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Friday, April 19, 2002

Everything was fine today, until I got out of bed. All I did all night was sleep, so I don't know how I hurt myself. I don't know why the pain in the second toe on my left foot was so bad that I could hardly walk. Couldn't walk at all without dragging that foot. I could get up the stairs but had to hop down.

It's some sort of strain, I suppose. It can't be broken, because I've had a broken toe and that's much more painful than this. I tried resting it, and when that didn't work I tried walking it off, but it kept getting worse. I tried getting by with and without shoes (for the record, better without, except when I'm walking). It never got to the point where I couldn't get around at all, so all I can do is hope time will knit and mend.

I didn't have to move around much anyway today. I had to make a trip to the bank, and pick up a few things (yogurt, not donuts) at the store. I was still walking almost normally then. All three waste containers had to be hauled back from the curb, and luckily two of the three were empty this morning, before the toe got so bad. It took a lot longer to retrieve the third one late this afternoon.

At the end of the day, this was one more excuse not to work in the yard. I have a tendency to be a slight hypochondriac, which is ironically the reason I avoid doctors like the ... well, certainly not like the plague, but like something I want to avoid. Like Fourth Street at rush hour, maybe, or amateur productions of "Pippin."

Anyway, the point I was getting to was that it's almost a relief in a way to have something so bad that I really suffer, instead of just a little twinge that I can imagine into a big bad Condition. I don't have to wonder if the pain means something. What it means is, ouch.

Since I had Mom with me when I drove to the theater tonight, I could have used her handicap placard to park close to the building. But if she didn't need to use it, I wasn't about to. And it wasn't as if I'd be taking the space of someone who really needed it, because it's a huge parking lot for a small theater. So I parked as far out as I usually do when I can walk, and then I shuffled to the building and sat down on the first bench I found.

We saw "Hello Dolly" tonight and found it to be a compelling, hard-hitting commentary on the class struggle. Or maybe that's the pain talking. On further reflection, it's actually the lightest of lightweight musical comedies, and its success on stage depends on one thing: the performance of the actor in the title role.

We had a good one tonight, Susane Byrne, about whom I know nothing except that she's a perfect Dolly Levi. Great booming Mermanesque voice (slightly better modulated than the Ethel I remember), comic timing and flair worthy of Carol Burnett, and a rapport with the audience that I haven't seen often in a local production. I usually cut the hometown theater companies a little more slack than the big-ticket traveling shows, but when you have a Dolly this good, you don't notice the little flaws anyway.

There were several other good performances, but all that meant was that the lead actor wasn't lost in a sea of ineptitude, as happened when we saw "Damn Yankees" in February. I'm glad I went to this show, even if I spent a lot of time wincing and limping and trying to avoid being stepped on. "You don't have to get up; I can squeeze by." "No! Nobody's squeezing anything anywhere near me tonight."


After a week of work, this was the best I could do. Still, it's better.

I'm sitting here surrounded by distractions. The TV with its 200 satellite channels is on, and I have four browser windows open in front of me. And all I can think about is my stupid throbbing toe. It's not as bad as a toothache, which can make me want to hit myself in the face with a frying pan. At least I know I can control this pain by just sitting and doing nothing. I'm so good at that it's scary.

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