I’ve broken more bones than most of my friends..
All right. Let me rephrase that. I’ve broken more bones than both of my friends, but let’s move quickly on.
I broke my elbow, my ankle, my wrist, my fingers, my toes and my skull. Not only that — I think I broke my spine, but that’s only because a recent X-ray showed two fused vertebrae, which I attribute to acting the maggot as a 16-year-old and falling out a window onto my back, crippling me.
I don’t know how any of us came back to our parents alive. I really don’t. Who knew I crushed my vertebrae? Not me, that’s for sure.
How did I break my elbow? Well, it was at the same time I broke my skull, and it happened the day I tried to kill my grandmother, although in my defence, I was only five. We don’t talk about that incident in the family and nobody mentions whether the surgeons saw a series of numbers on my shaven scalp. Some said yes and others — the surviving ones — say no.
There it stays.
How did I break my wrist horribly, displacing my hand by a full two inches out of line with my forearm? Simple. Acting the maggot on a bicycle.
How did I break my ankle? Acting the maggot playing soccer.
Skeletal pain is not something anyone understands unless they’ve been there. When I broke that wrist, I was a student, sharing a flat with another of the same kind, and on that particular night the hospital A&E was overwhelmed with casualties, so they put the arm in a plaster slab and let me go home, on the very sound logic that there was no point having me hanging around getting in people’s way.
I went back to the hovel we lived in, and tried to sleep, but the entire night was one single pain-filled hallucination.
The broken wrist was a light-bulb of agony, radiating pain in all directions equally. I woke my flatmate up in the middle of the night.
Can you feel it?
The pain. Can’t you feel it?
Jesus Christ, there’s nothing like a broken bone to get your full, undivided attention. It’s hard-core pain.
To this day, I can’t look at bone injuries in sports videos. I just want to hide with my hands over my head.