Sep 16, 2013 6:48pm
San Francisco gets a reputation for its weather being bad, but I have to say I love the climate here. Besides, it is more accurate to say that the climate is unseasonable than truly bad. True, when the summer tourist season is at its height, the city is drab and grey, and Fourth of July Fireworks invariably fire off into a fog-bank unseen. But the Spring and Autumn here are both lovely, and sometimes even the Winter too, when those east coast tourists who griped about San Francisco fog are digging their cars out of the snow.
I remember each week that I was in hospital this past Winter, the weather was bright and clear, and I spent hours looking at a wonderful sunny view of the city, from my 2nd floor hospital room up on a hill in the Castro district. I even got to venture out into the bright, crisp clear Winter days, on weekends when Julia would wheel me outside in my wheelchair.
The seasons changed as one after another of my brothers came for their respective tours of duty on ‘Gimp Patrol’, all throughout a beautiful spring. Then Julia’s parents came to keep an eye on me too, and just as they left, Summer swung around as the weather became grey. But now, happily, the tourists are gone, signaling that the bright days are back again, and this time I am ready to enjoy it on my own.
Since the recent milestone of being trusted to look after myself for a week, I’ve had the daily joy of solo-ambling about our neighborhood. I still move pretty slowly, so my walks are still just within a few blocks of our apartment, but my range is steadily increasing and so is my speed. This is in part due to a new leg-brace I just got fitted for a week or so ago, but is also because of a steadily growing endurance.
One milestone begets another, as I can now walk to the small workout room in our Park Merced housing estate, where I shift pathetically minuscule free-weights to obscene amounts of loud grunts and sweaty grimacing. At this stage, my mobility is such that I can only get on a few of the machines but it is a start. I hope to graduate to the neighborhood YMCA within the next few months.
Another major hurdle was crossed last week when I finally ventured onto public transport, which would have been unthinkable even two months ago. For the time being, I can only do this with an escort, and I am happy to say that my brother Jo helped me get on my first MUNI ride in nine months. He has been present for much of this strange journey of mine, and happened to be in town with his wife Priscilla for a wedding, so it was auspicious that they were here for yet another breakthrough as we all rode MUNI to a pleasant dinner rendezvous with Julia, when she got out of work.
Having all this time away from work would normally be a opportunity to finish my comic books and whatnot, but unfortunately my right hand, (AKA the ‘Money Maker’) is kaput. So, in an attempt to maximize the time with something creative, I’ve been doing some writing instead.
Over the past few years, I’ve sometimes posted short recollections from my childhood on my blog, and it had already occurred to me that if there were enough of them, I might collect them into a short book. That idea has moved from the back burner to the front burner and is simmering away at present. You can read the most recent story; a harrowing tale involving my existential crisis at the age of eight.
Notice too, that the first illustration on that post was done with my left hand. I have finally realized that the rehab for my right hand will take a much longer time than I at first thought, so I am trying to do some left handed drawing in the meantime. With that in mind, Julia and I have gone out several recent weekends to go sketching in the neighborhood, which has felt good, although the left-handed dexterity still has a way to go.
So it looks like the right hand gets to take it easy for a little while longer, which is OK. After all, he has been puting food on the table since I was 17 while his lazy-good-for nothing brother got a free ride.
But now lazy ‘Lefty’ has to finally do his share!