CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: On Being Broke: Money, Heart, Promise or Bone

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Well, it (almost) happened. What? The dreaded state of being broke.

As a fractured nation blunders its way toward debt crisis, CR2S is concerned with something much more mundane; nothing as important as a broke US of A. A broken heart? Decidedly unpleasant but most successfully recover from such a wrenching malady, even the unrequited kind. And for those who break promises, shame on you. You know you shouldn’t.

So the subject for today boils down to (nearly) broken bones. Say what?

[Explanation: CR2S sometimes presupposes to speak in behalf of Nisei generation. Spokesperson by default, not because of qualification but for longevity; the pool has shrunk that much. But I’ve kept my eyes open and my boca shut, for the most part, thereby absorbing by observation to pass along to those with more important things to do.]

Nisei fear a broken bone more than anything.

Yup, there you go. Forget the obvious: fiscal, familial, mental, heart, hearing, eyes, catastrophic disease. Despite what FDR proclaimed in ’42, some nonsense about fearing fear itself, the simple act of falling down looms the most dreaded clear and present danger.

We’re talking about something as simple as a stumble, accidentally losing balance. Whatever the osteo-result, we’re talking about an arm, a leg, a rib or heaven forbid, a hip. The significance and impact of having something broken is sometimes greater than being diagnosed with an incurable disease. Well, okay, but pretty close.

This personal theory got a kick-start the other morning. Being a clock-checking stickler, it was at 4:08 a.m. No, the awakening was not brought about by an “O” visitation; bladder calls are more commonplace than my elusive sprite.

The bathroom light is on all night and its door left ajar, so the bedroom is never in complete darkness (another “O” influence). I slip on heavy-soled zori flip-flops and make my way, seven steps, to momentary relief.

[Another Clarification Interruption: After two fairly recent operations, spinal and ulcerous stomach, CR2S is familiar with the rigors of recovery via physical therapy. And the importance of keeping the bod in good shape, especially the legs. Ergo, I pedal a stationary bicycle board two hours a day. Excessive, I agree, but the exertion is made possible seated in a special chair and watching the news and a game of sport.]

Entering the bathroom, my left leg suddenly buckles without warning and causes shoulder to smack against the doorjamb, whammo. Falling to the right, that side of my neck hits the edge of the bathtub as I fall on the shower mat rather than the cold, forbidding floor. In reconstructing the incident, it unfolds like a touchdown being shown in slo-mo.

Sitting up, the first thing I do is take inventory of bodily parts. I’m fairly certain nothing is broken or out of whack.

Since I don’t have an iPhone handy, I can’t take a picture for posterity or laughs. The challenge now is to get up. The body review discloses a neck that has stiffened and shoulder that’s sore. But instead of struggling to get upright, I sit there wondering why my hard-worked appendage has failed me; why not the heart or head?  I must’ve spent a dumb cold minute berating my leg for letting me down. Literally and figuratively. Southpaw to left limb.

Quite honestly, I was hesitant to make the effort to stand. What if I couldn’t? Where is my “Help, I can’t get up!” gadget? Oh great, it’s in the drawer. In the bedroom. Wonder if I’ll be missed if I don’t show for breakfast. Lunch? A couple of days? Retirement homes are sticklers when it comes to attendance, don’tcha know. Vacant rooms are at a premium here.

Finally, I gather my aching body and slowly begin to stand erect. Maybe not exactly Phoenix rising, but just as majestic and impressive, if you ask me!

I stare into the mirror, relieved and chagrined. Nothing is broken, sore here and there, the greatest bruise to the psyche. So I look at the reflection of a guy I know who was once 16, 25, 40, 60, ad nauseum. Who is this aged Jappo?

Ah, the hell with it. Accept the passage of time, maybe not too submissively, but with magnanimity and class.

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

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