This (invisible) body

It’s ten to eleven pm on a Thursday night. Am I really going to start my post at this late hour? I suppose the answer is yes. I’m still limping around, Googling “meniscus”, rubbing my right knee. My moment with the 422 bus continues to haunt me. It’s funny – having survived much worse bodily assaults over the past year or so, it’s this minor injury that’s getting me down. I don’t like to limp. I like to dart. I like to dart across the room when a student calls me over to their computer so we can peer at the thing that won’t work together. I like to dart from one end of the house to go and get the thing I forgot to bring from the other room, and dart again because I got distracted and still didn’t bring it. I like to jump into the car with nine seconds to spare, get there, slam the car door and hurtle into whatever it is with no seconds to spare, breathing hard from the exertion. All of that has been impossible over the past ten days or so. I have to move slowly and limp. This body. This &^%$# body. This temple, this vale of tears, this jewel, this England. Nar, not England. Just knee. Stiff. Sore. Making me limp. Making me feel more like the other slow, stiff, limping people of the world. They come out after morning rush hour to do a bit of slow shopping, a bit of slow post office and bank.

I walk slowly across campus and meet two juvenile magpies who don’t bother to move because such a slow-moving being is unlikely to be dangerous.

A lot of other people have bad knees. They’re all over the Internet, next to pictures of knees with red halos of pain.

Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be rehearsing for Invisible Body, a short  performance piece three of us are doing for the Bathurst outpost of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. I’ve been learning my part by sitting on a chair, doing the movements from the waist up. If worst comes to worst, I’ll do it on stage like that, on a stool. But I do want to be up on both legs for this one. And then on the Sunday, I’ll be part of a panel titled The Joy of Blogging. Note that blogging isn’t always a joy. Sometimes it’s oh-hell-it’s-Thursday-and-I-have-to-write-something. But mostly it’s a joy.

Oh yes, and not one but two people in my Thursday morning TAFE class have only one knee. Both have prostheses for their other leg. There’s always someone worse off, as they say. But then, there’s always Arlo Guthrie’s last guy. The one for whom there’s absolutely nobody worse off. Here it is on YouTube. He starts talking about the last guy at about 2.22 minutes in on this clip.

5 thoughts on “This (invisible) body

  1. Dawn Nusa

    Sad to hear you’re hobbling. You’re still the bees knees in my eyes … D x

  2. Anne Powles

    Hope your knee improves significantly every day. In a similar way (but helped along by my over enthusiastic dog) I did much the same sort of thing with my knee at Christmas time. I am glad to be able to encourage you in that it has mended, but it took quite a while! (It was contributed to by side effects of medication which is most frustrating!)

    That was a wonderful clip you have included. I had never heard it before! Quite salutary. I will now listen again.


    Hi Tracey. Get yourself some anti inflammatories. It will do the trick. You can get them over the counter. Just need to get the inflammation down and you will be right to scoot about again xx

  4. Keryn Kovalik

    Hi Tracy, I do hope your knee will hurry up with it’s healing, although I have heard that the knees can be pretty contankerous. You know you could tell people that it’s a sports injury and that you hope it heals soon so that you can get back into play!
    Thanks for the Arlo Guthrie reminder. We have two of his albums (yes, vinyl albums). The self-titled one that this song comes from has another song I particularly like called ‘The Motorcycle Song’. The other album is titled ‘Running Down the Road’.
    Hope all goes well with Invisible Body. Cheers, Keryn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *