I've been trying not to write about PT. I figured you were tired of hearing about my ongoing fights with The Torturer. And really, how boring is it to hear my struggles as I attempt to get my arm working again post car accident?
The problem is, PT is just a hotbed of writing material. It's like an ongoing soap opera with a host of ever changing characters. In my wildest imagination, I could not make up the characters and scenarios I witness there. Yesterday I was chatting with a friend and telling him about a new patient at PT. I thought I'd share the story with you too.
There's the cutest looking little old man who comes in as a patient now. He is adorable to look at. He's wrinkly and round and he has a twinkle in his eye. He always wears a baseball style hat proudly proclaiming he's a World War II Veteran. The hat has a couple medals pinned to it. I guess being a World War II veteran would put him in his eighties.
I've nicknamed him Cyclops.
Cyclops tells stories nonstop the entire time he is at PT. Story after story after story; smiling all the while. The Torturer jokes that, "Cyclops is full of a lot of stories and maybe one or two of them might be true." I'm not as much of a doubter. The man has over eighty years behind him, I'd say it's likely he's experienced some very good true stories in his lifetime.
However, someone ought to tell Cyclops World War II is over. He still rants about hating "those damn Japs." It makes you cringe, doesn't it? Helloooooooo Cyclops … the war is over! The year is 2008, welcome to the New World! Bigotry is no longer in fashion. He recounts stories of being shot at during the war and doing some shooting too. He'll tell you the closest I ever came to dying war stories for hours if you'll listen.
Cyclops was married to the same woman for decades and decades. She died a few years back from Alzheimer's. You can still see the sadness and grief he carries with him over his loss. His wife's family was EYE-talian. Yes, EYE-talian. And they were connected to "the mob" too. He laughs about his Mafia connections and how he "stayed alive" even though he was around "the mob" a lot.
He can't read or write. Cyclops couldn't fill out the new patient forms at PT and the receptionist had to help him. He brags about how he "fooled everyone in the Navy" so they never knew he was illiterate. He also brags that he worked for Ford "for forty years" in spite of his lack of literacy. (No cracks about American made cars or the car industry, okay?)
Also, "illiterate" and "literacy" are my words not his. I'm not sure he would know what they mean. He simply says, "I can't read and I can't write and I never have." He says this pretty frequently.
I've nicknamed him Cyclops because he only has one real eye. His other eye is a glass eye. Oddly enough, the one story I haven't heard is how he came to have a glass eye.
The strangest thing is, he constantly threatens to take his eye out. If I'm joking or teasing him about something he'll say, "Gonna take my eye out if you keep that up!" Or, "Do that again and I'll pop my eye out!" He is not joking at all when he says it.
Can I just say, if he DOES pop his eye out in front of me, I will be traumatized for life?
I told The Torturer he needs to have a serious talk with Cyclops. He needs to tell him that popping his eye in and out in front of other patients is NOT acceptable. (It's BLUE, just in case you were wondering!)
The Torturer laughed at my request. He thought it was hilarious. I am not joking though. If that blue eye comes out of Cyclops head I'm likely to start screaming at the top of my lungs. I might not ever stop. Seeing an eye come out of someone's face just might be the thing to push me over the edge.
As I was leaving PT yesterday Cyclops said, "You're a real cute girlie, but feisty! I might need to pop my eye out at you yet."