Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll provides a short course in GEEZER FORENSICS. She writes:

Sometimes, in the course of human events, your person of late, late middle age will sustain a strange injury which she has no idea how it occurred.

Let’s say that, despite trying to limit her coffee intake to under 12 cups a day, for some unknown reason, she still has trouble making it through an entire night without getting up to use the bathroom. Let’s further stipulate that she uses the time-honored “staying almost asleep” method of keeping her eyes shut on the way to the bathroom, during her time in the bathroom, and the return trip back to bed.

When she rams a hipbone into a bureau she may come close to opening her eyes and think, “Oh dear, that might leave a mark,” but by morning that thought will have had no more staying power than the gauzy memory of a dream in which she is back in high school, inadequately clothed, of course, trying gamely to take a test in Calculus despite never having taken the class. “Cosine? Is that, like, when you stupidly agree to be a guarantor of your irresponsible foster son’s apartment rent? Bad idea!”

In the dream, doing poorly on the test engenders much more anxiety than being in her underwear. And for some reason, the teenage boys around her are way less interested in her apparel than would seem realistic from her memories of those hormone-driven days. And no, it is NOT because she is her current age (late, late middle); in the dream she is once again a fetching teen herself. But, dreams aside, let’s return to the trip to the bathroom and its aftermath. When an ugly bruise appears on her hipbone, she is quite mystified.

“Honey? Are you kicking me in your sleep? Or do you think it is from my seat belt? I probably shouldn’t do the grocery shopping any more, or even ride in a car. I shouldn’t even leave the recliner – unless the bruise is FROM the recliner…Maybe it is evidence of a nutritional deficiency and I am eating too few carbs. I bet that’s it. Should I have another Mini-Muffin with my Mashed Potatoes and Gravy?”

Ah, but if that were the only injury, we wouldn’t need the GFT – Geezer Forensics Team. When she next appears with a noticeable discoloration on her forehead and toothpaste stains on her t-shirt, the GFT springs into action and deduces from the spatter pattern of the water and toothpaste on her garment that what obviously happened is that she tried with wet hands and some difficulty to pull the brush-head unit off the motor unit of her electric toothbrush and, dislodging it at last, whacked herself in the head with her own fist in the follow-through. Ah, what was that thing about a body in motion tending to stay in motion? Damn, sexist physics!

Okay, that one wasn’t an actual mystery. I was aware of what I had done at the time. [Abrupt change from third person to first person, because I feel like it.]

But, there was a real poser on my left arm: two scratches about two inches apart on the side of my wrist right below my hand and a sunburn-like redness on the wrist itself.

Mr. AG had not weighed in except to say, “It looks like nothing; let it go.”

“But, but, but, how did it happen?”

“Who cares? Does it itch?” “No.” “Does it hurt?” “Maybe a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.”

“A ONE? Good grief! Everything on my entire body hurts at least a 4 every morning when I get up.”

“I’m not complaining, I just don’t like a mystery.” “You LOVE a mystery and read them all the time.” “Yes, but that’s because they are always SOLVED.”

“Well go be mystified somewhere else. Don’t you have some writing to do? Are there Lemon Bars in the freezer?”

Is this what we have to look forward to now? Collisions with sliding glass doors, falls, scrapes and bruises, a nasty tear from running into a cactus, and burns from teacups? TEACUPS, for Pete’s sake! When my Primary Medical Consultant, Miguel the Produce Guy, quit his job at my supermarket, I was forced to rely on Woman’s World Magazine for my medical advice. “Drink more tea!” they suggested, “You will lose weight and it’s just chock-full of anti-oxidants.” Not a mumblin’ word about nuclear teacups in the microwave!

It occurs to me that being a senior is kind of like a Second Childhood only with more money. Remember Childhood when your limbs were a mass of scabs and scars, grass stains and floor burns? Here, a tumble down a hill on a piece of cardboard; there, a slide on bare knees across a wooden gym floor after the loose basketball; there, a collision in the dark with a barbed wire fence during Hide And Seek. And an impressive scar to show for it still.

We had no helmets for bike riding, no seat belts in the car. Parents didn’t run to the ER at the drop of a hat. “Walk it off!” said Mama about my “sprained” ankle til Daddy came home from work and noticed the ankle was three times its normal size. Oopsie. Broken in two places, cast on from Memorial Day to Labor Day, fun summer. I learned to run the bases in the “walking” cast. Sadly, I wasn’t even appreciably slower than before. Did I mention I had Poison Ivy on the leg when I broke it? Everything healed and we survived. Again.

That is what keeps me going – the knowledge that the human body is a truly miraculous healing machine. More slowly in late, late middle age, to be sure. But a miracle, nonetheless. Speaking of miracles, it appears that the Israelis may have cracked the code to cure cancer. Not a single country or government that supports BDS should get the benefit of it. Nor hateful anti-Semites in this country like the bigoted bigamist, Ms. Omar and her ilk. The Israelis would NEVER be that unforgiving, but I would. Hosanna in the Highest if this turns out to be accurate and not just another dashed hope.

Whatever was going on with my left wrist is almost better now. In the prophetic words of the late, great Emily Litella – God, remember when SNL was FUNNY??? – “Never mind.”

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