Thursday, May 29, 2008

In Stitches

Quite literally, as it turns out. A little after noon today, just after I finished the day’s writing, a sword fell on me.

Now, before you worry too much (or hurt yourself laughing), I have to explain. First, the sword was one of mine, one of a pair that is usually securely fastened to a wall plaque. Second, I had a little help, as one of the cats (Trouble — I’m perfectly willing to name names) ran under my feet trying to beat the other cats to the kitchen, and tripped me up. So I stumbled, knocked the swords off their holder (no, I hadn’t refastened them properly since the last time I’d had them down), and one of them sliced a 3-inch cut along my right triceps. The other one hit the back of my forearm, but just left a little hole and a big bruise.

It really didn’t hurt all that much — the blade was very sharp — but I could see that I was bleeding, and went on downstairs to look in the mirror. (You try looking at your triceps without a mirror!) It was pretty obvious that it was going to need stitches, so I called my doctor, and was told to proceed to the emergency room.

So I did as I was told, drove myself over to the emergency room (I drive an automatic), and presented myself to the triage nurse. Who, to her credit, did not even crack a smile when I told her what happened.

And then the fun began. I knew one of the duty nurses from when she treated Lisa at Hematology/Oncology, so she wasn’t entirely surprised that something this weird had happened to me. The other nurse just kept shaking her head and saying, “now, where was this sword? And it fell on you?” The nurse practitioner who stitched me up wanted to know why I had a sword in the first place, and exactly how it had happened (to be fair, I think she was making sure I hadn’t been in some weird fight) — but then I explained I was a writer and a collector, and it turned out she was a Trek fan, and so we had a nice chat while she put in the stitches. All seven of them.

Actually, the Novocain worked just fine, and I’m only just starting to get a little sore. (Which I will treat with ibuprofen and probably a glass of bourbon once I’m done with this post.) But I’m still left with seven stitches in my arm.

And two nice new Pirates of the Caribbean stickers — Jack Sparrow and Will, both brandishing swords — for having the weirdest story of the day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lost Book

I’ve lost a book. Worse still, I’m not entirely sure I ever actually owned it in the first place. Its title is something like “Everyday Life in the 1930s,” and I know the local library has it; I also know it was so handy that I was going to buy it, but — assuming I actually did — it’s disappeared somewhere in my bookshelves.

This is not a normal thing for me. When my office was downstairs, I had everything arranged by subject: medieval history here, early modern there, classics above military arranged by war, science next to language below books on Japan…. I even had a special place to put the books I was using on a particular project. (OK, that’s an exaggeration. I had a shelf, and then a pile on the floor. But I could find things.) I knew what I had, where it was, and where I’d put it if it wasn’t in its proper place.

When I moved my office, though, other people put my books away, and, though I’ve made a couple of stabs at reorganizing things, I haven’t taken the time to do a proper job of it. And now I’m paying for it.

I think the most frustrating part is that I only need to look at it for about 10 seconds. All I want is to check on 1930s slang for homosexual. I know it’s in the book, I even know about where on the page it is — but I can’t find the book. So, in four minutes, when the library opens, I’m off to borrow their copy. Luckily, it’s only just around the corner, so the whole thing should take me less than 20 minutes, including a quick glance through the new arrivals. But I’d rather be writing!

On the other hand, this is slightly better than the last time I couldn’t find a book. Imagine me walking obsessively from one end of my bookshelves to the other, muttering, “where the hell are my Ming Dynasty eunuchs….”