Dear Enormous Bruise on My Upper Right Arm, Kind of Near the Bicep, That I Acquired Last Weekend While Playing Football,
I was unsure of you at first. Embarrassed, even. There you were, all red and swollen, slowly turning to a light purple, then darker, to a plum color. You hurt, and I thought you were ugly. I wanted you gone as soon as possible.
You frightened people. Horrified them. They would see you and say, “OH MY GOD! What happened to your arm?”
“Oh, I hurt it … playing football,” I’d mutter in response, self-consciously waiting for the laughter to begin, or, at the very least, a sallow look of pity.
But get this, Enormous Bruise on My Upper Right Arm, Kind of Near the Bicep, That I Acquired Last Weekend While Playing Football, something strange happened. The look of amusement never came. Instead, their eyes would widen and a crease of respect would form right above their raised eyebrows. My confidence grew.
“Tackle football,” I began to add.
“You played tackle football?” they would ask, amazed that an uncoordinated wuss such as myself would be brave enough to actually play tackle football.
“Yes, I did. And I scored a touchdown,” I would brag, sniffing and puffing out my chest.
Let’s face it, you made me a badass. People started to see me in a whole new light. I began to play the part and I liked it. I started to feel powerful. I offered to do heavy lifting at work. I would energetically ask my friends when the next game would be. I would flex my arms in front of the mirror admiring my brute strength. And there you were with me, turning dark green and making me tough. And I liked it. God help me, I liked it.
“Does it hurt?” people would ask.
“Oh, a little. But you know …,” I’d begin, wincing a little. Then I’d grunt, “No pain, no gain.”
We had a good thing going, you and I, but now you’re leaving me, lightening up. It started when you began fading to light green and now you’ve moved on to yellow. The looks of respect I used to get are disappearing as quickly as your shrinking perimeter.
I’m not very good at sharing my emotions, Enormous Bruise on My Upper Right Arm, Kind of Near the Bicep, That I Acquired Last Weekend While Playing Football, but I guess what I’m trying to say here is, please don’t go. Please.
I need you. I think that together we make a great team. You make me tough. You earn me respect. Without you I will just be a girl who runs like a girl and trips over her own feet. Without you I will just be sissy old Annette again.
Lost without you,