Falling Off The Wagon

If you are a regular reader, you know I have been writing at least 500 words each day since September 7, 2014. I have made time to write, no matter what is happening in my world. I wrote the first 275 of 500 words on Thursday morning while waiting for my x-ray results in a local Emergency Room. I completed my words at home later while my personal assistant filled my prescription. I’ve been dedicated to writing, until yesterday when I only managed 68 words.

A sprained knee, bruised and swollen toes, and a malfunctioning wheelchair can interfere with life. I mean – who has time for an injury when adventures are planned?

Three weeks ago my good friend Tara surprised me with tickets to see the musical The Last Ship in New York City. So there I sat on Thursday – ice bags on my knee and foot, pills in hand, a forecast predicting 4-6 inches of snow in the city on Saturday and Tara tentatively asking if I wanted to go ahead with the trip. The tickets were purchased, train reservations made. If I couldn’t make the trip, I owed it to Tara to be honest so she could find someone to take my place.

But, these weren’t just tickets to a show – this was our chance to go see Sting, on Broadway, in a show he wrote! Tara and I love Sting. We’ve both seen him in concert many times – three of those together, and once together when he toured with the Police. As soon as we heard he was writing a musical, we said we MUST go see it. As it often does, life happened. I got invited to Australia and stopped spending money on anything but necessities. Tara had a car crash and unexpectedly needed to purchase a new car. We said we would wait until I returned from my trip.

Then three weeks ago the show’s producers announced it would close on January 24. Our window for stalking seeing the show narrowed, and Tara decided we had to act now. I took care of logistics, snagging us tickets to the penultimate performance and booking the train down the Hudson River. We made plans to meet my friend David for brunch before the show and I began to prepare for how I might stay warm while spending a winter day wandering the streets of New York.

Now it was Thursday, and I had an injury which was threatening to disrupt my adventure plans. I have a difficult time accepting disability and injury. This may sound strange, as I live with impairments daily. But I know my body, and though I have limitations, I am pretty adept at adjusting to my “normal.” When accidents and set-backs happen, I become as frustrated as anyone else. I have a life! I need to be active! I don’t want to sit home and make allowances for the fact I am just human! I was NOT going to miss this opportunity. Tara was willing, and I was certain I could manage. It’s not like I was going to be physically walking on the injury. I do have this nifty wheeled chariot for mobility after all. And this would be Tara’s very first show in New York City. No, staying home was not an option.

I was a “good patient” and spent Friday elevating my injured leg, icing the knee, taking the medications. I watched the changing weather forecast, adjusting my Saturday outfit to accommodate my swollen foot and my need for warmth. It doesn’t take me long to start to shiver and I knew we would be “walking” at least fifty blocks in the predicted storm if the weather made getting a taxi cumbersome. Tara agreed to drive my van to and from the train station. I reassured my sisters I was really not out of my head (they ALL called to check!) and packed a bag with a crochet project for the train.

The weather cooperated. Although it was a snowy trip down the Hudson River, Manhattan was not covered in snow.

The Hudson River, viewed from the train, was blanketed by snow and mist.
The Hudson River, viewed from the train, was blanketed by snow and mist.

We met my friend David in Penn Station and quickly walked uptown through a light rain for brunch. Most curb cuts were clear of snow and slush, although I shudder to think what may have been in the puddles I splashed through.

Tara and I bid farewell to David after our wonderful meal and headed up to the Neil Simon Theater. Like most Broadway theaters, the wheelchair seats were in the rear. But I was on the aisle and had an unobstructed view of the stage twenty rows away. Five minutes after taking our seats, the lights went down and we were transported to an English shipyard.

The actors were great (even if I didn’t feel all the characters were as developed as they might have been), the singing was beautiful, the metallic set, particularly the last scene as the ship set sail, was dark and matched the score. And we were the closest we’re ever going to get to Sting. Sting is not an actor, and thankfully his role was not distracting from the main characters. It was wonderful to see Aaron Lazar again, after seeing him a few years ago in A Little Night Music. I hope to see Collin Kelly-Sordelet, who played Young Gideon/Tom, in the future. Even more amazing, not one single cell phone distraction was heard!

When I take the train to New York City, one of my favorite moments is coming up out of Penn Station, and turning to find the Empire State Building looming over me down West 33rd Street. I smell the unique odor that “is” New York (garbage, roasted nuts, urine, food carts, cigarettes and exhaust) and I think, “I’ve arrived.” Yesterday the top of the Empire State Building was shrouded in fog and rain when I looked up. However, the skies had cleared by the time we returned to Penn Station for the trip home. My feet had somehow remained warm all day thanks to socks, leg warmers, furry slippers and a fleece blanket. I couldn’t move my arms in my heavy jacket, but I managed to stay mostly dry thanks to my big umbrella.

We settled on the train and I thought about writing on the way home. Instead, I shared this fuzzy cell phone photo with my friends at My 500 Words along with the 68 words I mentioned earlier.

Still warm after walking (rolling?) twenty blocks.
Still warm after walking (rolling?) twenty blocks.

I didn’t make the mark yesterday, but falling off the wagon has never been so much fun.

16 thoughts on “Falling Off The Wagon

  1. So, you truly are inspiring. Everything about this sounded like a hassle to me. Hopefully next time I’m in a similar situation with something exciting in the near future, I’ll remember the words you wrote today. Love you

    Liked by 2 people

    • Susan – it was an adventure! There’s so much more too, and I’ll get around to writing about it some day. As Doc Benson advised, “You have to say ‘yes.’ Do it all, you never know if you’ll get another chance.”

      I have no regrets about yesterday. You and I should meet up for a fun day in the city! In warmer weather, if you don’t mind 🙂


  2. I’d say you can’t feel bad at all about only doing 68 words with a day like that! It sounds amazing. And having just injured my knee this weekend on the night before the concert of my favorite band, I feel you on not allowing it to hold you band. I told myself I could leave early if I needed, but I was having an amazing time and hardly felt the pain in my knee.


  3. What a wonderful way to fall off the wagon. Love the pic!

    PS. This is so accurate: (garbage, roasted nuts, urine, food carts, cigarettes and exhaust)


  4. […] the 365th day of my renewed writing adventure. Aside from January 24 when I spent the day having an adventure with my friend Tara, I have written at least 500 words per day for a complete year. Knowing this milestone was […]


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