Sunday, October 5, 2008


I sprained my ankle yesterday. It was a beautiful day for it, though. Clear, blue sky; bright sunlight; perfect temperature... so I took a long walk. A really long walk. I googled it just now and found out that it was a walk of exactly 8 miles. Or it would have been, if I had come back the same way I went out; but I tried a different route home. So let's say "8 miles, give or take."

It started because I was starved. I had a project to work on at home, so I snacked on junk for breakfast and worked right through the noon hour. At 3:00 p.m. I called it quits because my stomach was continually reminding me that I hadn't had lunch. So I walked out to Ari's and had 3 bottles of Greek lager (also known as Ari's, but bottled in Thessaloniki). Somewhere among those 3 beers I also managed to fit in an excellent reuben sandwich, an order of St. Louis's best steak fries (with a side of tsatsike sauce for dipping), and a slice of rich chocolate cake for dessert.

I felt so good at that point that I knew it must be sinful, so I decided to punish myself by walking up Hampton Ave. to I-64 and back. That's about a mile and a half each way. When I got there I wasn't feeling so sinfully good any more. I was actually starting to pity myself. I thought a nice movie would lighten my mood nicely; and if it was a good movie, the walk home would be sufficiently penitential to even things out. So I found my way to the Esquire movie theater on Clayton Rd., close to Concordia Seminary.

By the time I got there I was starting to sense the balance tipping way in favor of self-mortification. My feet were starting to blister. I wasn't wearing the shoes I would have worn if I had thought this out before leaving home. So during the movie (How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, a topic I know a lot about) I toyed with the idea of catching a bus on the way home. But I failed to catch a bus, or a bus failed to be there for me to catch, so when the movie was over I started walking.

I thought a walk down McCausland would be a nice alternative to the zig-zag route that had gotten me to Clayton Rd. Therein lies the tragedy. McCausland turned out to be dark, its sidewalks frequently torn up or blocked by some kind of work or another, and the ground off the sidewalks covered with bumps and holes that were hard to see at that time of day. And that, dear friends, is where I sprained my ankle, about 3 miles' walk from home. Those were three tough miles.

I fortified myself with a snack at a Chinese restaurant. And a bottle of non-sweet tea at a convenience store. And much, much later, a bottle of Yoo-Hoo at another convenience store. I hobbled. I limped. I deliberately walked as if there was nothing wrong, so that I wouldn't mess things up even worse by favoring my sprained ankle. Mostly I just kept a running countdown of the number of blocks between me and home. When I got home at roughly 9:00, I was starting to think amputation might not be so bad.

Meanwhile, I didn't think a lot about the movie I had just seen. When I did think about it, what I thought was this: "It might have been OK if I had driven to it, but it wasn't worth this." It was a lot like The Devil Wears Prada with all the characters' genders flipped. Replacing Anne Hathaway was a considerably less attractive Simon Pegg. Jeff Bridges played the Meryl Streep role. Kirsten Dunst played Miss Right. Gillian Anderson played somebody other than Scully. Miriam Margolyes played Pegg's Polish landlady. I could name a bunch of other actors at you and you wouldn't care. It had its funny moments, and some sex appeal, and a certain quirky kind of romantic payoff; but overall, it looked like something I had seen before - only, this time, with characters that were harder for me to connect with on any level.

I would file an insurance claim, if there was any money to be had for a no-vehicle, single-pedestrian accident with a minor, non-disabling ankle injury. Besides, my stupidity caused it. But at least it might pay for the movie ticket.

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