On cleanliness and opportunity …

Conditions in the broken-bone sector have improved enough that spa-tub soaks are again in the picture and after several weeks’ worth of spit baths, sink baths, and whimper-laden assisted showers, basking in hot water and bubbles up to my armpits is the height of ecstasy.  It’s the shiznit for sore muscles but beyond that it feels wonderful to be clean all over again.

Luxuriating in all that therapeutic goodness makes me acutely conscious of my fellow travelers who lack access to basics like showering, washing hair, brushing teeth, stepping into a clean set of clothes.  Inevitably, after days, weeks, and months on the street they’re cringing inside a filthy threadbare meat suit that reeks of underbelly and in no way represents their spirit, but it’s what everybody sees.  After just a month of enforced immobility and minimal hygiene I’ve been dismayed to find my skin taking on a slightly gritty texture and rejecting its host, namely me.  The nails on my usable hand are constantly grubby simply because I can’t do this right now …

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But because I ordinarily have access to all the soap and water I’m big enough to handle, I can start every new day clean, lotioned from head to toe, wrapped in clothes that smell like fabric softener and fresh air, and that alone means I don’t have to justify my needs to everyone I meet, or fight for my right to exist.  I have the luxury of owning words and concepts like these:

 

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… and it makes all the difference.  Healing happens easier, quicker, better, and it’s a fact that as I roll through life the advantages I enjoy and the possibilities that are open to me are fairly limitless.  It seems apropos to acknowledge that once in a while …

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… because none of it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

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