Break a Leg

It’s been 3 months now since I had that unfortunate bicycle accident in which I ended up breaking the top of my tibia (an undisplaced fracture, they call it), and I can honestly tell you: whoever came up with the idea of saying “break a leg” as a nice way to wish somebody good luck, had no fucking clue of what he was talking about. These past weeks have sucked more than a vacuum cleaner on steroids.

Not only I missed one week of my well-deserved holidays but I also managed to miss the Olympics too, an event I had been looking forward to for almost 2 years, not just because of the world-class spectacle it turned out to be but also because of all the painful Tube disruptions I had to suffer while Transport for London got its act together and prepared for the show. I’m talking about closures on various lines almost every weekend for the last 2 years and a half. I’m talking about traffic jams from hell due to planned engineering works on London’s busiest roads. I’m talking about that ugly logo and the horrendous Olympic typeface splattered on every single poster and billboard in town. And, what for? I went through all that shit only to end up in bed watching the goddamn thing on a 13-inch screen, not being able to attend a single match, party or free gig that took place all over London, not being able to hook up with any of the countless super-fit Eastern European athletes that invaded the city for a full month, and ultimately, not being able to enjoy the festive atmosphere of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All because I fell off a fucking bicycle that was barely moving.

As if this wasn’t enough, a couple of months ago, the UKBA took a heavy-handed measure that totally compromises all my plans to stay in London; everything I’ve worked for since I got here, suddenly sabotaged by this narrow-minded Government that doesn’t get tired of abusing and ramming its cock down international students’ throats with all their anti-immigration policy bullshit. I just heard I have graduated with a First Class Honours (Distinction) and I don’t feel like celebrating at all, go figure. Add to the mix the recent death of a relative, missing my sister’s wedding, my creative partner dumping me due to all this UKBA mess, the agency that was going to hire me losing one of its main clients a couple of weeks ago (therefore no budget to hire me anymore) and my head playing all sorts of tricks at nights, and I think it would be fair to say that I haven’t been at my best lately.

However, although breaking a leg has been absolute shit, I must admit that it has also been a very humbling experience. Over the last 3 months I have been forced to ask for help to take my laundry from the kitchen (where the washing machine is) to the garden (where I always hope it will get dry only to find hours later that it’s as wet as it was when it left the washing machine), or to go to the supermarket for me, because my hands are too busy with the crutches and I can’t carry any bags; I have been offered a seat by an elderly men and a pregnant women and every time I’ve had no other choice but to embrace their kind gestures because I simply can’t stand on my left foot for more than 5 minutes, particularly on a hectic moving vehicle, where the risk of losing my balance and falling can really make things worse, and everyday tasks like opening doors, lacing my shoes, going up and down the stairs, showering, and cooking, just to name a few, have become quite challenging endeavors.


This situation has also made me realise how underrated pockets are. Seriously, since I’ve been on crutches, I rely on these unsung heroes more and more often and every time I find myself stuffing them with tomatoes, small glasses, forks, knives, biscuits, sauce jars, cheese, plantains or whatever I might require to carry from one place to the other, I can’t help but wondering who the hell invented them in the first place. I need to look that up and I once I find out, I will start planning my pilgrim to wherever this genius is from to pay my respects (whoever you are, portable textile container inventor, I salute you). Speaking of food… I must say that cooking has been a pain in the old arse. As I can’t carry anything because my hands are always too busy holding the crutches, every time I want to prepare something, I have to either throw the ingredients from the fridge to the kitchen worktop (I’ve become quite good at it) or have put a chair half way through; a wooden bridge, if you like, to make possible the transition from one place to the other, a process that is as annoying for me as it is entertaining for everyone else.

Imagine this: I walk to the fridge, park the crutches somewhere near, open the fridge, take out whatever I need to cook, put all the ingredients on the chair, shut the fridge’s door, take my crutches, walk to the stove, park the crutches somewhere near, reach to the chair, stumble upon the crutches in the process, grab the ingredients, put them on the kitchen top, grab the crutches, get them out of the way, realized I forgot something, taking the crutches, walking to the fridge, park the crutches somewhere, get that thing I forgot to take in the first place, put it in the chair, get the crutches, walk to the kitchen top, park the crutches, get the thing from the chair, and finally start cooking. By the time I get to this point, I already feel like giving up and ordering a pizza instead, but a man can’t live on pizza alone, nor it can afford to pay for it every day so the cooking has to be done, whether I like it or not. While I cook, I often happen to be in need of a cup or a plate or a glass or a pot or a pan, and they are always on the other side of the fucking kitchen, of course. If I’m lucky, they will be on the table, in which case I can hop there, get them and hop back to the stove. My housemates find these impromptu performances to be particularly amusing. Bastards.

Right, enough of all this whining already. Things could be way worse than this and despite all the rough times, I know I am one goddamn lucky monstertrucker. Besides, the EELS have announced they will be releasing a new album early next year and the Internet guy has just fixed our router, giving back to this place we call home, the dignity it had lost a week ago when the stupid Virgin SuperHub broke down.

At least, one less thing to worry about.

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