It has been 46 weeks since that fateful night.
10 months ago, I awoke and casually rolled out of bed. It was a fine Saturday morning – not a cloud in sight. I had just finished a strenuous 7 month travel season in which I was in a different city every weekend. But now…on July 14th, I was free to do whatever I wanted…finally.
I put on my shoes…and went for a run. Beautiful days like these always meant long, hard runs – on these days, there was nothing of interest indoors for me…so I would run and run freely.
There were no longer any constraints. Freedom at last. Just me, my interests, and an entire world to explore. In one month I would tour all of Europe with my best friend. I didn’t have many friends. I had a lot of people I liked, and I had a lot of people who seemed to have liked me…but I rarely spent my time with anybody except him. I was solitary. I was desolate. I was perfectly lonely.
I ran 9 miles that day. I came home, I cleaned my kitchen. I cooked. I listened to music and played my guitar. I read the short stories of Ernest Hemingway. I sat at the table…pondering the possibilities. The endless possibilities.
I ventured to a local Greek Fest with my friends. They ate Greek food and had many drinks – I did neither. I was compulsively obsessed with my body. I felt I was too fat…I needed to lean out more. Maybe then…I could book more auditions. Maybe then…women would be attracted to me. Maybe then…I could be happy. I refused any food that I didn’t know the caloric value of…and I refused any alcohol, simply because alcohol hinders fat loss.
That was it. That was the extent of my freedom. The next thing I knew… I awoke to find myself where I am now.
Perhaps if I had enjoyed many drinks with my friends at the Greek Fest…I would have found myself IN a taxi cab en route to my destination later that night…instead of being maimed by one. PCH and Diamond would have been a cakewalk…instead of a death trap. Perhaps if I enjoyed many drinks with my friends that night… I would have passed out in a drunken slumber…and awoke to endless possibilities… Instead of endless limitations.
I often sit and ponder how cruelly ironic life can be. How the man who used his legs more than anyone would have them stripped away. How the freedom I idealized and seeked more than anything could be so short lived. Then, I was at the forefront of limitless possibilities. Now, I am and will forever be prisoner to my disability…having to depend on many just to function properly. Long runs and exploring now come with risks… Risks that never seemed to exist back then.
If there is anyone that could handle the predicament I find myself in day in and day out… Its me. I am grateful to be alive and humble enough to know that it could and should be much worse.
But it doesn’t change the facts. The fact that “freedom” will always come with an asterisk. The fact that everyone important to me in my past life has seemed to disappear…to have vanished along with my left leg. The fact that…
…the fact that I miss my old life.
This is grievance. And it only took 10 months for it to rear its miserably ugly head.
I truly hope this means acceptance is on its way.