Dents and Dings

I've had a hard week today...

I’m the walking wounded today.

I don’t know what I did, but somehow this morning I’ve tweaked my neck, and I can feel the constant pain between my shoulder blade and lower neck. It’s one of those sharp pains, which sucks the breath out of you when you hit it just so, but isn’t specific enough for me to locate so I can massage it. I’ve taken a couple of ibuprofen tablets, but so far, no good.

Before the neck thing, it was the back. I wake up fine. I move around for a few minutes all right. Then by the time I’m leaving for work some forty-five minutes later I’m hobbled so bad I’m limping. And it starts probably 20 minutes before that. I can feel it building up as I move along.

Then there’s my eyesight. I’m bat-blind, and my vision isn’t going to be completely correctable regardless of what I do about it. I had refractive, invasive surgery for cosmetic reasons some 21 or 22 years ago, and the repercussions of that surgery are manifold and horrible. But no one said anything about the risks then. No one cared, as long as I had the money and signed the HUGE stack of waivers. So my decision to have the surgery was a horrible mistake, but one I couldn’t see until I see it blearily over my shoulder in (poor) hindsight.

Asthma, too. Yeah, that’s me – I got it from both sides. My mother’s youngest sister had it sort of seriously, and I got it too. My father had it just as bad. I had no chance of avoiding that genetic bullet. I’ve taken more prescription medications for asthma than a human being should be physically capable of handling. And who knows what impact those things had on me. I almost died four times before age five, for Pete’s sake. I’m a genetic mess.

I’m definitely the walking wounded. I’ve got other injuries you can’t see too. I’ve been dinged, dented, scuffed, scarred, ripped, torn asunder and cast aside. I’ve done some of it to myself, and others have visited plenty of horror on me. I’ve had people who even tried to defend their actions with the age-old “but we did the best we could” routine. Yeah, that gets old, fast. They don’t want to realize how much damage they can inflict, or that they did it at all. Other people went out of their way to hurt me. It’s been a mixed bag o’ nuts to be sure, but the job was done one way or another. I’m damaged goods, y’all. Matter of fact, my loving wife says it’s sort of a miracle I didn’t end up a serial killer. I’ve got the perfect background for it.

I read something today that made me take pause, though. It was some lady blogging about a bin at her local grocery store, where all the dented, lost-labeled cans and crushed boxes of stuff go. They’re marked down drastically, because who knows what’s in there? Sometimes we can see the damage to the can but still know what’s inside. Other times we can’t see anything outwardly wrong, but the label’s missing, so it’s a mystery inside. Sometimes you get both – something you can clearly see is dinged but you can’t see what’s in it. You have to buy it to find out.

Which is what she did. She bought a can with a dent and no label. When she got it home, it was a little like Christmas. She put that can on the can opener and waited with anticipation while it whirred. And when the lid popped up, behold! Her favorite fruit, peaches! Tender and sweet, and no worse whatsoever for the missing label and banged-up can. Her point was, we’re sort of like that. You can’t always see what’s inside, you won’t always be able to tell how tender and sweet someone is inside, just because the can is damaged or the label’s missing, or both.

How ‘bout you? What’s your can like? How’s your label? Mine are both mucked over pretty good. But I have the choice every day to be the tender, sweet peaches inside. Or I can be the bitter, sour, rotten and infested pus-laden goods everyone thinks I should be based on the can. Sometimes I’m a little of both. But I can choose to be a pleasant surprise if I want. If I try.

Sound off, y’all; I’m interested in what you think, your stories, your heart.


Copyright 2011 Darcknyt, all rights reserved


3 thoughts on “Dents and Dings

  1. My can and label are in such good shape that it’s really, really difficult for some people to believe that I have a chronic illness. Sometimes I think I must have made a pact with the dark side in a previous life when I was vain and stupid, and now I’m paying for it. I may have agreed to take an illness in exchange for always looking at least 10 years younger than my actual age. I guess it’s a small consolation, but I’d swap my looks for good health if I had the choice.

    I’ll trade looks with ya. 😉 J/K — I know it’s been hard on you Spark.

    Considering everything you deal with, you don’t complain much, brave guy. How did you get to be such a soldier?

    Oh, I bitch like hell, sweetie. Just not on the Internet. 😉 Have a great weekend, hon, and we’ll say a special prayer for you.

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