A bone is born

I’ve broken my elbow. To be precise, I’ve fractured it. To be utterly accurate, the end of my funny bone has been chipped off. I’ll leave the gags to you. I was knocked over by a group of charging youths late on Friday night. It was an accident; these things happen; it could have been worse – I could have chipped a bit off my head. The lesson I’ve learned is to wear body-armour whenever I go to Bath.

I’ve never broken a bone before, at least I don’t think I have, but now I wonder about all those times I tripped and landed on my knees when I was young. Are there fragments of my fractured knee drifting inside my joints?

On the X-ray I could see the end of my funny bone floating some distance from the main bone, like an off-shore island. Its shape exactly matched the coastline where it had once been. I felt strangely uplifted, as if it were setting off on a new adventure.Elbow

While the X-ray was being displayed the nurse explained the purpose of each bone inside my arm. But she had to agree that, strictly speaking, I now have an extra bone in my arm, and one that has no purpose at all. I like that. I am proliferating.

It’s been a while since I was clattered to the ground. The last time was when I was thirteen and playing rugby. I was a terrible rugby player and they only picked me because I was big and heavy. The opposing scrum would charge at me and knock me flat and then run over me in their studs. Sometimes my own team did that too. Getting back to my feet in Bath city centre  brought back many of those happy childhood memories. And it’s made me wonder if adults fall over enough. I don’t think we do. I think we need to establish controlled environments where we can go on a Saturday morning and spend an hour or so tripping up and falling flat on our faces. Just like we did when we were young.

I feel positive about this new pain in my life. There are lots of advantages to having a broken elbow. Playing my ukulele, for example. I can only strum and pick for a few minutes at a time. This is a tremendous relief to so many people. And carrying things and lifting things up – I don’t have to. In fact, almost any household task can be avoided by saying, ‘I have broken my elbow’. Even typing takes its toll which means I have the perfect excuse to finish whatever I’m writing, such as this blog post, whenever I want, and without having to come up with a witty or satisfying or logical ending…

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About James Ellis

James is a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of two novels, The Wrong Story and An Other’s Look (which is in the process of being published). He is currently working on my third novel. In addition to his own creative writing, James provides one-on-one structural and developmental mentoring for fiction writers, and develops and facilitates creative writing workshops.
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3 Responses to A bone is born

  1. kevinvenus says:

    Lol nice peice. Get well soon, James!

    Ps. I would’ve loved to have seen that X-ray of said coastline and island adrift!

    Like

  2. judeandalex says:

    I have just found your bone story in my spam folder! which is sort of appropriate since that is a rubbish situation. If you are in Bath would love to meet up some time, no lifting or carrying required. Alex

    Like

    • James Ellis says:

      Hi Alex – absolutely – I am more or less healed now (or elbowed, hem, lousy pun). Anyway, yes, let’s meet up in Bath soon. I’ll message you.

      Like

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