Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Morning Edition - 6/11/08
Sisters; A Study In Contrasts
My older sister Evelyn graduated from college on May 28th. I immediately took a day off and was front-and-center, my eyes filled with tears, as I saw her dream of a higher education become a reality. As I mentioned in a previous post, she has shown amazing strength and resilience overcoming catastrophic turmoil only to use that kick-in-the-stomach as the propulsion to take her to that magical day. This month she’ll close on her second home – in NY no less – and is doing a bang-up job raising two beautiful boys. At the other end of the spectrum, my little sister Frances, who was set to graduate on June 27th, has had a failing report card all year long and is likely to end-up in maternity gear rather than a cap-and-gown by year end. All said, I love them both and recognize that everyone has their own path in life to follow and their own future to create. My best to both.
Ghetto Is Ghetto, So Stop Bitchin’ and Do Something About It
When you live in the ghetto –regardless how great your specific apartment building may be- it’s still the ghetto. Case-in-point, my neighborhood is the epitome of ghetto and my neighbors see any temperature over 60 degrees as an open invitation to hang-out in front of the building and subsequently my window on the ground floor. After repeated calls to the police, the city complaint board and my building’s management company, I still come home to weeknights of frustration and disappointment – even the brink of catching a case for assault and battery. I refuse to give up though and insist that there MUST be neighbors like myself – hardworking folks who want a decent place to live without paying through the nose for it. Sadly, I also find myself saying, “This is exactly why decent neighborhoods show their ass and refuse to rent to minorities.” All clouds have a silver lining and mine may very well include my demanding to be freed from my lease to escape the discomfort thereby facilitating my move with BD. I’ll keep everyone posted.
Ribs and Mash
A couple of days before Memorial Weekend I took a quick run a few blocks from the office to a sporting goods store and bought racquets for BD and I to take on my new spontaneous passion – racquetball. After a romantic Friday and Saturday it was time to hit the courts for what was set to be a competitive endorphin boost. I find that working out and competing against my partner in sports invigorates me and serves as a sort-of aphrodisiac. So as I was acting like Rafael Nadal on the court the most incredibly haphazard accident happened. My right foot slipped on a wet leaf that had been inconspicuously sitting on the court for the first two hours of play. As my the momentum propelled my body backward and my right leg forward, my left leg folded like an accordion under my weight twisting my torso like a crunchy cheese doodle. I heard a loud crunch and assumed my leg was broken. Suffice to say, that I’ve never had an accident in sports before and the shock and adrenaline-spiked fear that I was sitting on a broken leg had me scream in horror. I quickly asked everyone who attempted to help me up to back away and straightened my body and my legs in front of me. I felt my left leg and realized it was extremely sore, but not broken. After a few moments I stood up and had a ghastly pain in my left side and a throbbing leg. So, what say you would be your reaction? Well, I did the opposite! I played another 30 minutes hobbling on my pained leg and excruciating side. Finally, BD and I came home, showered and went out on a dinner date and a romantic walk through the city. I purchased a knee brace during our walk and – you guessed it! – walked on. When we returned home I swallowed 800mg of Ibuprofen and made passionate love with BD. Caution to the wind, we spooned until about 3 a.m. when the throbbing in my leg and breathtaking side-pain were unbearable. I quietly climbed out of bed and took another 800mg of the anti-inflammatory pills and lay back down. I spent the next three days in unbearable pain before setting my machismo aside for a doctor’s visit. The results were devastating. I tore tissue around my left knee and have a fractured rib. The doctor assured me my leg would be as good as new in two weeks, but my fractured rib would take 4-to-6 painstaking weeks before it mends. Nothing could be offered – well, outside of numbing narcotics. Today, two weeks after my accident, I am popping more than five Percocet pills a day just to function. A testament of my determination to plow forward is that I haven’t missed a day of work and was front and center on Saturday’s 93 degree scorcher trying to play a more docile game of racquetball. The pain and discomfort are still very real, but I will not be sidelined. The gym is on a 6-week hold – which is anxiety-overload for a person who suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder – but I have resorted to avoid the scales after realizing I had gained six pounds in just two weeks. In another four weeks, I’ll just pick up where I left off. Today, hearing the words ‘ribs and mash’ conjure wincing, rather than salivating.
What about the Black and Latino culture makes you feel that some housing discrimination is justified?
Keep passin’ the open windows…