Here I sit not broken but bent; my back, that is. It happens a few times a year. Me and Clayton Kershaw. In these late innings it takes me longer to straighten back to the vertical. It could be that I’ve entered my decrepitude. The way I’m hobbling along, if it were 1955 and I was on a bus in Alabama, Rosa Parks might have gotten up and given me her seat.
Diagonal isn’t that bad; horizontal is worse. I’m getting reacquainted with the floor and the sidewalk. I can’t say I am emotionally attached to my back. I’m not sure I’d recognize it in a police line-up. We’ve never actually met except for my fingernails in upper regions. I imagine it all as a map of the U.S. If I have an itch I depend on Peggy to scratch me in Ohio or Illinois. The most I can handle is from Maine to Montana. The problem now is in my panhandle.
I’m told I need to strengthen my core. I’m not so sure I even have one anymore. In my salad days I was a passable athlete. The more I think of it the greater I used to be. Every Sunday I played basketball in the park…until they started calling me, Sir. When I was thirty-nine I broke my ankle on a legendary jump shot and that began my life of kinetic passivity….or creative lassitude.
I’m no longer that Jack who was nimble and quick or the one who climbed the beanstalk. I’m more like the Jack who went up the hill to fetch a pail and came back pooped and stooped.
I wish I could say I earned my weary back by toting barges or lifting bales but the truth is I probably got it from throwing out the trash or maybe even picking up a tissue. Such is the state of my posterior fragility.
My greatest exertion these days comes on the couch cheering White House stumbles and bumbles or conversely from rage over Paul Ryan’s smirk. Another week with McCain’s heroics and Scaramucci’s acerbic tongue and I’ll end up in traction. Human sacrifice, if that’s what it takes, is the least I can do to ensure Republican dysfunction. I’m considering enrollment in a rehab clinic in Malibu for a twelve-step Trumpectomy program. However, with my diminishing core, withdrawal seems too daunting.