"the artist" By xXX

Part 1 - The Healthcare Messiah

It's strange how you can think a person is gone from your life forever, and BAM they come strolling back into your life when you least expect it.

For me, our reunion was in the cast department of the hospital downtown. I'd spent all day waiting and waiting. First, in the general waiting room, then in the actual emergency room, and now in the cast room for the orthopedic technician to slap a cast on my recently fractured left leg and send me home. It was going to serve as a 2-3 month reminder about why I shouldn't drink beer socially anymore. Especially at backyard barbeques to celebrate friends of mine earning shows at local galleries. Big deal. Happens all the time.

9 times out of 10 a sloppy game of football ensues. What a sight to be seen. Those snobby art kids from high school running around in their best clothes with a drink or cigarette in hand playing football trying not to spill. Only we're not in high school anymore, that's the sad part. Don't worry we make sure the photography guy doesn't take any pictures for his next show. That would be a disaster. We wouldn't want this little secret getting out. Our image would be ruined. The girl with the highest heels undoubtedly sprains an ankle. Unfortunately, not this time, I fell victim to a botched tackle/dog pile. They're artists remember. They weren't sure what they were doing. All I remember was a loud snapped. I screamed. The crowd dispersed quickly and just stared at me as if they were trying to interpret the meaning of my latest piece. I later found out at the emergency room that lovely snap was my tibia.

A broken leg. Tibia. Clean break. Closed reduction. Cast. The doctor was throwing all this jargon at me. I understood about every third word. I wasn't really paying attention. . I just laid back and enjoyed the show. It wasn't often that I put myself in a position to break a bone or actually break one. He didn't say surgery so I didn't care. He said cast. So it couldn't be all that bad. He wasn't even going to have to set it. He just wrote some orders to put me in a cast and send me home with some crutches and some painkillers. Hot damn!

That was fine with me. The pain hadn't been horrendous. It was very uncomfortable at first, and then an uncomfortable dull ache. I wasn't miserable on the prospect of the cast. I wasn't one of those people. I'm always up for new experiences. My job at the magazine wasn't exactly going to be hindered. The biggest change I might have to make; might be that I have to get a chair to prop the cast on. The cast wouldn't even touch my social life. Life was still good. I just had more company now. A cast I'd name, Rodney, at a later date, and my crutches, which I'll grow to love and appreciate.

Just as I began to grow impatient a man and a woman stroll in. I presumed one of them would give me what I earned. The man. He pushed a cart with bandages and a bucket full of water.

"Boni?" He read off the chart.

"Yes'm." I was nervous and excited. I knew nothing about medical casts. I'd never really known anyone that had ever been in one.

"Hello, I'm Simon, and this is Beth. We'll be applying your cast this evening." I shuddered. What a wretched name. She was rather plain and deserving of the moniker. He on the other hand was a very unique a very familiar looking specimen. I was glad he was going to be my healthcare messiah.

"This is stockinette that Beth is pulling over your leg. It helps your leg breathe." Beth the boring pulled a pre-cut legging of stockinette over my leg. It hugged the leg itself very tightly. Every curve and protrusion, but it hung a couple inches passed the toes and bunched up at the thigh. I presumed it was to be a full leg cast. Hot damn! The doctor hadn't told me earlier, but I hadn't really expected otherwise.

Little Ms. Boring-Pants gingerly held my leg off the table off the table while Simon wrapped my leg in what was probably padding. I figured I was about to get the unenthused explanation.

"This is padding." He couldn't have been any less excited. My heart was beating out of my chest with anticipation for the actual cast material. Luckily, Simon worked rather quickly with the padding. He wasn't big on eye contact. I wouldn't either if I had to work with what's-her-face.

Beth shifted positions. Her gloved hands held my ankle at a 90-degree angle while Simon dropped a roll of what I presumed to be fiberglass into the bucket of water. I could hear the bubbles. I wondered if they could hear my heart pounded out of my chest. I suppose I was nervous, but I'm not even entirely sure why. The artist in me was just excited to watch Simon worked. He seemed like a man who was more concerned with his work than making small talk with his patients. Then there was the other part of me that was just nervous that for some strange reason this might hurt. I just kept telling that irrational fear to shut up.

I focused on Simon. He removed the first roll of fiberglass from the water, and squeezed out the excess water. He unraveled just a little bit of the roll. It hung limply in mid-air. He paused, took a deep breath, eyed the fiberglass, then my foot, and then exhaled. This show was officially on the road. Simon wrapped the fiberglass around my foot with surgical precision. Everything had to be just perfect. This little show was so very familiar. The cast was a seamless work of art. A work of art.

"That's it!" It was just as Simon lifted my gown up to cast my thigh that I realized who he was. I realized why he looked so familiar. The shyness, those piercing blue eyes, the firm hands, and absolute need for perfection when sculpting. It was Simon Moody.

"I'm sorry miss, I apologize for the inconvenience but we need the cast to go up as high as possible so you don't re-fracture your leg." Simon was wrapping fiberglass around my thigh while he apologized. Simon was smooth like that, he probably still casted them while they bitched so by the time they were done he was done.

"No, I don't give a shit about you looking at my underwear," they were purple, "You're Simon Moody. I can't believe I didn't recognize you earlier."

He was starting at my foot again with another new roll of fiberglass. He looked at me. Stared me. Then it struck him. He realized who I was, "Boni! Boni Blacke, what the hell are you doing here?"

Beth seemed a little uncomfortable by our little reunion.

"We'll catch up when you're done." Everyone was still ignoring Beth. Simon continued to work diligently except now with a smile. I wondered what he was thinking about. It only took a couple more rolls of fiberglass to complete the bulk of my cast. After that was finished Simon pulled down the stockinette at the top of my thigh and secured it with a wrap of thin fiberglass. My heart was thumping out of my chest again. My cast was almost done. Just a pull of some stockinette, and a wrap of some fiberglass and my first and hopefully last cast would be done. Simon carefully pulled the stockinette down to expose my toes. He made sure that the line of the cast was perfectly straight with the base of my long toes.

The cast was perfection. It hugged absolutely every inch of my leg, from the base of my toes to the top of my thigh. It held my ankle at a perfect 90-degree angle. My knee was slightly bent; it was sexier than it was mathematic. I'm sure it wasn't his idea, but I found it to be a nice touch. The cast crept up my thigh like an eager partner. No complaints from me. All that was left exposed were my toes. My long barely painted toes. Given the footwear I had been wearing lately there was really no reason to keep my nails painted. I felt like I had defaced Simon's masterpiece with my chipped purple nail polish. Had I known I was going to break my leg I definitely would have painted them ahead of time.

"It's a work of art my dear boy." I complimented as she gently placed my leg in a cast stand.

"Thanks." Simon ripped his gloves off and threw them into a trashcan across the room, "So are you going to tell me why you're here, or do I have to read the boring chart version?"

"Well," I glanced over at Beth-the-Wretch.

"Beth, don't worry about cleaning up. I'll take care of it. You can go home." That's my boy.

"Thanks." She smiled. Took her gloves off, and left.

"Well, I was hoping you could tell me what you are doing here over some coffee or something, Mr. Orthopedic Technician." I poked Simon in the chest playfully to emphasize my point.

"I'd take you up on that offer, Ms. Blacke, but unfortunately I'm working a double tonight." Simon touched the surface of the cast to see how dry it was.

"Then I think it would be beneficial for you to accompany me to J5's new opening tomorrow. Beforehand we can have dinner and discuss my leg and your career change. Then afterwards I can make my obligatory appearance and show off your work of art," I wiggled my toes for effect, "and you can see J5's new pretentious piece of shit show. Then afterwards you can show me what you've been working on."

Simon didn't say anything. I could tell he was thinking. This wasn't a good sign. I'd expected an immediate yes.

"Come on, what's to think about? Just say yes it'll be fun." I wiggled my toes at him again, not even sure why. It was more for my sake. It reminded me it was my leg and that I was still in there.

"Okay I'll go." He said with a little hesitation.

"So it's a date?" I gave him a big smile.

"It's a date." He said more sure of himself this time.

For the first time I noticed Simon hadn't pulled my gown back down over my underwear. I wondered if that was intentional or if he had just gotten caught up in our little reunion.

"Hey Simon, you still have me a little exposed here, sport." I nodded to the gown and grinned.

He chuckled, "The cast is still a little wet."

The cast wasn't alone.


Literally, the fastest shipping I've had from any company!