“What the hell were you doing?”
Yeah. I’d pissed her off again. “Being me, babe. Being me.” I waved at her from my wheelchair. “Doc said it’ll be two weeks before I can walk.”
She rolled her eyes. “Sometimes I wish it’d be twenty years.”
“I’m betting I’ll be up in 10 days.” I grinned, and she gave me that over my dead body look. I hid my grin, and looked at the floor, between my knees. “Yes, dear.”
I knew she got tired of me hurting myself. Sprained ankles, separated shoulders, cracked ribs, broken wrists, I’ve had them all. It’s a thing. A play hard thing. She don’t understand. I work hard. All day. Every day. That’s why I play hard. And the harder I work, the harder I play.
Stress management. I told her that, once. “It’s a stress management thing.”
She said it was more of a stress manglement thing. I think she meant I was letting stress mangle me. Or something like that.
“Bobby called and told me he’d hauled you’re sorry ass here.”
“Bobby’s lucky he didn’t end up in here with me.”
“What happened this time?”
I’d known she’d ask that question. Her way of asking what stupid thing I’d done this time. “I always wanted to rappel down the cliff at Mount Black. You know that.”
“So, you talked Bobby into going with you?”
“Bobby and Kale. You gotta have two spotters when you rappel. You know that.”
She took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. I took that as a good sign she wasn’t gonna punch me in the face. “So, you had two spotters, and still broke your leg?”
“It was a freak thing. No one saw that rock coming loose.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“I started down. It’s about a hundred feet, you know. Bobby stayed at the bottom, Kale went up with me.” I didn’t tell her about the climb up. How Kale fell down three times, and had bruises on his ass, and both knees. I swear, that boy can’t carry a toothbrush with him, and walk down a flight of stairs without killing his self. I bet he’d be walking with a limp for at least a week. Skinned his knees all up. Tore holes right through his jeans.
“We hooked the gear to the biggest damn tree we could find, and dropped the line to Bobby, and waited till he screamed he was ready. Then, I started down.” So, we didn’t pick the biggest tree. We picked one that worked. The tree wasn’t the problem. And we picked the highest point we could find. The longest way down.
“About thirty feet from the bottom, I found a rock to stand on. It stuck out of the cliff.”
She shook her head. “Idiot.”
“Yeah. I know.” I stood on the rock, and it held. Until after I started down again. “I started down again, and I got maybe ten feet when the rock came out of the cliff, and fell. Sucker smacked my leg. I’s pushing off the wall, and the rock hit me while all my weight was on my leg.” I looked at my lovely wife. “It was an accident.”
“I know. I know.” She shook her head. “You’re gonna be the death of me, you know.”
Yeah. I knew. But what else could I do? I worked hard. So I played hard. That’s just how it was.