Coffee heat rising

Life as a Splinter in the Foot…

LOL! How’s this for a metaphor: Life is a splinter in your toe.


Why not?

This morning I managed to drug myself with Benadryl so as to sleep all the way through until 5:30 and yet wake up without that Benadryl Feeling of  being locked inside a wad of cotton. The trick: break the pill in two and swallow the smallest piece.

So that’s refreshing…given that I’ve been waking up at three or four in the morning every goddamn day, no matter what time I go to bed. Actually got eight hours of sleep last night, for the first time in longer than I can remember.

But — nothing ever working properly these days, after all — the first thing I discover (well…after being reminded that the busted shoulder still hurts like Hell) is a tiny splinter stuck in the bottom of a big toe. It’s one of those hairlike things that’s so tiny you can’t see it…but not so tiny that it doesn’t sting. Found about where it is, reached for the tweezers, and…yeah… You know the outcome of that.

No tweezers.

Oh well. It wouldn’t matter anyway, because the thing is so tiny I can’t see it.


Honestly. Life has become a whole series of splinters in the toe.

The busted shoulder is more like a log in the toe, come to think of it. That one throws off a cloud of splinters, not the least of which is having to traipse to the physical therapist’s gymnasium every other day (literally!), and on the off-days having to kill an hour in DYI exercises. The PT is appreciated, nevertheless, because those guys have managed to at least return some mobility to the crippled arm. I’m not having to dictate this post, for example — instilling an error in every third frustrating, tooth-grinding word. Even though it’s ever so slightly painful, both hands will now rest upon the keyboard.

This means that late last night I finally finished the client’s 72-page-long Chapter 4, replete with 249(!!!) footnotes. Speaking of splinters in your toe… 😀

That project has caused me to decide that when this book is over, I’m closing the editorial business. Even though it’s an interesting subject, a scholarly study of just about anything will, by its nature, take the “interest” out of the most interesting anything. I am done sitting here for hour after hour after eye-glazing hour plowing through academic disquisitions, no matter what their subject  and no matter what their authors’ grasp of the English language. It’s challenging enough when all is well, but when you hurt so much you can barely think, it’s ridiculous.

And one thing that has become obvious: I just don’t have that many hours, days, weeks, months, or years left in which to plod along relatively pain-free. Indeed, it is entirely possible that I will never be pain-free again.

Yesterday I asked the physical therapist if all this agonizing treatment will work — if there’s any real reason to believe that the shoulder will heal to the extent that it will not hurt all the time. He assured me that yes, sure, right, of course it will.

But…what would one expect him to say, hm?

To get better, I need to get more exercise. But exercising hurts. So…that’s somewhat counterproductive.

Taking the dog for a walk of a mile or two, normally a favorite way to get some mild exercise, is also becoming counterproductive. Really, I need two hands to wrangle the corgi, especially if some other clown comes along with another out-of-control dog.

Last night we went out after dark, because in the present 100-degree temps the hot pavement will burn Ruby’s feet. We’re entering Lower Richistan, walking up the lane that goes into the parklike realms of Upper Richistan, when we see a car parked on our side of the street — the wrong side — with its headlights blasting into our eyes.


So I cross the street to get away from the a$$hole’s high beams.

So he starts his car, crosses over the road to our side of the street, and bears down on us.

No kidding. On the sidewalk.

So I grab the dog and haul her across the neighbor’s lawn, into the middle of the yard.

We miss getting hit, but this little terror kicks off a dramatic reverse-sneezing episode in the dog. She’s horking and horking and gasping for air as this a$$hole drives past, barely missing us. At least he doesn’t actually come up on the lawn.

But now the dog is in bad straits. I consider ringing a neighbor’s doorbell but figure there’s nothing anyone else can do. The dog will either get over it or pass out. If she can’t breathe, she’ll either catch her breath or she’ll die.

I pick up the horking dog — yes, busted shoulder and all — and carry her back up the street toward our house.

By the time we reach Feeder Street N/W, the poor little dog settles down and begins to breathe normally.

We continue our stroll, only through our part of town: the low-rent district.

For a change, no cop helicopters buzz us. That’s something. I guess. The racket from the drag-racing on Conduit of Blight and Gangbanger’s Way is annoying. Supposedly the city has a noise ordinance that bans unmuffled cars and motorcycles. This is most honored in the ignoring of it, by the cops. The cops ignore the drag-racing, too. When one of the bastard hotrod drivers blasted through the fence of a big lot up on Gangbanger’s that houses a small herd of prize cattle, the homeowner noted that the cop apparently knew the (drunk) driver — and just let him go!

So, no: we don’t walk up in that direction.


My son’s phone rang busy into the night. Since this is unlikely, it means one of two things: either his phone is on the fritz or something has happened to him. This morning I’ll have to try to call him again, probably to no avail. At that point I won’t be able to stand it and so will drive down to his house, which no doubt will annoy him no end.

But I can’t do that this morning because I have the dermatologist today: almost an hour-long traipse out to the west side. That will soak up the entire middle part of the day, plus a quarter-tank of gasoline. Speaking of splinters in your toe.

Oh well. Maybe they’ll have some kind of magnifying glass that can find the real-life splinter.


I’m supposed to traipse out to the Mayo on Friday to be subjected to some HORRIFIC ninety-minute test that entails jabbing needles into your muscles and setting off little electric shocks to see how your nervous system responds.

The drive out there, one way, is 40 minutes on a good day. So in toto we’re talking a total of 40 + 40 + 90 = 170 minutes of torture — given that driving across the homicidal roads here is itself a species of torture. How I’m supposed to drive home from the Mayo, with a busted shoulder, after this new Adventure in Medical Science escapes me. And in fact I’m thinking today I will call and cancel that appointment.

There is, after all, a fukkin’ limit!

The hour grows late. The dog is unfed. And so…away. I guess.

2 thoughts on “Life as a Splinter in the Foot…”

  1. Some douche in a car came up on the DAMN SIDEWALK after you and Ruby?!? What in the HELL was his problem? I’m so glad you and Ruby came through that in one piece. SMH
    Also, thanks for the Benadryl tip. I’m filing it away for future reference.

    • Drugs are plentiful and cheap here, as is booze. It was dark. There are no streetlights in that part of the ‘Hood — a feature that IMHO makes the area more attractive, because you can see a few of the stars when you get far enough up a street over there. Any of those excuses — or all three of them taken together — could explain his confusion.

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