I am still convinced that my legs are trying to get me killed.
Sure, they may not be trying too hard; but I know it is one of their many efforts aside from walking.
Last Saturday, we went out to celebrate our friend Marks birthday. He was turning 29 again for the third time. He looks gorgeous for 29 and has fantastic skin. They encouraged us to eat, drink and be merry.
All night, Robert kept noticing me grimace. “What’s wrong?” He would ask. “Your legs bothering you?”
I would nod. “They’re sore.” In truth, they were knotted masses of tree trunks, elephant legs grown over night or in mere moments.
He would offer me his seat but that wouldn’t help. It was as if sitting intensified the Elephant Legs, as if sitting forced them to move when they did not want to. I could feel every muscle, every spasm.
I ignored it as best I could as the evening wore on, as they night took hold of us. I talked to others, I drank, I ate more food. All in an effort to ignore what was building in my legs. I could feel it boiling there, as it it wanted to let off steam and it would do so through the pores of my skin.
We went to a bar to ring in Marks birthday, midnight rolling around with both Robert and I hitting our respective walls. Going home in the cab, I could feel my legs protesting what I had put them through tonight. They were very, very vocal. I should have noticed the warning signs. “Drinking, dancing, parties?” They were saying. “Oh, you owe us. You SO owe us.”
I was bringing two glasses of ginger-ale out of the kitchen, walking toward Robert in the living room, when it happened: my legs gave out. They gave out completely. One moment, I was walking and the next I was falling, flying, floating towards the ground.
I hit the ground hard on my right leg and right arm. I think I made a sound but I can’t be sure, I really don’t remember if I did or not. I put the glasses on the table (still more than half full with their golden liquid) and got up.
I looked at my legs. They were numb but I could feel them shaking. I felt like hitting them, berating them for giving out on me. I was worried that there was no warning the moment before they gave away. I wonder if I had pushed them too hard, had forced them to do too much that evening?
I went to bed and thought nothing of the fall until the next morning. I turned over in bed and Robert came into the bedroom, saw me lying there. “What did you do to your leg?” He asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Your leg, it’s bruised.”
I got up and went to the full length mirror. Bruise was such a simple word for what graced my leg. I had a large bruise, about the size of my hand with my fingers stretched out. It was on my right thigh, on the side, and it looked like a big black mass of shadow.
I touched it and felt the swelling, the pain. “It must have been from the fall.” I said.
“You fell really hard.” Robert replied. “You hit the table on the way down too, before you hit the floor.”
I stared at the bruise with awe that my body could produce something so ugly. Robert cringed when he looked at it. “Put some cream on it, some moisturizer.” he said. “That will help the swelling go down.”
I stared at my leg, at the mark that was now on my skin and couldn’t help but be reminded of the novel Treasure Island and the pirate who receives the Black Mark pressed into his palm, marking him for death.
I prodded the bruise, felt a fresh tinge of pain and wondered was I now a marked man? Was I now marked for something to come, for an unforeseen event that I had no inkling of?
The bruise has faded from black to purple to brown to red to yellow. I have watched the rainbow that my legs have given me change and, at the same time, have watched the leaves outside change from green to red and yellow and gold.
It is no longer sore, my legs have been quiet. I think they over extorted themselves last week, they need a rest. But I can’t help but wonder if they have marked me for a reason or if I am simply being overly dramatic. Perhaps a bit of both.
Now, though, I will watch the bruise fade and the leave outside my window as they continue to change colour and then break away from the trees, drifting away on the wind to find their own destiny.