Last week I'd just enjoyed a nice long run, had cooled down, let Milly lick a bit of sweat from my ankles and was ready for a refreshing shower.
Ours being a small house with a tacked-on bathroom the shower and bathtub is a one-and-the-same space-saving affair. I leaned over the tub to switch on the hot tap and then, like the Hokey Pokey suggests, put my left foot in.
Unlike the Hokey Pokey, I didn't take it out again but left it there and as the water became warm enough for me to want to step into it instead of squealing and shrinking back up against the far wall with the towel rail digging into my arse, I absent-mindedly flicked my right foot in.
Or thought I did. Instead, the fast flicking motion and my distance-defining dyslexia meant that --- CRACK --- my toes forcefully smacked themselves against the edge of the solid ceramic edge of the bath.
I was in a painful quandary: did I sink to the bottom of the tub in the foetal position to fully immerse myself in the spiralling maelstrom of twingeing agony, or blindly stagger to my feet in order to turn off the hot tap which was now sending scalding jets of water down my spine and into my butt cleavage? Neither option was attractive and both involved a fair bit of swearing, crying, yelping and moaning.
My middle toe had turned an angry maroon colour and whatever pulse I had left was concentrated within that dented digit as it spasmically throbbed in a monotonous but regular heartbeat of pain. Letting the shampoo run into my already teary eyes, I gingerly bent down to touch the toe - PHARCK! It looked wonky; as though it was leaning on a lamp post; the lamp post being the second toe.
I - yes, me, the woman who cries during Master Chef eliminations and likes to watch Sparrows pick at discarded lunches in shopping malls - actually yanked at it to straighten it. It crackled and crunched like a cocoa-pop-lined gravel driveway under a moving car and hurt like jammed jackhammer might if it landed on your toe and worked its malevolent magic for mincement and misery.
But I did it. Somewhere in that hellishly horrific self-inflicted torture I remembered that medicos don't do anything to broken toes but tape them, so I turned off the water, stepped over the edge of the tub like a foppish flamingo playing hopscotch in ultra slow motion and taped it up.
Oooo Oooo Owww! But it was done. And, to be honest, was a nice excuse to have to wear ugg boots all day instead of sneakers or leather shoes.**
And as I settled in front of my laptop attempting to write a scintillating article on how to achieve
work/life balance during a recession and my toe felt as though it was imprisoned inside a TicTac container, my mind started wandering away from the task at hand towards something far more urgent, more intimate, more compelling.
Being Injured Whilst Completely Naked. How grateful I was in this instance to have been able to treat myself and not have to call for help!
Who amongst us hasn't occasionally imagined some of the more humiliating ways that we fervently hope we won't find ourselves in, desperately requiring assistance? My mate Jill and I have said in the past that even if we slipped on the wet bathroom tiles, snapped both hips into smithereens, smashed our foreheads on the vanity unit and had our eyes unpleasantly poked out by the taps there would be no way we'd call - much less whimper - for help until we'd covered our rude bits up.
It's true. Would you really want to find yourself spread eagled and nude yelling out for your house mate, nanna or parcel delivery guy to come in and give you a hand? When all you meant to do was reach for a towel but somehow misjudged and ended up paralysed from the waist down as you slid into an ironically perfect demonstration of the splits; albeit on beige tiles lightly sprinkled with dust bunnies and stray pubes?
I thought not.
** That's right, reader dear. Even though I write at home, I've been making an effort to always wear some kind of outdoorsy, socially acceptable shoe. Sure I'm overly fond of elasticated tracksuit pants and polar fleece, but wearing slippers or Crocs all day is just giving up altogether.