Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coups, Criples, and Visitors

Sometimes it is amazing how life can be going in multiple directions at once. I have felt the sting of another birthday, wondered of my mortality -- as is the tradition of such an event -- and come to the conclusion that it will wait, death I mean, at least for a while. So what do I do with what is left? That's always the question isn't it. Now I'm at the big 40, I've lived through it and made it all the way to 41. I can't even imagine it in actuality. What does one do when they were a child of the 80's living wild and free with the firm belief that life was to be lived as death had to be coming soon; however, here I am 20 years later still breathing.

So many odd events are happening in Thailand. We have a political stand off. One in which elected officials, who no one thinks achieved their elected office honestly, are being protested against by a group of college professors, middle class workers, and intellectuals. What about democracy? Well you know, some times a nation is not ready for completely democracy. This is the cause of the PAD who are out in the streets in force to protest the current government. But let me write about their cause on another day.

In truth, my last few weeks have been horrible. I turned 41, and this was a very nice evening. I spent it with 4 close friends and enjoyed a nice dinner and then hung out on my roof and drank wine together. A nice evening even though my wife had to work and could not attend. But shortly after this night things went down hill.

It began with my close friend Dr. Jim attempting to use my laptop. My laptop and I have a harmonic co-existence, but I seldom share her. Jim seemed to be struggling to use him and at one point he yelped when the screen blinked as if it was closing down. The sound startled me and I shot out of my couch and directly to the floor. My entire back was locking up systematically like a series of doors being closed in a prison. And a prisoner I became. 

My back seized up so completely and so painfully that very quickly I found myself incapable of leaving my home or even my floor for that matter. I've heard of lower back injuries, but from a simple thing like a friend's surprised expression? I work out 3 to 4 days a week. I play basketball and badminton, sports that are physical and demanding and I never get hurt. I bounce off collisions and laugh off the bruises. How could this happen?

I missed my first day of work in 3 years. Then luck was on my side and the stress about the demonstrations closed our school for most of last week. It was good to be lucky. If you see being in so much pain I couldn't even sit up in a chair as lucky? At least I didn't miss work.

I must say I don't feel old, and yet, here I am still struggling up stairs and watching while my students -- calling to me as they race to the court -- head out to play basketball without me. I must say I'm not too happy about 41 so far, but maybe all the pain is just the beginning of the year and by the end there will be joy again.