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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Biographical · #1531988
You broke your leg how...? (a Writer's Cramp entry)
Watch the Leg, Man


When I was seven, I broke my left leg.  To be more precise, my older brother broke my left leg.  We were supposed to strip our beds, so mom could do the laundry when she got home from work.  Gregg and I had gotten as far as removing the pillows from the pillowcases and taking the blankets off of the beds, but then playtime took over.  We took turns crawling between the double mattresses, at which point the one not between the mattresses would jump onto the one that was.  I still don't know, if I was positioned badly, or if Gregg just jumped extra high.  The end result was a loud crack!, followed immediately by even louder screaming (mine), and mom's arrival at home a lot sooner than she'd expected.

I don't really remember anything about the trip to the emergency room, or what kind of drugs they must have given me to quiet me down, but I got to spend the night in the hospital in a brand new cast.  The thing wrapped around my waist and extended down my left leg all the way to my ankle, and they told me I'd be stuck wearing it for about six weeks.  I'd always been pretty small, so the cast probably increased my overall body weight by about a third.

Since it was the second week of December, it looked like I wouldn't miss much school; on the other hand, it meant I'd still be dragging it around at Christmas.  It didn't take too long to get used to the crutches, and I was glad I didn't really have to go down to the basement, unless I wanted to.  It was a real chore swinging my left foot out and down to place it on the next step, then moving my right foot to follow, then repeating the process about thirteen times to get all the way down; coming back up was even worse.

Besides the day of the accident itself, the worst day of my life in a cast was the day after Christmas.  "Santa" had brought us a slot car track with two cars, and dad had set it up on the kitchen bar counter.  Dad and Gregg were racing each other, and my oldest brother, Mark, and I were at the other end of the oval.  As I mentioned, the cast weighed almost a third as much as I did, and it was hard work to stay standing for any length of time.  So, while I was lightly holding the counter for balance, Mark stood behind me and actually held me up.

Everything was fine, until one of the cars took the oval too fast, jumped the track and headed for the floor.  Now, Mark has exceptional reflexes, and he caught the car before it hit the floor.  Unfortunately, he had to let go of me in order to do it and, since I wasn't actually holding onto anything, I fell straight back and went down like a felled tree!

I was lucky, though.  I missed the dining table and chairs, the shag carpet was fairly thick, and I broke my fall enough with my hands and elbows, that I didn't smack the back of my head too hard.  Everyone quickly gathered around and I was, once again, the center of attention for awhile, and that's always nice.  I didn't talk to Mark much for the rest of the day, though.

As is the case with most injuries, time eventually did its work and I was released from confinement toward the end of January.  As far as I know, Gregg doesn't jump on kids between mattresses anymore, and I don't have to worry about being jumped on: I'm a police officer in Georgia, and they encourage me to be armed most of the time.

[638 words]
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