Just before leaving the New Year's party
last night this morning I did something to my knee and now my leg hates me. I blame dancing and I am now treating with greater respect whichever Higher Power keeps me from dancing. See, I don't dance. I don't in the sense that I am both typically unwilling to, and I am physically incapable of doing so. I am of the firm belief that this Higher Power decided long ago that I wasn't supposed to rhythmically move to music, so it does whatever is necessary to keep me from doing so. Usually their job is easy: a heaping dose of self-conscious "my god, I look like a fool" embarrassment keeps me from the dance floor. I am a large white boy so unless there's intentional physical comedy involved with my goofy movements, it's not worth it. Galloping around a stage going RUMBA RUMBA SNORT RIP to make people laugh is okay. Trying to dance in a situation where you're supposed to be all cool and groovy and mingle with all the sexy people (and ending up making roughly the same movements you did when you were galloping about going RUMBA RUMBA SNORT RIP) is often not.
But this was a New Year's party, and alcohol removes a great deal of self-conscious feelings, doesn't it? Of course it does. You get there in a room full of folks and there's a lot of dance music in your ear and everybody's bouncing around and someone was successful in introducing you to their favorite liqueur which you'd probably have only tried before on a bet, and it was fun so you had a bit more of it, and then someone else mixed you a mean White Russian so it was on, my friends, it was on, and a cute blonde girl whose name you never got insists you try a sip of her concoction which she calls Wonderful and y'know there may be some truth in that, and suddenly you find yourself graduating from "cool, disaffected, new wave head-bobbing" to "moving about in time to the music and amazingly not bumping into anyone or at least you can't tell anymore" and then there's a girl in the room, whose name you know quite well, who is absolutely thrilled that you've decided to do that dance thing and wants you to dance with her so you can't quite say no to that because you're extremely fond of her and you're orbiting each other and your hands are doing god-knows-what and you probably are dancing Chunky Whiteboy Style still but somehow it doesn't matter anymore, and that's when the Higher Power goes "Humph! Dare to flount my rules and attempt to move your mass in that silly fashion?" and does that nose twinkle thing and
my left knee buckled and
suddenly I was keenly aware of this pain in my left leg and
down I went and
I wasn't even doing anything remotely sophisticated, you know? I wasn't trying to be all Gene Kelly, much less MC Hammer, or try something that involved any level of skill. I just stepped wrong while stepping back and forth and the fact that I incurred injury attempting to step to the side, something one does on a daily basis music or no, was the first problem. I mean, not only is it a completely stupid way to injure oneself, it's also devoid of any thrilling drama. You want to start these kinds of injury stories with "So I rushed into the burning orphanage a third time for the kittens..." and not "So I was all liquored up and trying to dance..."
But nevertheless, there I was, half-kneeling on the floor, trying to assess the sitchyashun. It hurt, but it wasn't keeping me down. I could stand up. I could walk. I hadn't heard a snap. I felt no swelling and the pain wasn't constant. I was also quite anesthetized at that point.
Luckily I got a ride home instead of walking ten blocks in the single-digit temperatures back to the T, as we'd done to get to the party (at one point I'd hollered up the line "Hey Shackleton, how much farther is it?") and that was a Very Good Thing. Several hours later I awoke and, stepping out of bed, promptly collapsed. The pain was much more intense and honestly quite surprising.
"Bunch of cuss words loudly delivered," I said.
"Mumbled inquiry?" a very sleepy yet very concerned voice on the other side of the bed asked. The voice belonged to the very lovely girl who was happy that I had danced with her that evening. Please note that I do not hold her responsible for any of this.
"Statement of uncertainty," I replied. "Indication of possible leg injury."
"Soothing murmurs of sympathy and concern!" she said. If I was half asleep, she was the other half asleep. "Request for assessment of general well-being?"
"Admission that right about now we really don't know what the fuck," I said, and proceeded to lie back down after accomplishing what it was I wanted to do in the first place, which involved a roll of antacid. There were more sleepy murmurs and she put her arm around me and was very comforting not to mention wonderful in an exothermic kind of way.
Later on today, with a clearer head, a bit more awakeness and a heaping helping of painful trial-and-error, I determined the following: That there are no broken bones and no swelling, that the problem involves the back and left side of my knee, that while I can stand upright without incurring pain I cannot put any real weight on my left leg, but I can hobble on the ball of my left foot and be okay. At other times, when I move a bit, the leg feels like I've just slept on it for far too long. You know, all sore-like, and you wish you could just stretch it away. But much like when you twist your ankle, the fact that the pain goes away means you often trap yourself into moving like you normally do and down you go again.
I do not recommend this.
However, all this does not take away from the fact that the party was kickass, the Orpheum show was amazing, I am very proud of my cast and everybody who worked on the show, and I shall tell you the rest of it tomorrow.