You can read this if you wish although it consists of thoughts and fragments as I attempt to free write 750 words every day. Some of this may end up in a Story or a Conversation. Anyway, this is how one learn and shapes up The Craft.
In Bishop, I slept in a room carved out of the garage. Not a hovel; more of an addition. A large loft bed hung at the end of the room and it made for a nice space to hide. The concrete floor kept the room cool in the summer and a bit too cold in the winter. Still, I ran around in the room barefoot. One day, I managed to find an errant metal shaving, which entered the pad below my right big toe. Since the room had been part of the garage, there was garage trash littering the corners. In any case, I stepped on the piece of metal, felt a sharp pain, and because it seemed to go away, I went to sleep and forgot about it.
A few weeks later running around the track a sharp pain bit into my foot. I hopped over to the grass, took off my sock, and looked for the piece of metal. I found nothing. Yet, the sharp pain returned every time I stepped down. For the next few weeks, I walked on the side of my shoe so the pain would not bother me.
Walking with my right foot rolled to the side worked for a few more weeks. However, the pain made even that solution unworkable. I finally complained and my dad agreed to take me to the doctor.
The doctor was on West Line Street next to the post office. I don’t remember his name. He was an older man and I remember thinking his office wasn’t very modern. I told him about my toe and he had me remove my sock. He then looked at the toe and seeing nothing, he turned to my father and told him it could be fixed with a band of copper.
He described how the copper would draw out the cause of the pain. That afternoon, dad took me to the hardware store where we found a 10-gauge copper wire, which dad fashioned into a ankle bracelet.
I wore this bracelet for a few weeks still walking funny to keep the sharp pain from shooting up my leg. The pain was still there and the copper wire hadn’t drawn out the metal shaving. I decided to operate.
From the age of five I wanted to be a doctor. I still have the porcelain doll my mother painted of a young doctor with a mirror on his forehead and a stethoscope around his neck. I worked for a doctor taking vital measurements. I had seen a scalpel and I figure it couldn’t be that hard to dig into my toe.
A small callous outlined the pad under my big toe. It felt like a button and when you pushed on it pain shot up my leg. I knew something was in there but I couldn’t see it. I cut around the edge of the callous with the knife. I cut off a tough layer of skin. At this point nothing hurt unless I pushed on the button. until I reached the most tender part of my foot.
I kept digging. Like a wildcatter, I dug down into the callous through layers of hard skin. Then I touched the sliver. I became nauseous. The pain rolled like a wave. I took a deep breathe. I touched the sliver again. Same rolling pain.
I pulled the tweezers off my Swiss Army Knife. I dug around in the hole until I guessed the tweezers were around the metal. I then pulled until I found an 1/4 inch piece of metal, long and jagged, at the end of the tweezers. Blood poured out of my foot and I grabbed some tissue. I pushed on the callous and the pain no longer shot up my leg.
I examined the metal sliver. It must have come from making a screw hole in a piece of metal. Maybe it came from the homemade solar panel on the roof. I wrapped up the sliver around the tissue and tossed in the garbage.
I rubbed some iodine in the hole and covered it with a band-aid. I no longer walked funny and my foot felt lighter. I slipped on my sock, then my tennis shoe, and ran outside to play with Sandy. The spaniel chased after the ball before walking out into the middle of the pond. I sat down on the grass and watched the dog. The pain in my foot was gone. It had only taken a little exploratory surgery to make everything better.
© 2017, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.
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