Sleeping sickness

So, today I played football for the first time since my injury, and subsequent 3-month lay-off; scored a couple of goals too. It was a herniated lumbar disc, if you're interested, between L4-L5, and accompanied by a shed load of excruciating sciatica. It was the exact same injury as I'd had four years before. It didn't seem so bad this time, but the recovery was much longer... hmm, funny that, can't imagine why that would be the case.

The other thing that's funny is, the first time around, I know the exact moment it popped - haring down the wing, toe poke towards the goal line just before the slide challenge comes in from the full back and knocks me off balance, one eye on the roll of the ball while attempting to ride the tackle and stay upright, knee locks just as my foot hits the frozen pitch, pain and immobility are instant.

The second time? I have absolutely no idea; I was asleep. Seriously, I went to bed fine on Sunday night, on Monday morning I couldn't move. There'd been no football that weekend, so that wasn't it. No sex, no drunken brawling (or drunken sex or sexy brawling either). There hadn't  even been any of the usual pony rides for the kids. There was nothing to explain the pain I was in. My best guess is that I stretched in my sleep, but that's not much of a badge of honour to stick into the story when I tell it.

I wanted to be able to say something like; 'yeah, I slipped out of the spike harness in the dungeon room because of all the oil on my arse. Ma-chan would've caught me, but she was handcuffed to the donkey at the time.' Or possibly something like; 'yeah, we were trapping giant monster bears by moonlight again. The bear hit the spring-rope fine and it caught, but he was really big and he bolted fast. Unfortunately the rope was wrapped around my leg and I couldn't pull it out in time, possibly because of the thick cape and heavy boots I was wearing.' Or even a little Keith Richards-style drunken coconut tree falling would have been fine. With creative re-tellings, I could surely have embellished that into a picaresque vignette to thrill and astound.

But no... I... was asleep. Whatever it was I did, I missed it. It was like waking up in the cinema with the credits rolling. All those around me had got wide eyes, wild hair and tear-stained cheeks, and I'd just got popcorn dribble on my t-shirt. I wanted to rewind somehow and check out the dream I must have been watching when I ricked my back, but that's not the way it works, is it? I guess I just have to accept that I'll probably never know.

In fact no one will ever know. I was alone when I woke up (Ma-chan was already up), so there are actually no witnesses to the event... and that's how I came to be involved in a freak parkour accident in the cold, unforgiving, dramatic Tokyo twilight.


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