“You have a choice. Live or die.
Every breath is a choice.
Every minute is a choice.
Every time you don’t throw yourself down the stairs, that’s a choice. Every time you don’t crash your car, you re-enlist.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
Every day there’s a new hurdle, or two or three. Something gets tripped up, falls over, crashes to the ground, gets snagged or chipped or broken or fractured. The sound of things falling, falling crutches in particular, permeates all elements of my life now.
Even Oliver has learned to get the hell out of the way when the crutches start to slip. All it takes is that soft initial swish of something scratching and slipping as it gains momentum and is about to fall. He’s learned these things are swiftly headed his way. He moves before they hit.
The belt broke on the vacuum yesterday. At first I didn’t realize, as I was so focused on my tremendous progress in covering 1 square foot per minute. Plus, now whenever a new task is undertaken there’s a certain commitment involved in seeing it through to the end. The time and energy it takes in merely initiating the task is enough buy-in to see it through to completion not wanting to waste a morsel of my effort and waining willingness.
I kept hobbling along in my vacuuming efforts, crutch, vacuum, crutch, vacuum. But then I noticed nothing was being sucked up into my vacuum.
Effort and willingness non effective. Having little affect. Completely unacceptable.
I flipped over the vacuum while it was still running. Sure enough the brush was not rotating and the belt had snapped. You would have thought someone had died. The affect this simple occurrence had on me was profound. I immediately started crying. Standing there on my one good foot with my other foot held off the ground and balancing on a set of crutches with a vacuum, still powered on, flipped over on its back like a fish brought to shore with its vulnerable underbelly exposed.
I let it rip. Again.
‘I can’t do this anymore. 8 more weeks of this? Of THIS? How can I do it? It’s not possible!!! Etc.’
My grief was deep but my left leg, my good leg, was getting tired. Necessity called. Again.
I powered down the vacuum and flipped it back over. Tugging on the extension cord I tried to yank it free from where it was plugged in across the room. As I wound the cord back up loop by loop it wrapped itself around one crutch and tangled at my foot. I breathed deep, steadied myself atop the crutches and began the process of untangling. Once the cord was free, I finished the task of wrapping the entire package of the vacuum neatly back together and then crutched it on over to the closet from whence it came and where it now sits once again, and waits in shame. In the dark.