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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

lurch limp lurch

walk like a man – foto by Smith

I now walk like my polio father, and my crippled-knee mom.

With each left step I take, I flow to the left and up, then with each right step lurch down and to the right, like one of Dr Moreau’s four-legged animal experiments trying to walk upright as a Frankensteined two-legged man.

My dad — aka Pappy Smith — contracted polio as a child and his left leg was shorter and half as thick as his right leg, so he walked with a rolling gait, bobbing up and down as he swang from side to side.

Mom — aka Mother Dwarf — in 1999 was struck by a car that had passed her and then stopped in the middle of the intersection and decided to back up without looking to park in a spot it had just passed at the exact time mom stepped into the crosswalk to cross the street. Since she was only a poor old woman on Medicare, the doctors put her leg back together less than professionally so when she healed she started walking like dad with an up-down side-to-side roll. The driver who had no insurance fled back to Poland with nary an apology.

In late 2004, mom collapsed on the floor due to a blood bone infection in her ever-degrading knee. She used to be over 300 pounds but over a two year period had gotten down to 210 pounds before she collapsed. I tried to lift her up, but because she was my mom and overweight and I couldn’t bring myself to put my arms under her armpits and grab her chest to lift her properly because I was unwilling to grab her breasts, I lifted wrong and pulled something in my upper thigh groin area.

Not having insurance, I just lived with it for two years. When Lady and I left the country in 2006, we did nothing but walk everywhere around Europe, Africa and Mexico for 31 months, frequently with heavy backpacks, and my injury got worse. But even though it was more painful, the constant walking kept me fairly walkable and limber.

Then 19 months ago we moved back to Cleveland and got a car and stopped most of my daily exercise and I degenerated quickly to the point where I was having trouble walking from the living room to the kitchen.

Went to the doc and got a prescription for Meloxicam, an inexpensive once-a-day anti-inflammatory pill that made me fairly walkable again.

Then came last winter where I walked almost nowhere, rode my bicycle seldom, and it just got worse to the point where I lurch up down right left as I walk and every time I do I think of how ironic it is I’ve become a caricature of my dead dad and mom.

In 7 months I will be covered by Medicare and will get some help with this. One doctor told me it could be fixed via physical therapy, so there’s hope I can get my life back and be a fuller physical companion to my Lady, maybe take dancing lessons with her and lightly sweep her around the floor to the bounce of a Viennese waltz.

So even though I’m in constant pain and become tired and sore faster than I should, I still have this positive outlook that this hell is temporary, that good times will return again.

And if I can maintain this positive hopeful attitude for the future while living within my own constant personal pain, perhaps I can expand my thought system to encompass this fluxed up world I live in that seems to be rapidly going down the drain humanity-wise, and just maybe I can attain the Zen goal of living a happy life in an unhappy world.

The world’s always been a hard, unhappy, unfair place with the strong taking what they want from the weak, the fast eating the slow, and the sneaky backstabbing the rest — you know, your basic Corporate philosophy of the survival of the shittiest.

My Lady is currently trying to find an ethical philosophy for a happy life. I hope she formulates it. If it works, I’ll steal it from her and live happily ever after.

If not, I will continue to endure, in hope of brighter future.

watch step – foto by Smith

2 Responses to “lurch limp lurch”

  1. kevin says:

    I would love to see you dance a Viennese Waltz, crippled or no…

  2. smith says:

    i’d give it a go… i learned to waltz in my Plebebe year at the U.S. Naval Academy, and i love Strauss.

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