So, on Friday I stood up.  That’s all.


Well, that seems simple enough, standing.  Except that it seems I must have aged or something because unlike most occasions of acting out that evolutionary miracle, this time it hurt.  I stood up, and my knee screamed at me.
Its horrible commands were clear: “Down, you! Down!”  And down I went in a flurry of unmentionable speech and frantic claspings of the knee.  I was out of town for The Europeans’ going away party.  And there in Kristine’s room I had fallen and could not get up.

Calls were made.  Drunk polish men urged me to go the hospital.  The kind Estonian girl talked to me about her horse riding days while she swaddled my knee in her scarf.  An ran out to bring me some snow to pack around the traumatized limb.

At the intruction of PC medical officers, I ended up staying at The Europeans’ apartment for the next two nights, unable to bend my leg at all, let alone fold myself into narrow marshutni seats.  Disregarding pain, it wasn’t so bad really; we played Settlers of Catan and watched The Kids Are Alright.  Still, I’m fairly certain I annoyed everyone with requests to fetch me water or help me get to the bathroom; I was at least annoying myself.

I stayed there waiting for the Peace Corps office to reopen in the capital following their celebration of MLK’s birthday.  Then, with An’s help, I transfered my busted self to the med unit.  I’ve been staying here for a few days waiting for an MRI, watching among other things, Project Runway, Top Chef, and the fluxuating bagginess of my swollen knee.

Despite yesterday’s message that no appoitment would be possible this week, the PC doctors worked some magic, and the MRI was scheduled for today.

At the hospital they laid me on a table and slid me into this thing:

I think it looks like a coffee machine.  I’m fairly certain I was percolated.  It’s really hard to stay perfectly still for 20 minutes when someone tells you that it will ruin everything if you move.  I did fairly well, I think; there were only two moments I thought might jeopardize our message to the aliens the coffee the MRI picture: the alien sounds, with all their shaking and loud humming jerked me out of my dream about talking to Regis Philbin in the tropics (for real).  Also, towards the end of my sentence in the machine my hamstring started to twitch.  But I knew things were going just fine; somewhere in the middle of the intimate machine-guided glance at my insides, a voice over the intercom spoke slowly, clearly and in Armenian, “Everything is NORMAL.”

After it was over the technician let me, the guy with the busted leg and without the MRI-forbidden glasses stumble down the MRI chamber steps.

The doctors said they will tell me how broken I am tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m going to go watch my new favorite thing, the Sleigh Bells music video for “Infinity Guitars”.  It will help me deny the fact that inside I might just be a brittle old bird.



  1. Hope the coffee turns out ok! No bitter espresso.

  2. MRIs are really really weird. I’ve had a ton of them in the past decade, thanks to an ongoing series of orthopedic issues. Hope you feel better soon!

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