Monday, 16 April 2012

Crepitus - a grating or popping sound.

For nearly a month now I have been going to the gym. It is pretty much the same time every day and yet there is only one other person who I see most days. He dresses all in black like the Milk Tray man, and is what you might call a silver fox. I'm calling him Silver Tray.

Whenever I arrive he is usually on one of the running machines and is normally pelting out the yards. When he finishes he is absolutely dripping in sweat, his kit soaked through. He then does a funny thing. He prowls around the gym, it is sort of a warm down, but it seems as though he is doing it so that everyone there can see just how sweaty he has got, just how much work he has put in. After a full circuit, he dries off a bit and them drips his perspiration over a variety of machines. He's quite polite and tries to dry them off when he's done but that amount of sweat is hard to shift.

All this gym work has had a positive effect on the knee but one thing worries me greatly. Grab yourself an empty bag of crisps, now scrunch it up in your fist. That crunching noise is similar to the noise my knee makes whenever I straighten my leg. I mentioned it to the doctor when I had the last check up. This week I received a letter detailing that visit and to my surprise I was informed of the name of that noise: Crepitus. It's a brilliant Scrabble word and I can pretty much guarantee no one else will know what it means. It is actually a bit of catch all because it can describe the noise of two bones grating together or the sound made by gas, or fluid, squirting through soft tissue.

I took me, my crepitus and myself off to the Cup Semi Final this weekend. Everton offered a tame display and as I sat there at the end of the game I pondered what had gone on in the lead up to the game. To my left the Liverpool end were singing You'll Never Walk Alone, to my right, the Everton end had emptied. At moments like this I like to force myself to endure the pain of the defeat. If you rush away from it, without letting it sink in and witnessing the winning team's celebration, you lose perspective and have no vantage point from which to enjoy your next victory. So I forced myself to stay and suffer their joy. Did I regret the arguments I'd had with my brother over the ticket he gave to his girlfriend? Not really. He was wrong to do it, she was wrong to accept. Did I regret the week's salary it had cost me to pay for the tickets I did get? No, it was Everton's most important game this century and I had to be there. What hurt the most was that we had the better team but a collective inability to function against Liverpool, bred by the manager, meant that we threw away the chance.

As the last of the delighted Liverpool fans danced their way out of the stadium I finally stood up. Katie was quiet, not sure how upset or angry I was. We walked slowly to the bus stop, an empty bus came quickly and we realised that we'd make it home in time to watch the Grand National. Life didn't seem too bad after all even though I broke the silence on the bus with my crepitus as I walked up the stairs.

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