The past couple of days, the skies have been perpetually covered in clouds and rain. But just days before, we were greeted with an Indian summer-in-the-making; a gloriously balmy day, the sun beamed into my face as I walked straight towards its illuminating rays. The heat radiating into the air was comparable in strength to the pain radiating – and escalating – up, down and around my leg.
The reverb echoed through my body, undoubtedly – and at least partially – a result of my massage therapist’s expedition into my leg’s deepest tissue a few hours earlier. Like the placating effects of an anaesthetic starting to dissipate, the after-effects of my morning’s treatment had become manifest. I craved rest. I yearned to sit down. To lie down. Pretty much anything that would bring me some repose and solace.
I walked into an empty verdant park and playground. Everywhere I looked, I saw only hard surfaces. Like this:
How about this:
… which made me laugh, because I thought, you (dear newly-painted bench) have NO idea just how dangerous it is for me to place my sore and sorry ass onto that hard surface. When I approached the orange sign taped onto the brown plank, I chuckled: fresh paint, it read.
One option teased at me through my peripheral vision : A double stroller with cushioned seats. I must admit that for one fleeting moment, given that I was in dire need of a recliner, I was tempted to approach the mother – her hands full in the fenced-in playground with her children – and ask her a ludicrous question: Do you mind if I crouch into your stroller for a few minutes? Certain that she would be shocked at the sheer lunacy of my request, I pondered other possibilities.
I wondered: Perhaps I ought to design a set of durable, weather-resistant, comfortable, cushioned, reclinable, benches or chairs that could be seamlessly integrated into a park and playground environment. Not just for me; for children, their parents – who sometimes sit for hours on those rock-hard wooden seats; for nannies, the elderly, all whose bones have become brittle and fragile from life’s wear and tear.
I was reminded of an Italian phrase I learned a couple of months ago: Preferisco stare in piedi perché ho mal di schiena. I prefer to stand because my back hurts.
As a silent reply to people so visibly puzzled when I eschew an offered seat, I feel like I need to wear a sign around my neck, something akin to the Danger tape wrapped around the bench: No sedere, preferisco stare. No sitting. I stand and walk instead.