HOW I SUNDAY: ISSUE 11
By Alex Wolf
Last Sunday, I had a swollen ankle and I couldn’t get out of bed. There’s this idea I have about life, where I see my body as a device, like a virtual reality device. And with it, I get the luxury of feeling the world. A few days before that last Sunday, I decided to feel the roller-skating rink. There’s something to hitting air that quickly that makes you feel like you’re flying, right? And I flew and flew until I fell. My leg went straight back and I tried to land gracefully, but by the time my ass hit the ground, the feeling in my left ankle evaporated. All I noticed was the thumping, and the hands of the old man who was swirling in circles just a minute ago, lifting me up.
A sucker for pain is what I realized I was in that moment. At fifteen I got things pierced that no fifteen-year-old should get pierced and that rebelliousness masked itself as an aptitude for affliction, or so I thought. Because in this moment, I realized how much all of that had faded away. That - at twenty-six - you look at life differently. And the pain like I felt in my ankle only reminds you of how fragile that alleged rebelliousness has made you become.
Sitting there with my hands clutched over my calf, I thought of my father. My blinks were slow as the medic asked if she could look at the damage. I told her “No”. That I was fine. Because the idea of something not being fine would mean I would faint right here, in front of her.
Pain. It’s just like it was when I was a kid. Still harsh. Still offers that powerlessness that reminds you can fall apart at any moment. I thought of my father again. I hadn’t spoken to him in weeks. Bad terms. They ached out my legs.
“This is the worst it’s going to feel.” My friend Ann was there to nurse the wound. I was grateful to believe her. To be around someone who I know tells the truth. There are times in life where you just want to cry as complete and thoroughly as you did as a kid. Where you can huffpuff those same gasps that make wind in the tiny caves of your lungs. Sometimes it just feels good to be that sad. And so I let myself go. Hot tears dropped out like lemon juice and I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t know how long this pain in my leg would thump. I didn’t know how I was going to approach the next phone call with my dad. All I knew was that tonight it was going to be me and this pain, and so I might as well cry now.
Sunday came and the silence was the air-conditioner. A buzz that was enough to drive me insane. “What does one do on a Sunday?” I wondered as I became enraged at the thought of this leg. Attached to my body yet couldn't quite move yet. Everyone said I’d be walking again in three days. Four days? Some said five. I dare not google too much or else I’ll get darker. Pathetic, Alex. There are people who can’t walk their whole lives and here you are, resentful at the idea that you are stuck for three days. Four?
So be it. Call me weak if you want to. I’m happy to admit all those people are more brave than I. That I was underprepared to deal with the silence of this Sunday - a Sunday in which I could not escape my house nor my thoughts. “What is life really about anyway?” I wondered. A question that buzzed at the same frequency of the air-conditioner. The background noise of my life. And each time, the answer is cliche and embarrassing. “Love” my mind says. “Love is the point. To feel it, to give it, to …” Oh alright already!
How far are we going to go? How much are you going to remind me of this? I toss and turn and yes, the pain in my ankle turns with me.
I guess this Sunday it’s just me and this thought getting drilled into my head until the screws get stripped. Until I realize what God, the universe, whatever… wanted me to realize. You know how that bullshit goes. “I miss you.” I sent to my dad. He misses me too, he says and then my sight gets blurry because tears.
This life shit is complicated. The people you try to love have a hard time loving you back and hearts swell so fat, there’s no time to tell if the rips on the side are from your desire to keep it growing, or from the other person’s fear of it getting too big. And who has the time to do open heart surgery on a Sunday afternoon?
Alex is a writer, creative, and the founder of BOSSBABE.Inc, a millenial girl gang for business minded women. Follow her story at @alexwolf