Karmic Indignities

October 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm (Cussed Dumbers, That's not funny...)

While I’m not religious or particularly superstitious, I firmly believe in What Comes Around Goes Around and kinda believe in karma. You reap what you sow. If such things exist, the bitch-slapping by the gods has commenced.

A week or so ago I teased Dr T about breaking a hip when he contemplated hacky-sacking an empty can of nuts into a garbage can. We got lots of mileage out of the various insults, but you can imagine his glee when my back started hurting the other day. It’s nothing to worry about, just inflammation of the lower back. Feels like someone is squeezing my spine right above the buttcrack, accompanied by stabbing spasms if I move abruptly. I’ve been moving slow and deliberate.

To a running commentary of “It’s a bitch getting old, isn’t it?!”

For the record, I’ve been in the best health since my late teens. Been behaving (mostly) on the diet thing, walking a ton. I know I’m losing weight; my clothes are starting to look like I’m wearing my big brother’s stuff. Favorite tee shirts look ridiculously oversized, and I’ve been slowly working old ‘skinny clothes’ into my wardrobe. It’s like a reward.

I’ve also been getting cocky. I try to keep to the Ellen Rule: It’s not teasing if only one of you is laughing. I’ve drifted from this, and wonder if it’s coming back to haunt me.

One of my co-workers has been having health issues. He’s been there forever, and took his longevity as license to disregard all kinds of policies and procedures. (There was some question as to his bookkeeping integrity, ifyouknowwhatImean.) These things piled up, and I began actively disliking him. He was not only making my job difficult, he was endangering the whole operation with some of his behaviors.

His attendance was spotty, and when he did show up it was more to hang out and watch the world go by than to take care of business. He had vision problems, and wore a pirate-like eyepatch for a while. This earned him the nickname Polyphemus.

He sicked out a few weeks back, and we figured it was too much wine, or laziness. Come to find out he’d had a heart attack, his kidneys had shut down and he’d spent about two weeks in the hospital. I learned the secret early on, and as is typical at master P’s, within days it was common knowledge: They had amputated his big toe.

We’d tried getting him fired. Manager’s meetings, irrefutable evidence that he’d been violating numerous store policies, evidence of theft, the boss would suspend him for a while, and he’d be back. Demoralizing to those of us to play by the book, so we started picking on him.

I walked into work a few weeks back, and Dr T was behind the till. “Where’s Polyphemus?”

“He’s out sick.”

I snorted, “We should get him a job at WalMart. That way he could be a one-eyed, nine-toed blind purple people greeter.”

Dr T gave a guilty laugh. “Yeah, well it’s likely he won’t be back here.” That’s when I learned of the heart attack, kidney problems, etc… and began to feel guilty.

Lo and behold, he’s back at work! He’s wearing a boot to protect the (lack of) toe, and moving slow, but faster than he used to. He’s making an effort to do what he can, which he hadn’t done before. His demeanor is different, the arrogance is gone.

It reminds me of someone who had an epiphany about fifteen years ago, someone who fucked off his life until he ended up on death’s doorstep and then in the emergency room. Someone who realized life itself is important, and the ‘die young and leave a pretty corpse’ lifestyle is stupid if you actually let it kill you. That someone changed his ways, and became (IMHO) a much better person for it.

Leopards can change their spots, if the motivation is big enough.

I’ve decided to start fresh with Polyphemus. No more malicious wisecracks. (Well, maybe once in a while.) When I told Clairissa about the WalMart greeter thing, she wrote it down on a cocktail napkin. “I’m going to have that tattooed on my ass!”

God, I hope not. I can come up with something so much better that that.

But now the whole ‘reap what you sow’ thing is happening. When I saw a callus on the tip of my toe, I figured it would work itself off eventually. The last few days it’s looked kinda dark, like a bruise. Being diagnosed diabetic, anytime I have boo-boos on the feet I pay close attention. After seeing Polyphemus gimping around, I feared the worst, so I called and made a doctor’s appointment. They will see me Friday.

In the meantime, I Google-Imaged “diabetic toe”. Jeezus tapdancing Christ! (Don’t do it if you plan on eating today.) The upside? My callus looks pretty tame, and I think it’s just a callus. But I’m going to find out for sure.

And Dr T? After picking on me for gimping around like an old man the last few days, he twisted a giblet getting off the toilet and has been in pain the last day or so. Yesterday, as he walked toward me, holding the area of his appendix, I said, “You know, with you holding your front like that, and me hunched over favoring my ass, people are gonna talk…”

Oh, the Gods of Karma are having a field day with us…

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