The Pope Wave
Since spraining my wrists I’ve become very good at the “pope wave.” The pope wave is a straight armed, straight wristed wave that involves an up and down kind of gesture signifying hello or blessings. On an average day of walking around on campus I do a lot of waving, people I like or don’t like, people that I have to say hi to, people that I somehow know but don’t remember their name and I just smile at or wave to—blessing now with my straight armed pope wave.
I like the image the bandages give me too. Combined with a sport coat, an open collared shirt and jeans, I look like a young Andy Lau from a Hong Kong gangster movie, bandaged arm from getting in a gang fight, knife fight, or some kind of machete brawl. 古惑仔. It gives me an edge, another reason to frown more and look hardcore and tough. Another mask to wear, a costume to put on even though everyone knows I’m not really that mean. I’m a pope-waving-wannabe-gangster.
Even though both of my wrists are sprained, I only bandage one wrist. In a strange kind of way I enjoy having the ACE bandage wrapped around my right wrist. I like the comfort of its tension and support, the way it wraps snugly to my wrist and even the way it unwraps at the end of the day and I play my fingers over the folds and creases in my skin that came from the bandage. I like the way my wrists lie free after being unbound, the way the air feels cool and gentle.
But really I’m a recovering cripple. I have a bandaged wrist wrapped in an ACE bandage, and I am waving like the pope. I haven’t been able to wash a bowl or a plate that requires scrubbing in a good two weeks. If I sit on the ground I have to push up using the back of my hands, or a straight fist to avoid using my wrists. Sometimes I’ll find a creative way to roll onto my feet. Once in a while Breakdancing comes in with a useful thing or two.
It would be nice to do everything I used to take for granted again. But in the meantime I’ll enjoy waving and pontificating blessings.