Progress Report 10

Brian J. Sullivan

Since my limited mobility has curtailed most of my activities, I have been exploring other avenues for financial support. For instance, what is a signature? Why is it that some signatures are worth hundreds if not thousand of dollars, while others remain worthless? I sign my name several times a day to various and sundry items, yet I have never been paid for it. At one point I even started a daily routine where I practiced signing my name in a blank notebook over and over again for an hour each day. I even tried to change the style of my signature in hopes of striking it rich. I've gone through a lot of paper and pens, but so far no one has paid me for my signature. This must be one of life's little mysteries, or maybe once I'm dead my signature will be in demand.

One place it has not been in demand is at my physical therapy, or PT for short. I began my PT about a week ago and none of my practice signatures were of any help. I go three times a week for physical therapy or should I say physical agony. The pain from my injury was nothing compared to the pain intentionally inflicted upon me by some smiling personnel in a long white lab coat. First, I am stripped naked and strapped to a cold hard stainless steel table with a bright overhead light shining directly into my eyes. Then, an archaic looking steel cage-like thing is bolted around my leg. Its levers, screws, and springs creak with the slightest movement.

From the dark recesses of the room, a door opens and the chief interrogator enters. He sadistically snaps his rubber gloves as he approaches me. No words are ever spoken. Then, without provocation, he cranks the screws on the device around my leg causing joints and bones to move in directions not meant to go. I let out a short yelp, but it is quickly muffled with a rag shoved into my mouth. An attractive female assistant with a blank stare and dressed in black leather stands nearby with a cold wash cloth, ready to wipe the sweat from my brow (as if that somehow matters). For my enjoyment, the elevator music they pump into the room increases several decibels, signaling the eminence of another turning of the screws. I scream but no sound is heard. The clock on the far wall shows 11:50, and as if on cue, the medieval restraint is removed from me. My PT session has ended for the day. For billing purposes they asked for my signature, and in my best practiced script, I write "XXX." Priceless, would you not agree?