Lying in a bed, careening down hilly Topdown Drive with one broken leg tied up in traction is not exactly what Hal had planned to do today. How he got there is still a bit of a mystery. (Well, it’s a mystery to most of us…you know, normal people who try to avoid doing dumb things that cause pain.)
It all started just like any other day…well, any other day that a kid finds himself lying in bed with his broken leg in a cast tied up to some contraption to help it heal right and not hurt so much. (OK, so it wasn’t like most other days.)
Hal had broken his left tibia. That’s the bigger of the two bones in his lower leg, the one in the front that most people call their shin bone. Turns out that trying to ride a bicycle on top of two skateboards down the very steep Topdown Drive isn’t such a good idea, especially when there are cars around. Who knew? (more…)
Hal and his brother, Sal, were playing basketball at the park near their home. Their neighbor, Smokey Joe, was walking by looking very sad. His head was down and so were the corners of his mouth. He was “in the dumps” as they say.
Smokey Joe was a little older, just out of high school. He still lived at home with his parents while he went to a nearby trade school learning how to do air conditioning repair. He was always just a little scruffy-looking, like he just got out of bed. But, he was a nice guy, someone Hal and Sal had known for years. Joe used to watch them when their parents went out for an evening.
“Hey, Joe. Why so low?” yelled Hal. Smokey Joe, without even looking up, stopped, shrugged his shoulders, and plopped down on a park bench by the b-ball court. He seemed to be ready to cry.
Hal stopped dribbling, passed the ball to Sal, and walked over to Smokey Joe. He noticed that Joe seemed to be having a little trouble breathing. He could hear him wheeze (more…)