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My Invisible Companions, Revealed

Up, down. Bend, straighten. No one ever asks what we want to do. Hello? We’re still here! Doing all the work, in fact. Brain pretends to care but with the Big B, it’s outta sight, outta Brain. “My Invisible companions” sounds romantic. It’s not.

When we first came onboard, every thought traveled the spinal cord to us. But now we get up in the morning. We hear water sluicing from the shower, feel the give of the cushion and, unless the Big B hears her dictator watch—TIME TO STAND!—there we sit, bent, inert. Then panic, panic! And the Big B kicks us out the door down the steps—Blam! Blam! Blam! We’re pounding the pavement for no reason, I’m saying. 

Up and down, but now it’s walking. If we’re lucky at night the Big B’s ear receptors hear music, and then we’re moving and swaying, sliding and liquid. Or—thank you, Jesus—the Big B turns on Brother Don, and we rock forward, rock backward. That which was getting rusty—we shouldn’t even say that word; throw salt over our femur—softens, releases. 

All of life was made to keep moving, even those of us they call inert. But we want to work, too. The doc whose hands placed us inside this flesh warned: you don’t use them, you will lose them. Overtime, the love dimmed. The warning faded. We became just like the tibia and the pelvis and the wrist. Silent uncelebrated companions, not the miracles we truly are.


Dear ones,

When you squatted to scratch the dog under the chin, you were love.

When you swiveled the slick soles of her cowboy boots on the tile and she laughed, you were love.

When you bent to stuff the wet clothes into the dryer, you were love.

When you climbed the stairs with the heavy dog in your arms because the poor pup’s knee had to heal, you were love.

When you stepped one foot behind the other, posing with the women, you were friendship. 

When you knelt to rescue the paper airplane from the chewing baby’s mouth, you were protecting.

When you paused to ask how do you say, ‘I hate this’ in Spanish, you were caring.

When you stepped over the sidewalk’s loose, cascading bricks, you were giving.

When you squatted to talk her husband through his fear of checking on his poor hip, and squatted and squatted—you were patient understanding love.

When you walked the towels to the bathroom shelf, when you braced to yank the recycle bag from the clinging wire, when you balanced on the squishy, sinking grass, when you recovered from the foot’s stepping on the slippery beads, when you curled a foot under her butt, when you stretched the legs onto the stool, when you lifted the knees and pressed them to her chest, when you pivoted to watch the parade retreating, when you swiveled to avoid the barreling child, when you leaned in to give a hug, when you jumped and ran and tucked and halted and stretched and curved———

You worked.

You were amazing.

You are Beloved.

By me. 

An "All You Need is Love" rainbow colored banner to appease my invisible companions
Giving a little love to my invisible companions

artificial hips, how to love your artificial hips, who is your invisible companion?

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