One morning last August, after having just gleefully moved into my new studio apartment, which made me finally feel like an adult, I woke up, stretched, and put my feet down on the nice, old wooden floor of my 'bed' room. Ouch. My feet really hurt. My left in particular.
I'd been achy and sore for the past week or two, which I attributed to the move and fixing things up around my apartment (which meant running like a mad woman all over the city in 90 degree heat, hauling shit back on the subway and spending more time in line at Bed, Bath & Beyond than one could ever wish to).
This morning in particular, though, I looked down at my sore feet and noticed that the joint of my fourth toe on my left foot was swollen. Not just a little swollen and puffy, but full on, giant swollen, like a golf ball had inserted itself into my joint while I'd been sleeping. That seemed totally odd, but honestly, I didn't think too much about it and assumed that I'd just done something funky during yoga. (In addition to working full time at my non profit arts job, I was also a yoga teacher with a pretty strong practice, so it was a reasonable assumption on my part. Sort of.) It really kind of hurt like nobody's business, but I was feeling too upbeat and optimistic about the day, so I did what most of us are really good at doing-ignored it. (Note to self: do not do this kind of thing anymore.)
It was a Saturday, and I had a lunch date with a guy I'd been seeing for awhile. I wasn't sure how I really felt about him-he was a law student who seemed to have some control issues and was rabidly noncommittal (this could describe about 25% of the male population in New York between the ages of 22 and 40). But he was also a part-time foodie, like me, and I loved the fact that going out with him meant I'd be going some place fun with great food that felt like a very New York thing to be doing on a date. That day, we were meeting at Jean Georges. They have a fabulous pre fixe lunch, which for a law student and a non profit arts worker, is important.
I got ready and put on some flip flops since I was pretty sure none of my snazzy, summery shoes were going to fit over my gigantic, Texas-sized toe joint, grimaced, cursed myself again for doing something stupid in yoga to my toe, and then headed out, looking as cute as I could in flip flops.
Lunch that day (food-wise, at least) was great: chilled heirloom tomato soup with poached shrimp, grilled pork paillard with more heirloom tomatoes and greens, and chocolate panna cotta with dulce de leche whipped cream for dessert, all polished off with some wine (I failed to write down what kind in my journal, but it was probably white, and probably a Riesling). Afterward, law boy asked if I wanted to meet up with a few of his friends and walk around the park.
Hmmmm. I kind of did, as I hadn't met too many of his friends after 8+ months of dating, and this would be an interesting opportunity to puzzle him out a bit more, plus it was a beautiful day. On the other hand, my toe joint had started screaming at me midway through the meal, and I thought it might go on strike if I decided to take a jaunt through the park. Plus, as usual with law boy, the conversation mostly tended to be about him or the law, topics to which I could contribute very little, and I was itching to get more stuff done in my apartment and get off of my feet.
As I went to bed that night, I looked at my poor, exploding toe joint and thought, how strange? What on earth could I have done to make that happen? But, since I was a healthy, spry 28 year old, I figured it would go away soon enough.
It's a total cliche, but, oh, if only I had known. . .