Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A Sad Old Fat Man

This is how old and out of shape I am.

On Monday, I went to the movies.  I tried to watch Spiderman 2, but I couldn't really follow what was going on because my back was on fire.  I actually left the auditorium at the mid-point and stretched out in the hall.  It didn't help.

Later that night, I went to the Mastodon show.  My approach was bogus.  I wanted to skip most of the opening bands, but still get a comfortable spot on the mezzanine: a stool, a ledge, an unimpeded view.  But by the time we got there, it was standing room only. 

For most of Gojira's set, I was trying to inch the guy in front of me closer.  He had all kinds of space in front of him, but he would.  Not.  Move.  During the break, he went to go throw away his beer cup and I claimed it all.  I parked my nephew in front of me so he could see, tall guys in back and all that.

The show started and it went on.  The pain in my back did not subside.  It moved down, rings of fire radiating down my back, across my buttchecks, around my groin.  It shot down my legs and raced around my calves.

A few thoughts occurred to me:

Wow, Troy (bass) is taller than I thought.

Wow, Brann is killing it on the drums.

Where's Bill?  Oh, there he is, stage right.  I can see the top of his head....

Wow, this is really going to hurt when I move from this spot.

And it did!  I hate to admit this, but right after Naked Burn, one of my favorite Mastodon songs, we split.  I took a few steps toward the stairs and was wracked with unbelievable pain, not the taking a few steps going "Ow, ow, ow," kind of pain but the kind that stops you in your tracks and makes you think, "Please don't let me wake up on the floor with all these people staring at me."

I made it down the stairs, out the building, and around the block before I had to stop and find a seat.

That was two days ago. 

This morning I took my truck into the shop before work and rode my bike the extra mile to the office.  During the year I had no drivers license, I did that almost every day.  It was never easy.

But it was never as difficult as this morning's ride.  I reached the top of the hill barely finding strength for one more pump.  I coasted in, parked my bike, and immediately keeled over, thinking I was going to puke.  Head to toe drenched in sweat, muscles shaking, I leaned over the edge of the parking garage and just breathed.  I was breathing so hard that a bush a couple feet away started swaying in time with my lungs.

I took a few minutes, composed myself, and then went into work.

Both of these experiences are payback for a winter spent sitting on my ass.  Summer is coming.  And it's going to be grueling.


KickinAssTakingNames said...

"My approach was bogus" - ha. I've done the same many times. Occasionally it actually works out, so don't give up.

So the show itself was good?

Sorry about your back. Part of your description sounded like sciatica, although I'm no doctor. If it continues, I highly recommend you see a chiropractor. Doing so helped me immensely when I had an actue back issue seemingly similar to yours a few years ago.

James said...

Yes, that show was good. Actually, let's be honest.

There was some technical difficulties. They started playing Naked Burn and Brent's guitar did something he didn't like. They stopped midway, he moaned about his guitar tech for a minute in a very passive aggressive way, said things like "I guess we tune our guitars during the song now."

He ended up tuning his own guitar, screwing up the dialed-in sound, and the band slogged on, shaking their heads and sounding like shit.

This was a convenient moment, I thought, to hobble on home.

KickinAssTakingNames said...

Aw geez, that sucks.

Hope your back is better!