Monday, January 26, 2004

What a day! Or rather, what a night!

Let me explain. I was on my way to have dinner with a friend who was in the same situation as me in Rome, only longer. The bus service changed their terminal to a temporary bus-stop about 150 metres from the first bus-stop after the original terminal. (Confusing? The bus services usually make minor changes in routes without much advance notice, here.) I didn't know of course, and there were no notices on the bus stop where I was waiting. I saw the bus turn out and then stop at the temporary stop. Realizing that this was one of the impromptu changes that the bus service does sometimes, I ran to the bus stop, thinking that it was going to leave pretty soon. When I reached the bus, it didn't open its front door, which was usually the boarding entrance (there's another entrance at the back and the centre door is for alighting). Someone shouted, "Qui!" (meaning "Here!") and I saw that the central door was open. I hadn't taken my first step when I just fell to the ground. I buffered myself with my left knee and my right elbow. I thanked the people who helped me to get up. I said I was okay, and they commented that I just had a bout of bad luck. Actually I wasn't feeling unlucky. I felt humiliated. Whatever dignity I had as a forty year old fell together with me and was left on the floor. I felt just a little sore because the temperature was close to zero during the time. I got on, sat down and rubbed my knee. The bus didn't leave until five minutes later. I rushed and fell for nothing!

After the meal, I felt a little more sore as I got up from the table. It was when I got back that I felt this dull pain on my right shoulder. Evidently hitting my elbow on the cobblestone ground did something to my right shoulder. Sleeping on my left side was difficult because my left knee hurt. I had thought I had a bruise, but I didn't. This scares me a little and I hope it would not be something serious. Sleeping on my right side was even more difficult. My right shoulder had to bear the body weight! I rubbed some cream on my hurting shoulder and knee and got to bed. With a little bit of adjustment, I slept on my left side.

It wasn't until this morning that I really felt the stiffness and the pain. It is not a sharp pain, but a dull one when I move my right arm. Managed to get up, celebrate community mass, breakfast and to the university for my moderator's signature for my work. Two more left to go. I'll get theirs when they come to the university for exams tomorrow and on Thursday.

Pain. I am getting old. Many staying with me are in their seventies and eighties. They say I am young. I don't feel that way. I feel absolutely old. The pain reminds me that I'm no longer the youth that I was. I am old. I shouldn't let flattery get the better of me.

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