Illustration by Idiots’Books
Perry’s cast stank. It had started to go a little skunky on the second day, but after a week it was like he had a dead animal stuck to his shoulder. A rotting dead animal. A rotting, itchy dead animal.
“I don’t think you’re supposed to be doing this on your own,” Hilda said, as he sawed awkwardly at it with the utility knife. It was made of something a lot tougher than the fiberglass one he’d had when he broke his leg falling off the roof as a kid (he’d been up there scouting out glider possibilities).
“So you do it,” he said, handing her the knife. He couldn’t stand the smell for one second longer.
“Uh-uh, not me, pal. No way that thing is supposed to come off anytime soon. If you’re going to cripple yourself, you’re going to have to do it on your own.”
He made a rude sound. “Fuck hospitals, fuck doctors, and fuck this fucking cast. My arm barely hurts these days. We can splint it once I get this off, that’ll immobilize it. They told me I’d need this for six weeks. I can’t wear this for six weeks. I’ll go nuts.”
“You’ll go lame if you take it off. Your poor mother, you must have driven her nuts.”
He slipped and cut himself and winced, but tried not to let her know, because that’s exactly what she’d predicted would happen. After a couple days together, she’d become an expert at predicting exactly which of his escapades would end in disaster. It was a little spooky.
[Blood oozed out from under the cast and slicked his hand.]