Last week this day was my 60th (sixtieth) birthday. I am now sixty-and-one-fifty-secondth-years-old. The eve of my birthday was spent on vacation in Sicily with my family sitting in a humble trattoria near the sea in Palermo. After which, and by way of walking off much pasta and pizza, we went a-strolling along the shore. A shore festooned with rocks as big as boxes and perversely angled. Dancing on a pin of glee having entered my seventh decade and having my dearest with me for security I set foot upon the rocks…
The rest of the night was spent trying to find out how badly my ribs had been damaged. Desultory ambulances shipped me rockily between the various Palermo medical buildings containing emergency reception facilities, an x-ray machine and an orthopedic specialist. All of this managed by my wife and son because I was incapable of very much at all. Dismay eventually seeped through physical shock. Recognition of the importance of a sense of humour under all circumstances was counterbalanced by the knowledge that laughter would have me doubled up in agony in this circumstance. Peering under the dull lights of waiting rooms with elbow on knee and chin in palm of hand waiting for x-ray results as dawn approached. Turns out nothing broken – take these for seven days once after food. And rest. The rest? I got a fine Chromebook computer for my birthday next day upon which I write now. And a Turkish smoking pipe for which I will need guidance. It’s beautiful.
I was aware I had dodged a bullet. My fall on the rocks was utterly uncontrolled. I could have kissed a rock with my head. I was lucky.
Hard rocks are in Palermo. Like all good rock it’ll keep you up through the night.