This is probably what I look like when I’m playing soccer.I tore my calf muscle yesterday. This is a brand new injury the likes of which I’ve never had in my life. I was playing soccer, switched directions real quick (’cause I still got it) and I heard a pop, and then I went down. I thought something had hit me. Apparently I’m the ideal candidate for such an injury, to wit:
“Calf (Gastrocnemius) muscle tears typically occur in moderately active individuals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s while performing actions that put maximal tension on the gastrocnemius muscle. “Weekend warriors,” who have often lost flexibility in their muscles are at greater risk for partial or complete muscle rupture.”
So if you see someone limping through the Mission at an unbelievably slow pace for someone so young and fit looking (!)- that’s me. This has been a setback to my Club Soccer Career, for sure, but it has also caused some additional problems.
See, I know most if not all the people on my block by sight, some could even be considered a type of cordial acquaintance. Usually a respectful nod or short greeting is all that happens and I’m spared small talk about the Giants, or the weather, or griping about the way the Hipster-Locusts have just ravaged our neighborhood, leaving in their wake tags on every flat surface, vomit, and urine, simply because the weather rose about 70 degrees.
Usually I can walk fast enough to make it seem like I’m in a rush. Everything has changed.
Today as it took me approximately 30 minutes to go the corner store, I ran into about four neighbors and recounted in shorter and shorter sentences the events leading up to my gimping. And then I ran into Jim. He is actually quite nice. Just a lonely older Vietnam Vet who lives a few doors down from me and has no family or visitors and so he’s really talkative. And like I said, he’s a nice guy so I indulged him.
Recently though I hadn’t seen him and except for a few drive-by ‘Go Giants!’ I had managed to avoid a full conversation with him in some time, so in a way i was due. Here is the transcript of our conversation.
Jim: Oh no! What happened?
Butterfly Stories: Yeah, torn calf muscle playing soccer last night.
Jim: Well, you’re getting older now. Ha ha ha.
Jim: Hey! So I haven’t seen you since our boys took down that raghead.
BS: … Bin… (sigh)… Bin Laden?
JIm: Yeah. We got that sonabitch sand… camel jockey*. You can’t hide in your cave forever.
BS: … Yeah. (pause) Well, I better get going. I’ll see you later.
Jim’s a vet, he served, he’s been shot at, so he can say whatever he wants. He earned that. But still, it’s going to be a long two weeks.
*I don’t think Jim’s racist, but I’m fairly certain he uses the term ‘sand nigger’ quite frequently.