Story Go Round 1/31/2003, round 1, #3

Armless in Seattle

Well, the first few weeks were pretty depressing, and we won't talk about them. The loss of his arm was enough by itself. There's one part of that whole story I can never reveal to anyone, but otherwise you can feel free to ask questions.

Q:    "What would you say you learned from it?" 
       "How to cook one-handed." I snap back, thinking of 
       all the nights Stan had spent dropping spatulas and salt shakers 
       in that dingy little kitchen. 
       "Be careful when and where you scratch yourself with a 
       prosthetic would be another." 
Q:    "Could you share a little of your poetry with us." 
          Arms, falling like leaves around me.  
          Hands of red, gold and russet brown. 
          Charms, crawling like ants around me - 
       "That's about as far as I get before I get bored and shaky" 
       I summed up. 
I realized I don't like being the center of attention. 
Q:    "But didn't you write in your autobiography, let  
       me see ... 'I love being the center of attention"? 
       "That was before I lost my arm," he answered coldly.  
Q:    "Do you feel self-conscious now that you only have one arm?" 
I shrugged. "No more than you jackhoos  
       missing half your souls."
       OK- this interview was going badly fast. 
Skip ahead, 
       no, not that question, flip, flip, how about ... 
Q:    "Tell us about your reign as the World Chin-up   
       Champion, in your old days."  
       "Its all in your attitude and demeanor, or else you won't be able to stay in a  
       positive space for that many hours together. 
When I was growing 
       up my Grandpa always told me, 'If you can't keep your chin up, 
       you won't keep much of anything up,' so you could say I was 
       raised to be a champ." 
       I tried to look encouraging and appreciative without seeming patronizing,  
       but from his expression, I probably failed.  
Q:    "So what is your preferred method of application for topical ointments 
       to your stub?" 
       He glared silently 
 and said "Usually I put the stub in my good 
       hand and then I rub."