It was a Groupon. A bunch of a us bought a Groupon. It was for a trampoline wonderland in suburban Chicago. A magical impossibility! We rolled up to the office park in our four door sedans on a summery afternoon and stepped inside. We were greeted by staff, all of whom were at least half our age, and taken to a room for orientation. Safety first! As we watched the video, I glanced around and noticed that we were at least three times older than all of the clients of this place that should not exist. A Dad of one of the customers looked real stoked that he was there with people his own age.
We entered. Aside from the all ages trampoline dodgeball deathmatch cage, there was one area in the back corner where mature adults were allowed to jump around. 16 and up. That’s for us. I took off my shoes, stepped onto the trampoline, and I jumped! It was as close to a feeling of liberation a straight white American male could ever get close to having. I was elated, weightless. Then I felt something in my back give way. It was a place that I had injured a dozen or more years prior moving a couch. The injury had caused painful, debilitating, hilarious spasms that would cause me to instantly collapse into a quivering pool of humanity on the ground.
I stopped jumping and stepped aside. I leaned up against things for support and watched the Dad from orientation obliterate children in the trampoline dodgeball death match cage. His joy was boundless. I watched a friend do a flip into a pool of soft foam cubes. He didn’t come back up for awhile, and then he was missing his glasses and bleeding from his head. These things are for another story. After that it was time to go. We left to go eat dinner and drink. I needed a drinks.
We finished dinner and everyone got up to leave. Everyone except me. I couldn’t get up out of the chair. I sat there and watched everyone walk out of the restaurant until my wife turned around and gave me a curious look that said, “Don’t tell me you ordered another beer.” I told her I was trapped by my body. She came back and helped me to the car like a soldier carrying a wounded buddy. We went home. She carried me inside. We woke up. My wife carried me to urgent care. We waited. A nurse took us to an exam room. A doctor gave me an exam. The nurse came back with a prescription for muscle relaxers and, “something to give you some immediate relief.”
It was a needle. I don’t like needles. I will go through the seven stages of grief before getting routine inoculations. I started to roll up my sleeve and she told me to drop my pants. I hesitated. I admitted that I had never had a shot in the glutes. The nurse was real surprised. She was so surprised she shouted, “YOU’VE NEVER HAD A SHOT IN THE BUTT!?” She look at my wife for emotional support, but my wife just shook her head and admitted that she had never had one either. The nurse was aghast. I pulled my pants down.
The needle was big, the needle was long, the needle was full of medicine. You can feel the big needle slide into the big muscle and then you feel an incredible warmth radiate out and consume you. It was good. I thanked her. I kicked my heels together and walked out of the urgent care center under my own power. I filled my prescription at the pharmacy and walked up the stairs to my apartment without help and plopped down in an easy chair to watch TV. After a while the shot wore off and then my wife had to take off work for a couple days to help me use the bathroom.
For a short time there though, I felt alive. Really, really alive. My back healed, and then I went about my business for a number of years. I recently injured it again by drinking water before going to bed. I got hoisted off the floor by hunky firemen and carried into another urgent care by my wife. I got another shot in the butt and it was good. I did not give myself enough time to heal and then a couple weeks later I went for what I tell people is “a run” and injured the injury I already had. I got another the shot in the butt.
I like shots in the butt. Every time feels like the first time.