Archives for the Month of December, 2011

Prize

Book of Congratulations / Wellcome Images

Book of Congratulations / Wellcome Images


A little inspiration: This year’s Nobel Prize winner in literature has aphasia, or speech loss. Tomas Transtromer, from Sweden, had a stroke over 20 years ago. His spoken language is still affected, but he has continued to write acclaimed poetry. story

Ice Skating

Ice Skating / Library of Congress

Ice Skating / Library of Congress


One winter, my friends took me ice skating in the chilly air of the Boston Common, a historic park with imposing statues. In the winter they set up an outdoor rink there. I had trouble using skates, but my friends glided on either side of me and off we went, very slowly.

There was another disabled kid on the ice, maybe 10 years old. His parents had fashioned a metal walker for him to hold onto as he skated, the kind with four legs used by the elderly. At the bottom of the metal legs were hollowed out tennis balls, which seemed to handle the ice rather well. The boy looked like he was having loads of fun. I was too. We both went around and around.

Mohawks

Punks / Wellcome Images

Punks / Wellcome Images

After I was discharged from the hospital, I moved to Los Angeles to live with my parents and go to stroke rehab. I was very lonely. I couldn’t drive, which in L.A. is a problem. So I took the bus everywhere, very slow. On one bus ride, a guy with a Mohawk got on. At another stop, another Mohawk. They did not seem to know each other, nor did they pay attention to each other. Then a third Mohawk man got on.

This bus had reached its Mohawk tipping point. I got up and asked one about it.

“It’s a concert,” he said. “The Unseen. They’re really good.”

Ah. Not that I was hip enough or punk enough to know anything about The Unseen. I thanked him, and went back to my seat. Sure enough, a few stops later the Mohawk men alighted to join a similarly attired crowd on the sidewalk.

That night, I felt better.