Scratching the surface.
I always laughed when anyone needed help to scratch a certain spot on their back. Why in the world, I snickered, can’t people reach their own body parts? I thought, in fact, that if you can’t reach any part of yourself, then you should have no license to operate your own machinery called the human body.
I am now reminded that my machinery worked much better in those days. That was when my inner structure was made of rubber, my bones were geared for cartwheels and I scratched my own back using any available pinkie finger. Nothing to it. I used to stretch in ballet class thinking that legs flopping hither and thither were simply those that were built that way. There was no stomach to prevent me from touching my toes to the floor and no earthquake when I landed from a jump. In fact, I could jump.
“You used to dance?” an aghast person would say, looking up and down with curled lip. Well, yes, 40 years and 40 pounds ago. That is how sneaky life is. You look the other way for a few minutes and some evil force takes over your machinery.
But back to the back-scratching. “A little to the left, no, now up a little, ahh, that’s the spot.” Why can’t you do this yourself? Then another friend would find the nearest post or doorjamb to rub the back. How low class, I thought. One galumph of an acquaintance nearly shifted the foundation of my house scratching his back on a support doorjamb.
Then a friend brought me a back scrubber gismo to use in the shower. It is a marvelous high-end convenience with superior wood in the handle. I think I was a bit too enthusiastic about my thank-you. It was the kind of thank-you that said she probably saved my entire life and I would be forever indebted to her kindness. I dared not admit that my method of back scrubbing had deteriorated into windshield wiper-style washcloths and sandpapered yardsticks.
No I cannot reach my back anymore, thus am probably not licensed to operate this machinery. I have even succumbed to the nearest doorjamb for scratching, though never in public. I now admit that the doorjamb delivers much more satisfaction than your average available pinkie finger that I used to use on myself. And I can steer the delivery more efficiently than instructing someone to take a roadmap to my back.
So now that I am on notice to lose my license to drive this machinery, I am wondering what the next contraption will be necessary just to function. Will it take an elevator to get to the second floor? Or maybe just a small cheering section at the bottom of the steps will suffice for moral support. Maybe I’ll have to have one of those chairs that automatically lifts you to your feet, though I always felt that I should be shot like a lame horse if it gets to that point.
There are also times when various body parts get stuck for no reason. I shook my head “no” the other day and turned into a freeze-frame before the end of a sentence. I may have to carry a tire iron for that. There have been times that when I stand up, my body still sits there. I may have to carry an oil can for that, or maybe that lame-horse chair isn’t such a bad idea, after all.
For now, my back scrubber is the miracle gismo. I can keep my license current, as long as there are doorjambs around. But that’s probably just scratching the surface.