bette Davis was right – old age is not for sissies.
We had some more ice tea and walked across to the meeting where I found myself, once again, occupying an armless padded chair. My hip protested, but my attendance was mandatory. Leaving early was not an option. It's hard to concentrate when sitting sends shooting pains up the side of my torso, .
Tonight we're joining friends for dinner. There will be more sitting and readjusting and stabbing pains.
I'm not getting worse, though I'm not recovering as quickly as I'd like. I hurt and the rehab is hard and I'm getting frustrated and I know that if I don't keep up with the exercises and the strengthening I'll never glide gracefully across the dance floor.... not that I ever did before getting shot.
It is very confusing.
I parked in a handicapped spot at the grocery store last week. I placed the blue plastic placard over the rear view mirror, grabbed my reusable bags, and amazed myself with the graceful nature of my exit from the car. I was complimenting myself as I walked evenly and precisely toward the store when my reverie was interrupted by an older gentleman who made eye contact and said “You look pretty good to be parking in a disabled parking space.”
I stopped, I smiled, I thanked him. It felt great to be described as “pretty good” when walking was concerned.
Then I paused and reconsidered.
Perhaps he wasn't being kind. Perhaps he was aggravated. Perhaps he thought that I was unfairly using the placard. Perhaps he had perceived me as being whole.
I'm holding onto that thought and smiling. With motivation like that, I'll lose this limp yet.