by João Lopes Marques (Estonian version)
Unexpectedly, watching a football match became these days an unbearable task for me. The goals are sometimes beautiful, Cristiano Ronaldo is getting good shape again, but I can’t even look at the cruel faults players commit on the pitch. All those legs and feet and legs and feet in aggressive motion against each other.
For some reason doctors baptized it “Traumatology Room”: a twisted ankle can have major consequences and I don’t mean only in our vulnerable bones and ligaments and whatsoever. It can also twist severely our perspective on the most earthy things.
It happened finally to me.
Three impressions just popped up: 1st) I never imagined so much Russian-speaking Estonians worked in the main Tallinn public hospital; 2nd) it is still a mystery for me why the emergency room sends us back home without a pair of crutches; 3rd) it is not easy to decide fast which pair of jeans we will rip off so that the plaster cast fits.
This was a pedagogical Odyssey. As soon as we sit on the sofa one understands how vulnerable he is. Mobility is not everything in life but plays a big deal in our existence. Even more surprisingly, we realize that a incredibly high percentage of mankind experienced already a fractured or semi-fractured bone — or a mini-crack in the best case scenario.
“It is a question of time, João", comforted me Alberto. "Altogether I spent two years of my life wearing a plaster cast in some part of my body”, added the Italian. I believe he must have learnt this kind of comments help to cheer us up.
Anyway, I had no choice: day after day I understood I really had to get closer to my red sofa. In spite of the colour, our empathy grew fast. Eventually it became my confident. Intimate. Wide and long enough, providing me a good selection of pillows, helped me to improvise new resting and writing positions.
With it, on it, not far from it, united in our reflections, my red sofa and I have been discovering together a brand new world:
* CNN loves to repeat the same tragic news 148 or 152 times a day (Turkish Airlines crash in Amsterdam, Sri Lankean cricket team attacked in Pakistan, etc.);
* Why do they call "laptops" to this mobile computers that get so hot we barely grill our own testicles?;
* It is for me official now that average Estonian father needs to drill some 30 minutes every day, while their children tend to play ("learn" suits best) piano before morning corn flakes;
* Our broken bone can forecast humidity and/or rain conditions a couple of hours in they occur;
* All restaurants and bars in town were built with at least one more stair they needed;
* Most taxi drivers ignore the worst enemy of a broken leg is the edge of the street pavement;
* Limited car access to Vana Tallinn makes it the nightmare of a one-legged person;
* This very same cast is indeed a great place to smuggle small-yet-precious things;
* And this is maybe why it is mandatory a medical certificate to jump into an aircraft.
However, the most curious thing — much more curious than the case of Benjamin Button — is how fast time can go by. The compensation mechanism works once again: since the patient has to honour his name (patient) and can barely fly on a plane, time flies for him instead.
(Albert Einstein would have called it “Theory of Relativity”.)
Moreover, my sofa and I even created a new theory on why late Medieval/early Renaissance English theater actors started wishing “break a leg” to each other. Weird? Well, more than wishing good luck, we both guess the saying sheds light on the usually forgotten — not played — angles of our existence.
In other words, a broken leg is perhaps a singular opportunity to humanize our deepest being. My sofa, to whom I am extremely grateful, has played a key role. From time to time it asks me:
“Be honest: how often did you think on permanent disabled people before we met?”