I don’t want to call undue attention to this, but I do want to update everyone who might have seen me limping around Portland recently, and apprise you of the situation, as I know some of you are curious.
What happened was this:
I woke up, and made my way from our bedroom to the kitchen. This is a normal activity, based on my understanding of what normal people do. I was contactless, as I quit wearing my contacts to bed sometime during college, and the idea of wearing them overnight is excruciating. I was also glassless, which meant my eyes were naked, which is not optimal if I want to see anything.
I felt my way along the wall, colours and shapes swirling around, and I arrived in the kitchen, where I heard my name. I looked over, and saw a hazy shape by where I knew our computer was. I deduced it was my wife, based on the fact that there was music coming from the speakers by the computer by the hazy figure, and I think it may have been Sea of Bees, of whom she is a big fan -
before I go further, I am also a massive Sea of Bees fan, although I do not normally approve of her sparse and beautiful music being played in the early morning hours when what we need is Xavier Rudd. But that is another conversation.
I said ‘where is a lemon?’
before I go further, I should explain that this is not a strange question. Nor was this any kind of metaphoric query. I literally, in the most simple way possible, wanted to know where a lemon was. Before I go further, a lemon is an ellipsoid-ish yellow fruit that is generally smaller than an orange, and is rather sour, due to a five-percent citric acid content. Its juice possesses a fragrant and distinctive property that makes it an excellent toxin-cleaning, liver-waking additive to a mason jar of hot water first thing in the morning.
Many years ago, we began drinking a jar of hot water with fresh-squeezed lemon every morning, before we have coffee.
before I go any further, I should note that I do not have coffee every morning. There was a morning three weeks ago, and a separate one four months ago, when I did not drink any coffee. That allows me to state that I do not drink coffee every day. I do, however, drink lemon water every day, as I have not missed that in many months.
So in asking where a lemon was, I was in truth asking where a lemon was. Had I had more information than I did, I might have asked ‘where is THE lemon?’ rather than ‘where is A lemon?’ I would have used the definite article rather than the indefinite, because I was unaware that we had only one left. My assumption was that we had many lemons left, and thus used the indefinite article implying that we did, in fact, have multiple lemons remaining.
as an aside, this is a strong reminder to be careful about making assumptions, because you know what they say about making assumptions (I do not know myself). Be cautious though about what ‘they’ say, because ‘they’ could refer to anyone who is not there in your presence at the time, unless they are part of a group you are pointing at in the distance, and you can see them, unless you have poor vision, and do not have eyeglasses or contacts, in which case you would not be able to see them anyway, unless you had a telescope. But the important part about what ‘they’ say is that what they say is probably just based on their own assumptions, which may not be based in solid science or assuming.
I asked where a lemon was. The next thing I know, I heard a voice screaming my name.
My name is Joseph. As an aside, it is not ‘Joe,’ except to a few people. It is ‘Joseph,’ which is a favourite name of mine, and it is also my name. I recognized the timbre and harmonics of the person screaming my name, but I did not immediately recognize the urgency with which it was being screamed, as we live in a loud house. Soon, you will understand the urgency with which it was being screamed, and the motivation behind the particular volume. But for the time being, just know that I heard my name being screamed.
I have certain challenges with colour, so I cannot state definitively that it was black that I saw. As I said, I was not wearing eyeglasses or contacts, so I do not know if it was actually black, or a dark gray, or a blackish purple, or turquoise. But it certainly had some elements of blackness in it, or it may have been light. It may have been all white that I saw. I heard my heart hit the ceiling, and then it hit the floor, and I realized in that moment a truth that I had never realized before: there is a cliche that people use about not trusting your head or your heart, but I had never really thought about my heart’s hearing. Because what my heart heard was a thud. I realized later that it was not my heart hearing that, but my ears, which should be used for hearing. But in that moment, it felt - my brain felt
- that it was my heart hearing the pounding on the ceiling, and then the floor. But it wasn’t. It was my brain reacting to my heart actually being hurt.
You may be wondering what it takes to hurt a heart. My first understanding of this was watching the Temple of Doom, in which I observed a person’s heart being removed from their body as part of a horrific ceremony, which is also, as an aside, one of the primary reasons the PG-13 rating was created.
There are also other things that can hurt a heart as well. Such as: eating too many tacos at one sitting. Such as getting stepped on by an elephant. -
as an aside, elephants do not, in fact, have a steady diet of lemons.
Also, your heart might be hurt if all your friends went over to somebody’s house to watch The Lion King together while you watched Speed by yourself without any black licorice.
There are other ways a heart can hurt. For example, if you’ve ever seen the movie Innerspace, or the animated film with Bob Wiley, then you know there are microorganisms or tiny spaceships that can potentially get into your bloodstream and hurt your heart. But these kinds of things are not the kind of heart-hurt I’m talking about. The kind of hurt-heart I’m talking about is being hit in the heart with a lemon.
as an aside, my wife didn’t grow up playing baseball, and I have never referred to her as a baseball fanatic.
I have been working with her on learning to throw using the shoulders and legs, and how to plant the opposite foot forward, which in this case would be her left foot. She has become skilled at the motor mechanics of throwing. Before my heart hurt, in the microseconds before my hurt heart, but immediately after I heard my name shrieked at an Apache helicopter level, then everything slowed down to slow motion. My immediate thought was that ‘if anything horrible is about to happen, then I hope one of the children is filming this right now.’ And then my next thought was that ‘if they are filming, I hope they are using a good camera for this particular situation, like my GoPro, because a GoPro can shoot at 240 frames per second, so it would be cool to see this tragedy slowed way down.’
However, this was early morning, and of course -
as an aside, you know that if you’re shooting at a high frame rate, then there should be sufficient light available to compensate for the increased frame rate, otherwise it could be severely underlit.
So I was hoping that if anybody was filming, then it would be on a GoPro at two hundred and forty frames a second. At this point, two hundred and forty frames a second would have to be shot at 720p, which is tolerable for high speed action; unfortunately as you know, it is not possible yet to shoot 4K on a GoPro at 240 frames a second; a feature that my wife has never grumbled about.
This was going through my head, and then I was wondering if I should really be wondering about resolutions and frame rates in the microsecond before -
Suddenly, it all went black. It didn’t really go black, because the world didn’t change FOR ME.
I think that is a concept that parents would do well to pass onto their children: that the world does not exist to accommodate them. However, on the flip side, it’s also important to understand that they have the ability to change the world. Not necessarily change the laws of physics, although there are children who will someday be adults who will someday investigate those kinds of scientific matters, and at that point, with our understanding of biotechnologies and machine-brain interactivity, combined with quantum mechanics, will likely make it possible. But in a relational and sociological sense, the world does not exist to accommodate an individual human, or microhuman. So it’s important to realize that -
we can come back to that thought later.
Suddenly my heart pounded. In the spirit of accuracy, it was not actually my heart. It was the area above my heart. Actually, it was on the opposite side of my heart; east, or rather north-east of my heart. Or, if somebody was facing me, it would be more northwest. Or, if it was a tall giant looking at me, then it would be south-west of my heart for them. But that would be a relative difference. We could have a good conversation about absolutism versus relativism, but that’s a different conversation.
Suddenly I was struck in this area - the proximity of my heart - by a projectile. The world froze, or seemed to. I realized I had been shot. I had been shot by a lemon. A lemon that had been projected by my wife’s arm. Even as I looked twenty feet away at this hazy shape laughing in horror, then relief as she realized that she had not murdered me, and I wondered what thoughts she was wondering, and if she was wondering about going to prison, if she had in fact died me with the lemon that she threw as hard as possible. I wondered whether I should begin crying. She came running over and I was able to confirm that it was my wife. I was not able to confirm whether she was laughing, or crying. She came over and began hugging me, which hurt my heart even more, although it did make me feel slightly better to know that she wanted to help my heart. But in that moment, the purplish-bruise over my chest (on the opposite side, and north by six inches) was hurting as if a twenty-ton obelisk had been hurled at it by Godzilla. That is what it felt like. The lemon that was hurled at my heart. By my wife.
She claimed that it was an accident.
When I was a baby, I had an accident, on top of a second-story deck, and through the decking, onto some fellow’s new Harley-Davidson. That was a type of accident. I’ve also been a part of accidents where people broke their arms, and cars lit on fire, but I had never been in an accident where somebody hurled a lemon at me, and then laughed about it.
I do not know if I will ever know whether she was laughing in relief, or in horror, or mortification, or because it was funny, which it was, but I do know, that I don’t know that the stain on my skin - the stain-ish bruise - will ever disappear, but if it doesn’t, I know that I will always have it in remembrance of the day my heart was hurt by a lemon, and I am glad to be alive, and to know that I have a wife who would love me so much that her love for me would overcome her good judgment, and her exuberance to show off her throwing skills to me because of that affection and faith in my catching skills; that she would do something that would overwhelm her judgment and do something that could hurt me is something that makes my heart warm, in a pleasant way, although it still hurts across from my heart.
We hugged, although I tried to back away, due to my heart. Then we took that lemon, that sacrificial lemon, and we gutted it. Squeezed it dry, and we drank the lemon-blood in our water. Right now, I feel healthy, except for my heart. My heart does not feel very healthy due to the bruising.
I am happy to be here, and I hope that does help you to understand, if I was limping at all, it does not have anything to do with my heart. It was probably a pebble in my shoe. A lemon would not cause a limp, unless one was to get hit with one very hard in the leg, or if one was stuck in your shoe. Which is not what happened. It was the heart, or across from the heart, which has nothing to do with my walking.
So if you saw me limping in Portland today, then it was probably not me, as I was not in Portland today. I am doing fine. Thank you for your concern and be purposeful with any accidents you start.