I awoke Friday morning with the feel of a morning chill upon my cleanly shaved head. After growing a bristly stubble for almost a week, I sat before a mirror and light and shaved the dome the night before in front of a brilliant fire. The cabin has a stove and a fireplace. Although I love the heat, the ability to sit and watch the flame is much enjoyable. I realize that it isn't as efficient but I adjust to the idea that I'll just have to work twice as hard and bring more wood closer to cabin-side before the snow flies.
The sun was shining and crows were making their daily pilgrimage that I have come so dearly to depend on. It is a feeling of family and I go with it. As they roost about the wood, I talk to them. I hope that they will come to view me as a friend or at least a curious entity. In an absentminded fashion, I bent forward and grabbed several logs. I felt the surge of electricity across my belt line. I pulled against my usual very tight muscles, and the spasms began.
I lost about five years income because of a severe back injury. I've never been the same. On a scale of one to ten, ten being unable to walk, I am now a three on an every day basis. Once again, I find myself at a five, pushing six, creeping towards a seven. I have been in the position where the Lady has had to wipe my ass. After that sort of conditioning, any spasm of high degree immediately recalls to mind panic and thoughts of desperation.
I am alone. Unable to move without pain shooting up and down the spine, across the lower back, and down my legs. When I was younger, my back was an asset. When in a physical confrontation, I could easily reach down, grab my opponent by the legs, and lift him high above my head. Now, what the fuck. A man without strength is fine. Except when it comes to me. I loathe what I have become. Funny though. It is a secret. I hide it well. I can appear extremely friendly or extremely intimidating; and I like it that way.
But now, there is no one to like me. No one to intimidate. No one to help. I feel the panic begin to set in. It is a natural, conditioned response. I stood in the center of the cabin and focused on my breath until the heart stilled.
I recall a time when I would state, "Pain is my friend. Pain is my teacher."
I guess that it is time for us to get reacquainted. And I am unhappy.