Homograph of the year

Let’s start with the obvious: a homograph is not a bell curve having to do with sexual orientation. Which makes it a fun word right off the bat. A homograph is a word that is spelled the same as another but does not necessarily sound the same and means something completely different. Words like affect, commune and entrances.

Turns out 2016 is the Year of the Homograph for me. In fact, I am the unwilling and seriously annoyed poster child of homography for this sixteenth year of the 21st century. I have been converted, but am not a convert, to a verb. Recover, and I’m not talking about reupholstering the furniture, is my middle name. Actually, it’s Cope and I’m doing a lot of that this year too. As in, Cope is my middle name. But ‘recover’ is my activity of record (not to be confused with an LP).

How is it that this homograph came to own me in this, the Year of the Monkey? Indeed animals do play into it. Last April a 100lb vizsla (a hunting dog) plowed into my knee. He was running full bore toward the puppy playmate right behind me. I was in the way. Best way around that unseemly obstacle? Bowl it over. Flattened me, tore my MCL and bruised both the femur and the fibula. That put me into a big honking hinged knee brace for 10 weeks (good-bye spring), then a soft brace and PT (good-bye summer) for weeks thereafter. [In the end, I won a golf tournament which is proof that nothing in this world, including my year as a whole, is too crazy to believe. Witness this presidential election, if you need more evidence.]

I have a doctor’s appointment in couple of weeks with my orthopedist to discuss why my knee still hurts. That malady, however, is suddenly moot in the light of what happened last week: I broke my ankle. And my driving ankle at that. I will, of course, keep that appointment, and won’t he be surprised when I present a whole new injury for him to fix? In the curious way of compound injuries, I don’t notice the knee pain at all anymore. So, in a seriously ironic turn of events, a broken ankle has told my sore knee to shut the @#$%*^! up.

For the record, I had absolutely no fun, as I had no fun in April, acquiring this new notch in my injury gunstock. I merely stepped out the side door. And SNAP! Yes, I heard my twig of a fibula break in two.

So, now I am in a big honking boot for 6-8 fun-filled, absolutely inert — not allowed to weight-bear (bear as in ‘to carry’ not as in grizzly), doncha know — weeks. I am indebted to Netflix and On Demand. I am indebted to cheesy books I’d never read otherwise. I am indebted to a husband who is working on his Boy Scout saint badge. But I am not indebted to the crutches that are tearing up my shoulders. Nor am I indebted to the timing: on Saturday we’re throwing a dinner dance for 100 friends and family.

Cancel! you say. Boogie on! I say. I will dance at this party, come hell or high water or even only one good leg. To whit: I have purchased a kneeling scooter. By Saturday, I will be more than mobile; I will be doing wheelies on the dance floor.

This is my way to recover this year. I will whip the shroud of doom, gloom and self-pity off my wounded self and don an action hero cloak. Wasn’t Clark Kent a nebbish who transformed himself into a spring-loaded, aerodynamic doer of good? I can do this. I really can. With my reality-busting Flashdance cape of good hope.

—Belle Songer