When you looked back at the whole thing, the whole thing was kind of funny—clown-like funny. Borges funny. A cartographer’s map taking over all the world and everything in it funny and becoming the world funny. That kind. Now, to begin with, because there still are these things—‘beginnings’—he had been in the Emergency Ward of the hospital having suffered an injury to his groin. He had lain there moaning and groaning with his hands cupped over his groin, which is funny in its own right. At least funny to readers though not perhaps, or not outwardly so, to hospital staff. Not until later on when they were smoking their cigarettes at the corner of the hospital grounds right next to the “out of bounds” NO SMOKING line that had been painted there, and which was pretty much ignored except to stamp out smoked cigarettes with the heels directly on it or with the twisting sideways back and forth of shoes’ toes there funny when they could talk about it freely then. And she, well, there was nothing funny about her at all. She had been burned badly in a car wreck and her survival itself was said to be a miracle. “The fact that she even survived,” a resident intern had said, “is a miracle.” So: the man with the pulled groin, who was an amateur pole-vaulter and whose ambitions were to become a professional, to someday join the Olympics, had suffered an injury; and the woman she was a victim of a car wreck, an event over which she could have had no real control.
I will skip entirely the middle, the meeting at the hospital, and the long drawn out affair of their recuperation and the salubrious intentions, especially those which the man had for the woman during their live-in relationship. Not that hers were any less, or well-meaning. Simply that the severity of her injuries required greater care and greater attention. Soon afterwards, after their meeting, the man, albeit with a limp, was practicing again. He leapt higher and higher. He was determined to become a World Professional. And the woman, whose injuries hindered some of her ability to talk as easily as she might, supported his efforts to all conceivable ends, even pouring into the man’s ambitions and aspirations her own resources. And the man, he was no less kind, laying upon the woman poultices and rubbing her flesh with lotions and bathing her body in oils and smearing on unguents that would make her better, however much he withstood, as much as it was possible, her howls of pain, and her near constant bouts of recurring anguish.
“I am completely behind you,” the woman told the man as he successfully flopped over the horizontal bar and cleared a height of over five meters onto a thickly cushioned mat, which she herself had bought for him, as he crashed into her little green backyard. He was deeply appreciative of her, and felt great love for her, however partially disfigured her own crash had still left her. He vowed truthfully that he would stay with her forever. “I will never leave you,” he told her with his heart.
I will skip, too, the end of this somewhat clownish little tale of this now tattered and neglected world, only to relate that they both adequately recovered. The man he was lost track of at some point, and some contend he is teaching competitive pole-vaulting at several of a number of nationwide high school gyms. The woman is again pretty and healthy and only upon closer inspection can one detect that in her past there had ever been what newspapers reporting on the scene at the time had written about for several days in their columns as a ‘tragic accident.’ I can’t really say that everything was fair between them but can maintain with an upper lip that doesn’t quiver that nothing they did was wrong.