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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Excerpt from Sequin Boy and Cindy - Sequin Crutches
Before I wake up, I'm dreaming that an old Indian with white braided hair and riding a White Horse flies up to me as I sit on the top of a mountain bemoaning my fate. He is carrying a pair of homemade cru...tches decorated with Indian beads in the shape of colorful little feathers that look like sequins and says, "Here, there is more work for you to do on this earth. This will help you get around. Your spirit will do the climbing for you, but you must do the heavy lifting. You must fight to overcome your disability. Here take this. We, your Ancestors, are always with you. Go with the pain Na-go-to-cup-wah-the Indian name for Billy Flower- do not fight the flow of the river of life. "

I ask myself what all this means. Is this a sign? Is this just a dream, or is this a vision that I'm having. Why Billy Flower? Is this my real Indian name? Is God with me too or only my Ancestors?

Where are you dear God? I didn't hear anything from you in my dream. I don't know what possessed me to say that. Sorry, God, another poor choice of words on my part. The words just tumble from my mouth. Must be the medication.

I finally awake after the better part of a day in Intensive Care to unbelievable racking pain. I feel my whole leg is inflamed, but the truth is the leg isn't there. This is just phantom pain-feels real enough. I spend better than a month in the hospital living on strong and addictive painkillers. Most of the time I'm only half coherent. Cindy says I keep mumbling about flowing rivers of pain and ancient Indian Warriors. I constantly ask Cindy for my sequin crutches so I can get out of here. Some of the time I repeat over and over, "My name is Na-go-to-cup-wah. Cindy is beside herself. In my more lucid moments I explain to Cindy about the dream I had. She doesn't know what to say or to do. Finally she asks the hospital for a pair of plain wooden crutches that will be the appropriate height for me to use.

Cindy, when she isn't at the hospital with me, spends her evenings at home working on my crutches, painstakingly applying little colored sequins all over them in feather patterns with crazy clue except where I will hold them for support, or on the armholes. Finally after about two weeks she's finished. She shows them to me and says, "What do you think?"

I say, "I think they are perfect and just what my Ancestors brought me in my dream. Suddenly I feel a heavy cloud of depression lifting from my heart."

Cindy says. "Here, these are from your Ancestors and me. I think it's time you climb out of the funk you are in and start living again. We need you at home, the City needs you." Cindy finally understands that the sequins are not really anti-social, but a symbol of my Indian past. She isn't sure I understand this. She needn't have worried. I do.

I get a big smile on my face. I hop out of bed and start wheeling around the hospital ward on the crutches saying to everyone, "These are a gift from my Ancestors and my wife, Cindy. She made these for me. I'm going home."

I insist on leaving that day, and get the doctors to agree only by promising I will come back three times a week for rehab and chemo treatments.

On the way out of the hospital I grab Cindy by the hand, holding the two crutches to one side and say, "Thank you for this. Thank you for understanding my spirit. I love you."

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