I was in a meeting in a longtime client’s office one day when he took offense to the way I was dressed.
“What is wrong with you,” he asked. “You come to meetings in shorts and a T-shirt. And why do you always wear those big, stupid running shoes?”
I looked at him and said, “Because I have a genital deformity.”
He sat there silently staring at me, mouth agape.
I sat there silently staring back at him, wondering why his mouth was agape.
After a few awkward moments passed I said, “What did I just say to you? Because what I meant to say was, ‘I have a congenital deformity.’”
We both laughed aloud at my missing syllable and he reminded me of it frequently during our fifteen year relationship.
The fact is, I was born with slightly deformed ankles. Two little bones in each of my ankles should have fused together when I was in my mother’s womb, but didn’t.
Without getting too detailed, my ankles collapse inward at a frightening angle, which causes my feet to swivel outward, which puts unusual torque on my knees. I wear very specific prescribed running shoes that provide lots of support and also reinforce that support with crazy orthotics in both shoes. During the day I can ignore the pain caused by the torque, but every night I end up with terrible pain in my lower legs.
About a year ago, my doctor put me on some pain pills. Some pretty serious pain pills. I take one every night before I go to bed and they allow me to sleep like a baby instead of tossing and turning in pain.
Neither Jamie nor I understood quite how powerful these pills were until I took one much earlier than usual one evening and then went with her to walk the dog.
The next morning she said, “Do you remember our walk last night?”
“What walk,” I asked.
“You took your pain pill and then insisted on walking Tinker with me. We went around the block and you insisted on knocking on Don and Jennifer’s door. When she answered you slurred, ‘Tinker just shit on your front yard.’”
I had no recollection of the walk. I had no recollection of knocking on Don and Jennifer’s door. I had no recollection of slurring my speech. I had no recollection of anything little Tinker allegedly may have done.
I’ve been taking the pain pills much later than usual while we’ve been traveling because we are often out and about later than usual. I’ve mentioned to Jamie that the blog items I write late at night are often nothing more than gobbledegook when I review them the next morning.
Last night I wrote the blog item about the Argentine dog problem. And that brings us to this morning.
Jamie asked me if I remembered the conversation we had late last night. According to her it went something like this:
Jim (slurring): I gotta do something about the dogs in Ushuaia.
Jamie: Like what?
Jim (slurring): We gotta start a foundation. We gotta move to Ushuaia. Those dogs don’t have names. Dogs gotta have names. We gotta buy some land and take care of them. It would give meaning to the rest of my life.
I remember no such conversation. I suspect that she is making the whole thing up. And although I am horrified by the dog situation in Ushuaia, I would like to reassure all our friends and family that we will not be moving to Tierra del Fuego anytime soon.
I would also like to reassure all our friends that I will be cutting those pain pills in half beginning tonight.