When I was seven years old, I went to my friend's birthday party. It was the first week of the summer holidays, and this was one of the last summers in Ireland where it was ACTUALLY HOT. Remember those? Anyway, so everyone was outside, all these little kids, including me, being seven and obscenely cute. And there was a trampoline. (You can probably see where this is going...) The trampoline was really big, and had no net. (That fact is important. Pay attention!) So around three hours into the party, I was bouncing on the trampoline with my friend Liam, and I jumped on one leg, and then he did a really big jump and sent me flying up, up into the air... And of course, I came back down. And my right leg, my right leg that I was jumping on, smacked against one of those thick, iron bars that holds the trampoline up. And there was a BONG and a CRACK. And I started to cry, because I was seven, and my leg hurt, and I couldn't move it, and there were all these people staring, and I was bewildered by everything, and I just kept crying, and then my mum came rushing in and lifted me up and I was carried to the car and my brother kept poking my leg and it hurt and I kept crying and the Caredoc wasn't open so we went to Casualty and once we checked in I stopped crying but we had to wait hours to see Doctor who would make my leg better and I kept saying I hope my leg's not broken because I had heard about people's legs that were broken like my cousin Eimear who was much older than me she was seventeen and then I was on a table and my leg looked funny and Doctor said that my leg was broken just below the knee but for some reason I didn't mind and it wasn't terrible news and then they put this very heavy sickly white cast on my leg and gave me some silver crutches which finally scared me because my leg was now broken and I would have to walk in crutches for the rest of the summer holidays and Doctor said Go to the hospital in Waterford on Monday and Nurse said All the kids we get in with injuries from trampolines tut tut tut but it wasn't even my trampoline and I thought she was being very unfair to me none of it was my fault.
I was thinking about this in bed today. I was home sick. And a few minutes ago after typing that I asked my mother what that day was like for her and she said that she had no idea what was happening because I wasn't good at communicating (which I can confirm), and that the doctor in Waterford on Monday was a horrible doctor because he said to her that the worst case scenario was that my leg wouldn't grow, and I would have to do physiotherapy every day and I would have to get implants in my knee, and then he left because he was horrible. I didn't remember any of that. The day after I broke my leg, a friend of my mother, who worked as an usher in the Watergate Theatre and who was friends with the costume lady got me the wheelchair that the actors used on stage and I used that for six weeks, with an old floorboard. I'd love to see that wheelchair on stage, purely for sentimental reasons. I wonder if it is still being used... I hope it is.
The day I got my cast off, my mother took me and my brother to Tramore, and we paddled in the rockpools. I couldn't move my leg, so I just dragged it around I suppose, and kids stared at me like I was disabled or stupid. Seven years later, I saw a man almost drown there, but I've already told you that story. I'm tired now.