Wednesday, 11 May 2016

I Take A Remedy

My back has been put out.  Again.  Again, I have been shuffling like that penguin tending her one egg.  Again and again I have lamented the moment I bent down last Thursday (inducing a familiar-at-the-moment-it-happens-but-not-before-twang in my lower spine) even though regret in this  matter is absurd. 

How would I have known not to bend in order to make eye contact with the person with whom I spoke? Were I to have known, and then to have acted on this knowledge, I'd also have to regret the moves I committed when younger: the ones which have resulted in an ongoing back-weakness.  These moves included the lifting of concrete slabs to lay the foundations for a shed (to prove something), the helping H out of the bath twenty or more years ago (to prove something else) and I would be an entirely different person. 

Since the twang, I've been trying to alleviate my discomfort by getting horizontal as much as possible.  This led to my lying on the grass at the Rec last Sunday whilst my younger son shot hoops. I hadn't the heart or body for our usual basketball vocabulary extension, or for joining in, so whilst I watched I took a call from my longest-serving friend. 

At times of pain, it's one's longest-serving friends that count.  I didn't pretend to be anything other than an unattractive mix of stoical and miserable.  "What do you suggest?" I asked after a much too detailed description of the moment of my well-intentioned but ill-advised bending.  "Next time you're in that situation," she answered, with the wisdom of someone in the know,  "don't bend to speak with the person - look down. And gin.  It's gin for a back, brandy for a stomach and whisky for a chest.  So gin.  With ice and lemon."

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