Sunday May 3rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: rehab.

Really enjoyed a day away from working in the garden. I hung out with Max around the house this morning (which involved a lot of playing with his tools and hitting a balloon around - two of his favorite things) while Kat was with her book club.

After lunch we picked up Kat's brother and drove out to visit the owl rehabilitation center just north of Oliver for their yearly open house event. We're hoping to make this an annual visit, as it's a pretty cool experience.

Since it didn't take too long to see everything, I wasn't feeling ready to return home. So we drove just a little further and went for a walk at Vaseux Lake. It's one of my favorite areas to visit around here and I'd still like to find a way to get there more often.


"One more time. Come on, you can do it."

Matt, my physical therapist, was relentless. He was always pushing, pushing, pushing. Finding my limits and then stretching them further. I was in too much misery to have been able to check, but I'm fairly certain he was smiling the whole time.

That bastard loved his job just a little too much.

"Don't give up on me now. You got this. I know it. You know it. That cute girl who lives across the hall from you knows it."

I could only shake my head at that last one. I was pretty sure she didn't even know I existed, despite having moved in nearly six months prior. But then, I was also pretty sure I'd never walk again after the car accident.

Now look at me. Sure I walk with a limp, but I walk. With time that nagging reminder of what happened will pass. That's the sort of confidence Matt beat into me. The sort of belief in myself and what I'm capable of.

I'm limping today. Next month I'll be walking like a normal. Give me another few months and I'll be running. You can bet on that.

Look at me now, people. Look at how far I've come.

And still I have nightmares of my time in that room with Matt.


Greg said...

Aw, no owl pictures this time round? I can see why you'd want to go back there though, it looks like a fantastic place. As does the lake if I"m honest, but it's not quite as exciting as owls :)
Wow, the details in your story this morning have really brought it to life; it feels like you've almost got some emotional investment in this one! Matt seems like... well, a physical therapist really! The puppy had one after his leg operation and you could see that she was determined to get him better no matter that he didn't think much of it at the time. And you've captured that perfectly with your character's views on Matt, and the thought of nightmares about him despite him having his job properly :)

I looked around; why did they always name rehab clinics after President's wives? I had an Amy Winehouse song – Valerie, if you must know – buzzing around in my head for some reason. The Grace Mugabe clinic (motto: Your credit rating provides dehydrating!) was a brutalist concrete block with tiny arrow-slit windows that still had bars over them, a railinged flat roof and a couple of martyred saints nailed to posts along the path. I'd recognised St. Sebastian, as the arrows were a bit of a give-away, and St. Catherine was attached to a pretty authentic-looking wheel, but I wasn't Catholic enough to recognise the rest.
There was a click from somewhere up ahead, and I looked up, feeling my spine twist into a new position that brought back memories of a Manchester stake-out during the Happy House period and a cruel chiropractor with fingers like steel rods. It was too bright out, so I slipped my shades from an inside pocket and put them on.
"Are you a patient?" A woman dressed like a stripper-nurse stood ahead of me, hands on hips and one leg cocked to show off how muscular her calves were. And thighs, if I'm being strictly accurate. She had orange hair, and the words to Valerie came through more strongly than ever.
"I'm here to visit a patient," I said, aware that my voice sounded like I was the loser in a three-hour yodelling competition. I'd say it rasped, but it could take the skin off your knuckles.
"No visitors," she said, so fast it had to be an automatic response. Then she looked me over again, her eyes tightening and crow's feet appearing as though having to fight Botox to get to the muscles. "Though... you don't look like a journalist."
"MacArthur," I said, offering her a hand. She looked at it like I was a trained dog offering a paw that's been out in the mud.
"You don't look entirely human, come to that," she said, and I ignored her. People often think like that and I find it pays to let them underestimate me. "Which patient could you possibly be visiting?"
"Veronica Apeass," I said. The nurse raised an eyebrow.
"Come this way," she said. "If you can rake muck on her I'd like to see it!"
I followed her as she led the way into the building. Veronica was Natasha Monkeybutt's mother, though that little fact seemed to be a big secret these days.

morganna said...

Re-learning, re-doing,
Every day. Re-
Having, re-
Bit by bit.

Anonymous said...

Day in day out,
I’ve been doing the same
Steps, trying to leave
This rut my bad decisions
Drove me into. Hopefully
Now that I’ve hit the bottom
Of my long descent into Hell,
I can make my ways towards
Heaven, constantly gazing
Up at the stars.

Marc said...

Greg - ugh, I am terribly behind on sharing pictures. I got a couple shots from this visit, I'll try to remember to share one.

Hah, glad you liked mine :)

Apeass and Monkeybutt. There have got to be some great wedding announcements in there somewhere...

Morganna - ah, that is one of your better acrostics, I think. And that is saying a lot!

Ivybennet - that's really lovely. Fully enjoyed reading this one over more than a few times.