Sitting at my desk in the quiet morning dark I'm having two conversations: one with you on the keyboard, the other inside, with my body.
One of the irritating things about aging is that your own body begins to betray you.
For forty years I thought of my body - when I thought of it at all; I've always found more than wry humor in the expression "If I'd have known I would live so long I'd have taken better care of myself" - it was as a reliable machine that slept easily, woke early, ate any junk I stoked it with and predictably ran, walked, played...it was just there. I took care of it, in a sort of offhand way, but I never really had to think about it.
Now the machine parts are starting to wear out.
My knees are a factory defect; I have something called "congenital patellar subluxation". Basically, my kneecap doesn't sit on the front of my leg but off to the outside. This causes it to grind on the condyle of the femur and both the lower leg bones, and over time it has worn away the bursa that pads the joint and has caused a great deal of degenerative arthritis, as well. Add to this twenty years of stuff like humping a rucksack, parachute jumping and endless miles of PT runs.
Translation: I have a fairly constant, low-grade knee and lower leg pain.
When I work, as I did yesterday, on a difficult site with bad access that requires lots of lifting and carrying heavy drilling tools, the soreness goes from mildly irritating to really unpleasant. It's talking to me right now, reminding me to go carefully up the stairs. To ensure I don't put too much weight on one leg or lift my little boy when he gets up without bracing my knees. Warning me that one of my knees might give out, lock up, and force me into 800mg of Motrin QID and a knee brace for a week or more. It didn't help that I dropped the Dames & Moore sampler - 30 pounds of unforgiving steel - on my leg. Twice! Wrestling with it. I reeeeeeally hate that big bastard.
And all of this intrastate conversation is inaudible, like a dog-whistle, to little peepers and peepettes. They think of me as so sort of big indestructible mobile toy to be jumped on, climbed and hammered on. All of this is great fun, mind you, and I enjoy it (far more than their mother, whose soft and/or dangly bits are vulnerable to kid elbows and feet and avoids roughhousing for that very reason) but it raises holy hell with the knees.
Anyway, I'm moving very slowly this morning. And that's why; I'm feeling a little beat down.
Didn't help that I woke up yesterday and saw that McSame had jumped out 4 points over Obama in the Gallup poll. WTF, people? McSame suddenly become 20% less Republican? Renounced his allegiance to the Bushie tax giveaways to the ten-house families? Dumped his Christopathic, abortion-is-not-for-you-proles, let's-drill-for-oil-in-Arlington-National-Cemetery veep? Distanced himself IN ANY WAY from the policies and people of the past eight years, whose author languishes in the Outer Darkness of 22% approval?
Then what the holy Baby Jesus On A Stick is wrong with us?
Beat down. Just feelin' beat way down.