Faced with weird new shoulder pain after my head-on collision, I've been grappling with the possibility that my shoulder surgery, which had a 50% chance of failure before the accident, is likely to fail. I lived without a rotator cuff for months and got fairly good at coping, but the fact remains that I would never be able to lift much again. Or throw anything. Or play a sport. Or defend myself. Any 100 pound girl could beat the crap out of me. It's like I have a gaping wound and only one arm. One weak, uncoordinated arm.
It's the vulnerability that bothers me most. At one especially low point, I lamented this to Allie. "I am not living like this. I can't defend myself."
"Defend yourself from what?" she asked, incredulous. "I never have to defend myself."
"People. It happens more than you'd think."
"You know, you could just not put yourself into positions where you're likely to get punched. Maybe not call assholes assholes, for starters?"
"I'm not living like that, either." There was a long silence.
"So basically, you want me to be a different person," I said.
"Pretty much since we met, yeah."