Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Accident p0rn

Written a little while back.
If it wasnt so tragic, it would be funny.

I find myself sitting in my odd spot with a bandage around my left thumb. Not much of a difference. I use the thumb for the space bar and nothing more, so it's not so hard to type.
Gone are the days perhaps where the thumb was the important tool for warriors and poets. How to hold a bow and arrow or a pen? Ha, times have changed, we modern day warriors and poets can manage without our thumbs. The forefingers pull the trigger, and well, we type. Even it's use as the ancient phallic symbol has been replaced with the middle finger. Tom Robbins wrote an entire chapter about the importance of thumbs. I can't seem to remember any of it, except what I would perhaps not be able to do without my left thumb, is hitchhike in the commonwealth countries.

The friendly doc told me to ensure the nasty fella stays dry. I told him I am a veteran in this department. I get loyalty bonus points from dressing companies. I even know the latest fashion.

Cut to late march 2009.
I woke up that morning trying to open a carton to find something. Someone had left a swiss knife on the dining table (to open a bottle of wine, of course), the blade of which went into my palm. It bled a little, not much to merit panic. Two days later, the whole thing was full of goo and stuff, and it was impossible to move my hand. I was in pain, hallucinating, screaming, threatening to write my will . An incision and drainage had to be performed, under general anaesthesia. The last memory was that of laughing gas. I woke up from the stupor the next morning to get it dressed and discovered a hole in the middle of my palm. The resurrection happened on easter, I kid you not. Did I ever have any doubts about me being the child of God?

But a few days before the bandages came off -

And a few days after I was given the laughing gas -

I tripped and fell and landed up with a gash on my forehead. It has left a lightning shaped scar right above the left eyebrow. And not some itsybitsy clipartsy scar, but a real lightning shaped scar, which seems to turn red and throb every time I drink red wine. I feel it's a message, but and yet to decipher it. May be it's morsecode.

Of course, true to myself, not to be defeated, I still decided to run the JPM corporate challenge - a 5.6km run through the heart of the city, the central business district. Ever so popular with the cutthroatmanager type people, who lack civil behaviour. One of them gave me the elbow, so I jumped off the pavement and stepped on a discarded bottle, twisted my ankle and fell, skinning my left knee. I was left with running only 1 km, and I had no choice but to limp the rest of the way.

It was only april, the cruelest month.

By this time, the horoscope came chasing my back to indicate, that the dosha (flaw) found last december was making me accident prone (that's the topic of another post)

So then, after a few inconsequential cuts and bruises, A was made to sit through a 4+ hour pooja to reduce the impact on my behalf, because women, as you would perhaps not know, have no rights to pray for themselves (or so I assume). I dutifully sat through it, touching his right shoulder, hoping the faith would heal and protect.

Soon after I got back, both of us were in a bike crash. Though safe, we landed up with major skinning of all body parts, which took a while to heal and completed the match-muched set of scars. Of course, after the initial shock, my immediate response to sink into terrible self pity, assuming I brought it upon him, and losing faith on the dosha vendors.

I will not get to the story of the crashes and tsunami warnings and the close calls, which actually are entertaining and sound adventurous, and will take the tragedy out of this story while I need your sympathy.

Now the thumb - a little kitchen accident which happens, happens to the best of us. It understandably made me hyperreact and run to the doctor and feed myself three years worth of antibiotics.

My body is a war zone, full of land mines, scars and pits and spots, all ugly on a grown woman. When I was all of three it was a big deal to have a band aid on the knee, now, I wonder if men still find it enviable.

The jokes arent tiring, the advice is. This includes: not venturing out of home evvaar (though half the accidents have happened while I was, in fact, home), realigning the feng shui of this house, and getting pregnant (don't ask.)

But I wish people would say some encouraging words, because I seem to have lost all confidence. That doesn't stop me from doing anything, but it has become a hassle to lose confidence in something seemingly innocuous, like peeling potatoes, and this constant thing that keeps running at the back of my head that I am accident prone, and so I am waiting for the next disaster to happen.

I am the next disaster waiting to happen.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Gonna fly now.

Running is something I talk about a lot, but I never get around to doing as much as I talk about it. Yep, it's one of those things, which people believe I love, but while I've confidently spoken to all my running friends about my intentions, minus the odd short (~5km) runs, I never actually got around to registering for an event till this year. Most often than not, I am plain lazy to register on time, and such events are usually oversubscribed in Singapore.

The other problem has always been that I find running extremely boring, which is not surprising given my extremely short attention span.

This year, I also finally found the gear I so needed to be able to keep at it: an iPod shuffle.
So the night before the Standard Chartered run (SCSM), while other people were busy carb-loading and hydrating, I carefully sat and planned the music I so needed to pace myself, and to help me keep going without realizing what was going on.

Speaking of hydrating, it didn't help that SCSM kept sending me scary messages the whole of yesterday asking me to hydrate. So much so that I woke up with sweaty nightmares a couple of times and found that my throat was parched..

Now comes the best part -
I decided to take a cab in the morning. The plan being, I will go as close to the starting point as possible without tiring myself out even a leettle bit. I got in and before I could say a thing the Sardarji at the wheel asked me in impeccable Singlish, "Why you going to run so late ah? I see people run from 5 o'clock, you know."

I patiently explained the strategy of staggered starts. He further went on to explain the best route to take to get closest to starting point. Trusting him completely, I proceeded to adjust my headphones in place and checking my playlist, taking carefully measured sips of water from my bottle.

Then he decided to talk:

"Where in India are you from?"
I explained my middle-east-origins, which he was expectedly clueless about.
"Close to Calcutta", I said, hoping to help.
"Worst place in the world. So dirty, so ugly. I nevaaaaaar want to go there evaaaaaaar."
I smiled.

Then it hit rockbottom.

"Doctor say, running very good. I say not very good. Three friend die you know"
"One fellow, he went New Zealand, three day he run. Then too cold something he die."
"One more fellow, last week, his heart stopped."
"One girl, she came asked me to find army gear for her. I help her buy. She run for charity. I never hear from her again."

I kept quiet. I was scared, of course. Two seconds later, he asked me if I knew anyone else who was running.

"Man or girl?"
"Girl must not run"

Ultimately, he stopped at one end of Robinson Road, and said "That's it miss, I can't go any further. You have to get down here."

Annoyed at myself for having trusted, because I knew the road was blocked, I paid him, asked him to keep the change as I didn't want coins jingling in my pocket, and landed up walking all the way to the start point, which as people in Singapore would vouch, is quite a bit. On the way, I crossed the 2 km and 3km mark for the full marathon course. Needless to say, when I finally got there, I was sweaty and thirsty, and very scared about my heart.

I also saw the early finishers of the full marathon on Anderson bridge while I was trying to navigate my way up and down the underpasses. A six-foot tall african, followed by a six foot tall chinese, followed by that cute guy from gym. Hell, the cute guy from gym runs? I didn't know that.

The run itself was uneventful. It was crowded. Like the entire world had nothing to do except get up and run on a nice Sunday morning. The point with such slow crowds is that one lands up being better off walking, because even at your fastest, you are slower than the average walker. And given my past experience with aggressive women, and men, and given the warnings meted out by helpful taxi guy, I decided to stick to my lane and run slow. I finished slower than the last time, and thankfully, am still alive.

High, and disoriented, and sweaty, I took the train back home.
Strange, I needed so many words to write about a 10k. The one who finished the full marathon, needed very few.