How I spent my summer vacation

Obviously it’s been a long time since I wrote in this blog, but the circumstances could best be described as extenuating. In the grisly aftermath of St. Louis, I couldn’t run for four tortuous weeks while my ribcage was healing. Many great leaps in academic achievement were made during this time.

Then, one fateful day, I woke up feeling fantastic. I ate a sensible breakfast, strapped on my running shoes and set out for a 10-mile jaunt through the bustling metropolis of Columbia, Missouri. It was like the aching throb in my rib had been replaced by a pulsating beacon of hope and possibility. The sun was shining, the semester was ending, and I had less than a week to go before setting sail for ol’ Portland, Oregon, my former hometown and the site of a much-anticipated summer internship.

The running was incredible. The running was revelatory. I felt the boozy rush of endorphins gushing through my system, and I wasn’t yet ready to come down. Immediately, I turned to a more intoxicating high: SOCCER. Friends were waiting to enable—later in the day, we all met in the park to get in a few last slide tackles before officially disbanding the team for the summer.

And…

I broke my leg.

Well, more specifically, my knee, which hyper-extended under freak circumstances involving a rare moment of unbridled aggression and the weight of a competitor’s body. So, for the record, I played soccer approximately four times in 2010 and BROKE PORTIONS OF MY SKELETON IN TWO OUT OF FOUR OF THE OCCASIONS.

Armchair Veronica Marses might find themselves sleuthing about, wondering, “How is it possible for one person to be so bad at soccer??” Allow me to provide some clues. If you’re unfamiliar with my early work as a human being prior to 1980, you’re probably wondering if I’m over 30. Yes, I’m over 30. And if you’re wondering about my unconfirmed status as a global citizen participating in the world’s greatest game, well, I have to admit that I’m relatively new to the sport.

So there you have it, I’m both old and new. I realize that I’m lucky not to have torn an ACL. And no, I will never again attempt my proprietary “Release the Kraken” drill without an on-site medic and a suitable health insurance plan. Needless to say, the summer didn’t exactly turn out as I planned.

So my mom drove me out to Portland, and I started my new life as an alt-weekly reporter sans the use of legs. Being on crutches wasn’t so bad—not only did I get the chance to bedazzle my new metallic limbs with stickers (Ex: “My other crutch is alcohol,” “Keep your laws off my crutch,” “Children need BOTH crutches,” “In case of Rapture, this crutch left unmanned”) and a custom Blackstar crutch bag (thanks, Momoko!), but it also helped me cultivate a new, lazy style of reporting wherein impatient sources snatched up my notebook to WRITE DOWN THEIR OWN QUOTES and even the Portland Police deigned to provide statements. Never has physical and professional incompetence worked so well to a fledgling reporter’s favor.

When I wasn’t playing fast and loose with the facts, I spent a large swath of the summer rolling 20-sided dice with two separate D&D parties—the feminist, homosexual adventurers of She & D, and an all-evil party comprised of current and former bike messengers. I drank a lot, I brewed beer, I started podcasting, I watched Star Trek in the Park, I played a lot of bar trivia (Team DJ Jazzy Jeff and the French Press FTW!), and I shook a curmudgeonly fist at all those goddamned Portland bicyclists. It was weird to drive a car around a city that I’d previously only biked in. I seethed with the resentment of someone forced to watch thick, Amazonian thighs wither into spindly old man limbs the size and strength of pool noodles. They might have provided some much-needed summer fun if I could convince any of the kids at the aquatic park to try it out. But maybe that would have been creepy?

At least two Lokos deep

Anyway, I tried to ignore the sensation of bones grinding together, the judgmental tsking of the corner store clerk every time I crutched to the counter with more than one serving of Four Loko, and the sneaking suspicion that the left crutch was, in fact, haunted by a previous user. It was a good summer, but it goes without saying that being a gnarly badass of my particular ilk can be absolutely exhausting. There were times when I laid in a naked, crumpled mass in my bedroom (after drunkenly crashing to the hardwood floor) and contemplated my own existential angst. Would I ever run again? Would I ever find love? Would I ever trade crutches for a top hat and a little cane? Why did God create a Marmaduke movie? These are the burning questions that keep a Level 4 sorcerer gnome awake at night.

By the end of the summer, I had sucked up all possible XP from my internship and physical therapy with a +1 bonus to dexterity and wisdom. Now I’m back in Missouri, leading a quiet, monastic life with a tabby and a dream: ACING MY FINAL YEAR OF GRAD SCHOOL WITHOUT A SINGLE BROKEN BONE. ALSO, LEARNING TO RUN AGAIN. AND PUNCTUATE.

So the blog is back, and at square one! St. Louis Marathon in 2011! Goldendoodles for everyone!