Inversion


I looked out the window the other day.

I noticed that people were walking on their hands.

That made me nervous, because I can only walk on my feet.

I've tried to walk on my hands many times, but I always fall over.

I've even tried standing on my hands with my feet against the wall; still I fall over.

My left wrist is weak.  My left wrist lets me down every time.

I tore a tendon in that wrist once, and it still can't carry its weight.

I knew it would be a problem, despite what the doctor told me.

"Give it time," he said.  "You'll see; just give it some time."

I saw a documentary about a family that walks on all fours.

Their hands were dirty and covered with calluses.

To me, they looked like skinny little bears.

Scientists are studying their brain chemistry.

They think there's something missing in their gene code.

I can't bring myself to go outside now.

I sit here in my room and think.

What if I wore my clothes upside down?

What if I made my feet look like hands?

What if I had someone to hold me up?

There are no easy answers; that much is clear.

Where was I when my sister was practicing gymnastics in the yard?

Oh that's right, I was down by the river with my brother smoking pot.

If only I had made more time for round-offs and back handsprings.

Instead I teased my sister and told her she looked like a boneless chicken.

Cruel words, but when she did her backbends that's exactly what she looked like.

Thank God for tea and honey; it's the only thing that calms my nerves.

I could drink tea in the middle of a hurricane, and it would make me feel better.

Can't be the caffeine, so I guess it must be the honey.

Somebody told me honey is the only type of food that doesn't spoil.

Supposedly, they've found perfectly preserved jars of it in Egyptian tombs.

How do they know it was perfectly preserved?  Did someone taste it?

I just looked outside again.  They were still at it.  The whole crazy upside-down world.

Children flocking to their buses, hands slapping against the sidewalk.

Mothers standing on porches cradling babies with their feet.

Old ladies squatting on their shoulders on park benches, their legs tucked up behind them.

Businessmen hurrying to their trains, briefcases dangling from their ankles.

The traffic cop standing in the street motioning to cars with his toes.

Maybe this handwalking craze won't last.

Maybe crawling or slithering will catch on next.  Or crabwalking.

Those I can do.  In fact, I was once an excellent crabwalker and crab soccer player.

I outscuttled nearly all the boys in my sixth grade gym class.

Even summersaults or barrel rolls I could manage.

None of that matters now, of course.

But who can say what tomorrow will bring.

Life is unpredictable, and not just for humans.

Consider the misfortunes of elephants.

For years they've been slaughtered for their tusks.

Edison electrocuted one.

The first bomb dropped on Germany in World War II killed one.

And what about Jumbo?  He got hit by a train; they stuffed him; then he burned up.

Even Dumbo's mother got put away for a while.

It surprises me how easily people can adapt.

One day they're crawling on all fours.

The next day they're walking upright.

The day after that they're walking on their hands.

I only wish I could be like everyone else.

It would be so nice to grip the warm sidewalk with my hands.

I know I would enjoy feeling the sun on the soles of my feet.

I'm praying that the strength in my left wrist will one day return.

Until then, I will remain here in my room.

Head in the air, feet on the floor.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked