Why, oh why, did I choose to read Misery while I'm down and out. You know how easy it is to relate to characters when you read a story? Multiple that by ten when you're a writer with an imagination that looks at reality as fiction and fiction as reality and frequently blurs the line.
Eight weeks ago I injured both feet and ankles slipping on the ice. Not only did I just slip on the ice like normal people, I did something insanely stupid. Back in March we'd have a nice day or two followed by a cold snowy day or two. The rotation of the weather made it difficult to adjust on a daily basis. Remember, I live out in the country and just to walk to the mailbox I must leave the house, cross an icy deck, down four stairs and make my way through the ice and snow to the mailbox some thirty plus yards away. And the wind always blows here, and worsens with snow or rain.
The sun was shining brightly and the wind had calmed slightly. It was eleven o'clock and I heard the sound of the mail car and my large over-sized mailbox slamming closed. I checked the wall thermometer and it wasn't too bad. I grabbed my coat and looked between my boots and my tennis shoes. I could quickly slip my feet into the tennis shoes and be out the door, or I could stop, sit down, unlace my boots, slip them on and re-lace them. Anyone who knows me can confirm that I'm a very, very, very, impatient person. I rationalized that the snow wasn't very deep, just a few inches, three at the most, except for the drifts, where total depth could be seven to ten inches.
I slipped into the tennis shoes and opted for the windier but shorter path off the back of the deck. I changed course once I was actually outdoors because the wind was stiffer than I anticipated. I managed my way on the uneven ice to the yard gate. Once out of the yard I noticed my hubby's footprints in the snow leading from the gate, around the house, and to the mailbox.
"Perfect," I whispered to myself. I bounced like a bunny from one footprint to the next. Okay, I'm 5'3" and he's 6'1". That means his stride is wider. But, hey I'm agile. So I happily bounced from one to the next. But, we had a hard freeze during the night causing the snow lining his footprints to turn to ice after the previous day's thaw. So each time I planted a foot into his path, I slipped a little and needed to regain my balance. My biggest fear was falling into the snow.
I bounced my way to the mailbox and back, slipping and sliding with each step, proudly making my way back to the house without falling or even having a really close call. Yep, I'm so talented.
Later that day, my legs and ankles and feet began to ache. I thought it was nothing more than the typical ache from jogging or riding a bike after a long absence from the activity. When I tried, and I mean tried, to get out of bed the next day the pain shot up both legs simultaneously. After walking around a bit the pain eased and I could manage.
I took aspirin and pretended nothing was wrong. We had six of our grandkids here for the Easter break and I wanted to cry out in pain from all the running here and there preparing meals and all that goes with hosting a weekend. My aspirin bottle lost more contents than it had in the previous year in just one weekend.
To compound matters we had just removed the carpet (you remember the skunked carpet...previous blog) and put in hardwood floors. Now my legs had to grow accustomed to walking non-stop on hard surfaces which seemed to aggravate the situation.
As time went on, one leg was considerably better and most people had no idea of my injury. I could make it until afternoon before I had to give in and sit or lie down. I thought I was improving. But it seemed to plateau for one foot, leg and ankle. Finally, I went to my chiropractor and he decreased the pain by 50%, more if I stayed off of it.
So no or lessened pain meant I could do more and I would. Then the pain would return with a vengeance punishing me for not staying put. Last visit to the doc it was agreed that I would stay off of it and use crutches and a brace.
So I ordered a kindle paperwhite to entice me to stay put in my favorite reading chair and read. Until it arrives later today I decided to read MISERY having loved the movie. Now as an author I have a greater appreciation for the storyline. Today I read a scene where Annie, the crazy woman, kills the deputy and opens both doors to her barn and drives the cruiser inside and pulls the heavy barn doors closed, hiding it from the world.
Picture this. It's cold, rainy and dreary. I'm alone in the house, my ankle is wrapped, I'm on crutches hobbling through the house, knowing I can't use the crutches to get upstairs or downstairs. I'm on pain relievers and bored. I called my hubby to chat and see if he could come home for lunch. That's when he told me he heard the weather could turn bad and he opened the double doors to one of the outbuildings on our farm and drove my car inside to protect it. He told me the doors are sticking and there is no way I'd be able to open them. Then he said he would be in an area without phone reception for awhile today.
So, not only can I not easily walk over a quarter of a mile from the house to the building that he tucked my car into, but the mud would make it impossible on crutches and if I miraculously made my way there I couldn't open the doors.
Are we seeing the parallels? Damaged ankles, drugs, solitude, farm setting, mud, no vehicle....tell me this is not directly out of MISERY. And Detective Karst stopped by this morning to feed his horse and most likely noticed my car missing from the driveway and assumed I was not home!!!! Fortunately for him he left alive!!
I just need to take a deep breath, relax, I have not been physically pulled into the pages of a Stephen King novel. I'm fine, the pain is tolerable. I will be released this afternoon when my hubby returns to take me to the doctor's office. Now, the big question is should I read the final 45 pages of the book? Will I feel better or worse? Will the author who is trapped inside of the house in the country with no means of escape make it? Will I find relief? Will the similarity between the events of my day and the book fade and separate?
Again,.....why did I choose MISERY to read under the circumstances? I used to think I was fairly intelligent....but now I must wonder.