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Let’s hope the Limper’s leg 0

Francesca and I recently bought a curtain that needed to be shortened so, last Tuesday, after having worked all day, I raced home, grabbed the curtain, and then hurried downstairs to the local seamstress. Anxious to sit down with a glass of wine and write, I was determined to get back home. So, while rushing down the street, when I saw a gray-whiskered old man pull up on his scooter, park outside the shop, and then start limping toward the door, I increased my pace and beat him to the entrance.

As I entered, however, the seamstress stared through me as if I was invisible, ogling the limper as he struggled with every step.

“I’ve come to pick up my stuff,” Limper said, favoring his left leg as he leaned against the counter.

The left leg of his jeans was shredded and stained, and his left shoelaces untied. His face was filthy, and glistening with sweat.

“Of course,” the seamstress said, scooting her chair back and standing while smoothing the front of her skirt. “But… what happened?”

“I crashed,” Limper said, waving his hand at an imaginary fly. “Just now. On my scooter. Look at this.”

As he raised the sleeve of his left arm, grimacing all the while, I saw that he was bleeding, and lacked layers of skin from wrist to elbow.

“Whoa,” said the seamstress. “You’ve got to go to the hospital!”

“Well, of course,” Limper said. “But I need my stuff first. I didn’t drive all the way across town for nothing.”

“But your arm…”

“My arm is fiddlesticks compared to my leg,” he said. “Feast your eyes on this.”

As he pulled up his pant leg, blood ran down his calf, sloshing into his shoe. Something had knifed his knee, and I thought I saw a severed vein.

“What are you waiting for?” the seamstress pleaded, “Go now! Hurry! To the hospital!”

“Of course, of course,” the man said. “But first my stuff.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, trembling as she took several steps backward. “I’m not sure I remember exactly. What did you have?”

Adjusting his position, the man fidgeted awkwardly, favoring his injured leg. “A dinner jacket, a pair of black pants, and my wife’s blouse.”

“Yes, of course, I remember now,” the seamstress said, disappearing behind a curtain. She returned moments later, carrying a paper bag.

Limper glanced inside, thanked the seamstress, and then hobbled out the door, staining the floor with bloody footprints. The seamstress glanced at the ground, and then at me, her eyes clouded with confusion.

So that’s the story, Shaw, and what more can I say? The man was mutilated and yet his clothes took precedence over his wellbeing. Go figure. In the meantime, our curtain looks great. Let’s hope the Limper’s leg looks half as good. If not, well, at least his clothes have been tailored.

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