Ways I Did Not Shatter My Heel

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  1. Jumping from a lover’s window.

Although a shattered calcaneus is classically referred to as the “lover’s fracture” or “Don Juan fracture” since an illicit lover may jump from great heights while trying to escape their beloved’s spouse. Wild lord.

  1. Losing my footing on Mount Whitney and smashing the bony bulb against a ruthless rock.

Although I did boulder in my post-recovery pre-Los Angeles five-week Portland purgatory, where I would climb high enough to start to feel the vertigo, that intimate fear, and I’d force myself to let go of the grips and push off with my feet to free fall to the foam crash mat. Humble wreckage.

  1. Scaling a resolute wooden wall in an athletic obstacle race and falling into last, and broken, place.

Although I signed up for a Spartan Race before the cast was even off my foot, and three months after the cast was removed, I ran, still limping and swollen. And jumped bleacher stairs with my feet tied together. And scaled walls. Glory grind.

  1. Drinking and stumbling, catching my too-high heel in the 86th Street subway grate at 4 a.m. on a Sunday.

Although once I surrendered and moved in with Alexis — after leaving the Brooklyn apartment I’d only lived in for three months and stashing my collection of photos, cowboy boots I couldn’t fit over my swollen foot, high school art teacher’s band shirts, and twenty boxes of books in storage — we made mixed drinks in her grandma’s old familiar kitchen and found reasons to laugh ourselves ugly, screech-breathing and wet-eyed, drinking the refreshing inebriating creations we deemed FMLs (Fuck My Lifes). Sometimes you can’t pay rent, but you can buy a bottle of Beefeater gin and a fancy lime seltzer and garnish with raspberries. Mercy alliance.

  1. Attacked by a wolf while backpacking, merciless teeth latching onto my left ankle.

Although Una, a small Boston Terrier, slept next to my casted foot while I stayed with Alexis. One bed, two jaded ladies, and a little protector who curled up next to the unforgiving boot, a healer in a runt’s disguise. Magic guard.

painting-on-crutches
Restoring Keith Haring’s mural, TriBeCa, 2013

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