The Cast Was White And Heavy

My leg, freshly broken, was wrapped in layers of hard, white plaster between my left knee and my left big toe. On the other end of my body my face was puffy and swollen, beet red from crying. All I could think about was the idea that my body now had an imperfection. A leg broken. My first, one of many imperfections I was to create in this life. My mother laughed at me as she brought dinner to the couch where I was dealing with my dilemma. That’s what she always did when I was being overly sensitive – laugh and bring me something to eat. This was a little more serious than when I stubbed my toe on the corner of the couch when I was four. My ninth summer would be spent dragging around a cast. I would spend the summer limping through the corn fields like a young Quasimodo. Sweaty, itchy, and not able to go swimming. Instead I would sit on the rocky beach in the sun while everyone else cooled off in the river. I tried to eat and played with my food. My father pretended that he didn’t see the white cast propped up on the couch and thought to sit on it. So funny he was that summer, trying to make light of it all.

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