I never looked seriously at vitamins because even though a good number of my friends and elders whom I respect are strict with themselves about taking eight or nine vitamins a day, I always just figured it was expensive and that it would never really stave anything off.
There’s a little more breathing room in my financial situation at the moment and so a few days ago I was at Publix and started perusing the vitamin section and I saw these big, purple, gummy calcium supplements and thought, “Yes,” because I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you, since I’m afraid that perhaps you like some of my friends in the past (Sechina!) will send me repulsive online content exploiting this fear, but listen: I’m deathly afraid of breaking bones. It hasn’t happened to me yet, though I suspect it’s just a matter of time, and I’m particularly afraid of what’s gonna happen if I ever have a kid, and that kid goes off and does some stupid kid shit and falls out of a tree or something, and incurs some kind of bodily breakage, whereupon he comes sauntering up to my fucking desk with his arm in a different shape. What am I gonna do?
I’m gonna pass the fuck out.
(My ex girlfriend Kelly once broke her arm in ballet class when she was like seven years old and apparently ended up in a medical journal because her injury was like the closest-ever instance of a bone jutting into the skin without puncturing it–I’m fucking feeling lightheaded just saying that.)
Anyway. I bought the calcium supplement and I see that I’m supposed to take two of these gummies at a time, twice a day (with food!), from now until forever–and I’m down for it: especially because they’re delicious, which is a bit of a hazard, because apparently I’ll turn into a horrid anal volcano if I eat too many of them–which, when I’m drunk, is something I’m very likely to unknowingly do.
My friend Lynda had an aunt who grew up on a dairy farm drinking tall glasses of milk with virtually every meal of her life. She was also very active. Rode her bike to and from the grocery store well into her eighties.
At one point, when she was really old, she went to have hip surgery…and they couldn’t do the surgery.
Her bones were so fucking strong, tempered in eighty-odd years of cow milk, that the surgeons couldn’t break her hip in order to replace it.
I wanna be that woman.
Robert Caro wrote a magnificent memoir a couple years ago called Working, I’m absolutely in love with it, but every time I glance at the cover I’m reminded of the day when I got an advance copy of the book, downloaded it onto my Kindle, and then hit the road for Batch Gastropub, where I hopped onto a stool at the bar and started reading.
I’m about fifteen pages in, I’m hitting my stride, when I get a buzz from my friend. She works in medicine. Nothing bothers her.
I look at what she’s sent me and it’s a link to a video.
I open the video and it’s some woman at an indoor rock climbing thing.
She slips on a rock, falls, hits the padded ground and lets out a horrific SNAP.
Then, with a baffled expression, she holds up her broken arm to the camera.
You can tell it’s the half-second before she screams.
I had to go horizontal and spread myself out across three stools cuz I had that black circle closing in on my vision and all my fingers were cold. I told her that the video fucked me up and she was like, “Yeah I figured,” and I took it super personally, and didn’t talk to her for a while, because people were walking past the bar and pointing at me like, “You should really cut him off.”
The manager came up to me after a while like, “Sir, how’s it going?” and I looked up at him like, “Dude, I’m not wasted–fuckin, my friend sent me…”
Then there was another time, I was having a beer at American Social on Brickell, and for some reason, on ESPN, they were showing a documentary about a famous baseball player who, at some point in the 1990s, chased a ball to the end of the field, plowed into the wall, and broke his arm. They showed footage of him breaking it, graphic shit, and I had to stagger back from the counter, my stool scooting across the floor in an attention-grabbing way, and then go lay my pansy ass down in a booth, and wait for the color to come back to my face.
It’s a huge weakness, this squeamishness of mine, and I really hate it. Whenever I hang out with a doctor or a med student I ask for success stories of their colleagues and classmates who overcame extreme squeamishness and I’m relieved to hear that they all have stories of the classmate or colleague who saw something gruesome and passed out during class. Or, better yet, in the operating room.
Apparently lotsa classes in med school have actual couches for people to go ahead and safely pass out in case the material gets to be a bit much.
I would be the fucking Marie Antoinette of that pass-out couch. People would be like, “Who’s the debutante?” I’d make a routine of it. Whenever they put something on the projector of like a femur sticking outta somebody’s leg I’d clap my palms on the desk and stand up slowly, “Welp!” I’d say, good-natured and routinized, “Reckon it’s about that time I make my way over to the couch…”