what’s left are yellow bruises, glue and scotch tape, a little bit of blood, and a few bizarre twinges and aches.  i believe now that during the surgery they removed all the muscles in my right leg, replacing them with thick rubber bands on rusty pulleys.  knowing that i wouldn’t be able to maneuver the rubber bands on my own, they also put in some little burly men to do the work for me.  these burly men have dirty white shirts and big work boots and beards.  as they yank the rubber bands along the pulleys, hand over hand, they chant in time with their own movement, in booming voices.  “pull!  pull!  pull!”  they’d be good workers except that most of the time they’re lazy.  they sit around on my bones and smoke cigars and eat sandwiches from their lunch pails, and they almost never want to work when i need them.  i’m not really strong enough to pull the rubber bands myself, and the futile effort is painful.  sometimes i can feel the rubber bands chafing along the inside of my skin.  sometimes the bands snap back and hit my knee.  sometimes there’s too much rust on the pulleys, and i can’t move anything at all.  i wish there was some way i could get the burly men to work.

and, no, i have not taken any painkillers.