Sunday 04 Dec 2016

Jo and the Tricycle
AJ Robinson

How’s that for a story title? Think about it, how in the world could a tricycle fall on someone? What, she was laying on the ground and it tipped over?

Not quite, I hasten to say.

The tricycle in question was my wife’s when she was a child, and it’s actually quite the large one. I had one too, but mine was minute by comparison. As she grew, she lost interest in hers. She moved on to bikes and cars, and saw no need to keep that first “vehicle” of hers. Oh, and mine, it was passed on to my niece and nephew.

Fortunately, Jo’s mom did see a need to keep hers. She hung the tricycle in their garage. Over the years, she held many garage sales in her home, and plenty of people asked to buy that old tricycle. She turned them all down. No, she was keeping it for someone important.

Finally came the day that Jo and I settled down in our own home. One aspect of our décor was or is antique toys. Some were items I’d kept from my childhood, others were things I’d “picked up along the way,” so to speak, and then there were those Jo and I had found together.

Then she remembered the old tricycle.

One a trip to visit her parents she mentioned it to them; she wondered if they’d happened to hang on to it. Her mother smiled.

“I just might be able to lay my hands on it,” she said.

Going out to the garage, she rooted around in a corner for a moment. Jo and I waited, anxiously, behind her. Then, with a triumphant flare, she brought it out. It was dusty and the front tire was cracked, but it was still in good shape. Yeah, her mom had kept it safe.

So, we, that is, I lifted the old tricycle out, carried it to our van, and tucked it in the back. Once we got it home, we had the challenge of finding a place to display it. After all, it is quite large. We tried to hang it from the ceiling, but the hooks were yanked from the drywall the instant we tried to add the tricycle. We finally decided to set it on top of Jo’s sewing cabinet. As it happened, the ceiling had a nice slant at that spot, and we could jam the handlebars against it to hold the tricycle in place.

So we thought.

A couple weeks ago, Jo was doing a bit of sewing. When she was done, she closed the cabinet doors. They wouldn’t close tight, so she had to slam them. Big mistake, I should've known. I was in the next room, and I heard the crash. Down came the tricycle. Rushing out, I found Jo clutching her right wrist with her left hand. The tricycle had come unstuck, rolled forward, and caught her right in the arm.

We put ice on it and she sat down for a while. We hoped it wasn’t broken, but took solace in the fact that at least she had insurance. If necessary, she could go to the doctor. The pain lessened, but did not go away, and she had diminished use of the hand; thank gawd she’s left-handed! It was off to the clinic for an x-ray and splint. After that, she made an appointment with her doctor, and went in for a closer look.

She came home with her forearm in a cast! Her wrist was broken, and she’d have to wear it for at least three weeks. After that, they’d check her out and see if surgery was called for to remove a bone chip. She goes in this week for the follow-up.

As for the tricycle, it’s back on top of the cabinet, albeit tied down more securely now.

Ah yes, never a dull moment in this house!

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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