There’s a unique, warranted perspective one can gain from the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Recently I found myself, unexpectedly, in just such a way–the way of the injured (sick?, obviously), filling out a form, and yes, waiting, for my paddle* buddy Scott, MD, to take a look at my busted ankle, which, heretofore, I shall refer to with the highest respect, as “DC”, or “Dear Cankle”. Anyway, whilst filling out said forms, I heard this: “How are you today, sir? Terrible!!” I looked up and saw him, maybe 70 years old, limping in with one of those wheeled walkers, which also double as a chair. Stout and hunched, and wearing a black “Vietnam Veteran” ball cap, he finished check-in and started over towards the back wall where I was sitting. Coming up alongside me, he turned his walker, and sat down. We looked at each other, and I said “Thank you for your service.” He nodded and said thanks, and I immediately noticed the glimmer in his eye. I asked how long he had been in Vietnam. “One year…in the navy, I was a line mechanic, kept track of 6 Piper Cubs that would drop tracking devices. What’d you do, bust your ankle? How’d you do it?” I told him I was running and he replied, whispering behind his hand, “You jumped out her window, didn’t you?” I laughed and asked him what was going on. “I fell and busted my hip, and the doctor messed up the surgery, damaging nerves which turned my foot inside so now I have to wear this clown shoe!” I looked down and saw a large, black velcro strapped sandal of sorts. “I can’t set my foot flat on the ground so its’ hard to walk. I want to shoot him. I told my buddy that I’d rather shoot him than sue him, and he said, “but Johnny, I’m not going to visit you in prison if you shoot that doctor!”… its been going on two years now! And here’s the thing, (lowering his voice), I had to buy a mini-van because I can’t get up in my real van, which is a ’96 Chevy that cruises at 85 mile per hour, and is now (sigh) sitting in the driveway.” I told him he’d get back to it and at that moment his name was called, “John _____. I said “good luck” and he hobbled through the door.
I am sorry I turned you on your side and broke off the end of the fibula, now dangling in cankle space, thankfully still attached to your friends and stabilizers, the three tendons. In the future, I will not foolishly run down Chicago Ave. drawn toward the eternal flow of the Des Plaines River to see her crest. May I never take for granted the essential strength you possess in ambulating me towards my inevitable destination, oblivion. I love you, and will make you better than ever.
I can’t quit you,
Randy Chances aka djbabychocolate, selector:deathstar, dj whispers, levlhead, et al.
7/29/2017, Day #5: Couch Rider World Tour 2017
There’s a shining, beautiful, mild day calmly taunting me through the picture window–my buddies are out playing the world’s finest game at Chicago Municipal Highlands and here I am listening to a new doom metal compilation (‘Doomed and Stoned in Chicago’), as kid’s voices trickle in through the sun room. Great! I look up above the entry way to the living room and see one of my favorite pictures: A signed, color, 8X10 of Chicago Cubs infielder (and son of gameshow host Peter Marshall), Pete LaCock. Yes, Pete LaCock. This very name has provided endless bouts of laughter from my long, slightly twisted group of friends, and was given to me by my talented and incredible brother-in-law, Scott, a fellow fancier of all things comic and absurd. LaCock–giggle–played 9 years in the bigs and hit .303 for the Royals in ’77, the pinnacle of his 444 hit career. My favorite Cub at the time was #1, Cuban born Jose Cardenal. Cardenal was small, and fast, his best year 1975 he hit .317 with 34 stolen bases and 182 hits. 18 years in the bigs with over 1900 hits is pretty respectable. After baseball I think he owned a driving school. My best friend Dave and I got his autograph at Jewel on Roosevelt Rd., where we would both later work during high school. I would play make-believe baseball games in the front yard all summer long with a wooden souvenir baseball bat and wiffle ball golf ball. Idyllic… Beep! the phone goes off and I see there’s a group of 8 chums playing golf in the morning…damn!
Cankle’s the name of my new 70’s metal band, wanna join?
peace. *} w.
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