A Court Abandoned
In 1989, at the age of eight, my body and a twenty ton semi-truck attempted to occupy the same space. Marred from that day forward, I became an expert at hiding the resulting damage. It started small. I stopped wearing shorts. I only bought pants that were baggy enough to hide the abnormal contour of my leg. I wouldn't change clothes in front of others. For most of my life this self-preservation was seemingly superficial, a minor inconvenience, an everyday accommodation. However in the last few years I began to realize how deep the charade had progressed. I noticed how more and more I was tactically managing the environments I was exposing myself to. Heeding an anxious inner voice to avoid potentially uncomfortable situations. Hot tubbing? Nope, everyone will see my awkward leg on the way to the tub. Pick-up basketball? I can wear track pants but I don't want people to see me limping around the court. Beach? Okay, but I will wear pants and not go in the water. Every activity had to first pass this screen. I'd attempted to banish my deformity to an unscalable tower, behind a locked gate, in a sealed box, convinced the imprisonment would nullify it's impact on the rest of my life. However in doing so I successfully accomplished the opposite. I inserted my fear into a position of maximum effect; I had granted it first veto power over every decision in my life. Regardless of the merit of the experience, fear now stood as the unyielding judge, jury and executioner. What I'd attempted to relegate to a corner now held court over the rest of my faculties.