Living Out Loud: : Sitting on One's Ass

Thinking of Peter Deane's questions

I've been sitting on my ass a lot lately. Of course, that's how one usually sits, but I've gotten pretty damn tired of it. Last Monday I went back to the doctor and got some good news: I can start walking again ­ a little bit for now, but I'll take what I can get.

For those of you who read this column, you know my life is pretty much an open book. In a few of the recent essays, I've written about the foot problems I've been having, talked about my surgery and not being able to walk. Most I tried to make funny; one was serious. Regardless, I got mail on all the stories and some were from contributors to this column.

Steven Paul Lansky sent me a note hoping for my speedy recovery. Heather Siladi seems really worried about me, and I need to meet up with her soon to assure her I'm not dead. C.A. MacConnell gave me her good wishes, and Brian Ciesko sent me an e-mail saying, "They say write what you know about but, man, I'm sorry you had to know this particular thing."

Thanks for the concern, fellow writers.

Sometimes I forget how many people actually read this column. I received a ton of e-mails, even received get-well cards from readers wishing me a fast recovery. All were truly appreciated and I thank you. But leave it to contributor Peter Deane to come up with something truly original. I'm sharing this with you for two reasons. Number one, I think it's good. Number two, I'm on deadline and I need something to fill this space. Peter's thoughts are as follows.

"Just ask Larry"

Have you ever used your rights to the fullest?

Have you ever cheered when things blow up?

Have you ever watched a roof come off a house?

Have you ever drawn a bomb as a turban?

Is it right to wrap them around some young man's body?

Would you tell someone to do that?

What is in those books?

Have you ever looked at the crescent moon?

Have you ever looked directly into the sun?

Have you ever looked past the universe?

Have you ever prayed up and your eyes stay focused?

Is it right for you to know what I'm writing before it is printed without a court order?

Have you ever read a hedith?

Have you ever passed by a fisherman?

Have you ever drunk Zim-Zam water lost in a desert?

Why does time seem to either warp out or stand still yet we keep moving?

Have you ever read the 23rd Psalms?

Have you ever accused an innocent person?

Have you ever let a guilty one go free?

Is it right to say it might be you and me?

Which one of us is never part man-made mistake?

If I say, "Forgive me," are you allowed?

If I needed a hand, would you give me one?

If I called you my brother in Christ, would that offend you?

If I said, "You are forgiven," are you allowed to accept it?

Can I call God "Allah"?

Is Allah three-in-one?

Can I call Jesus the Prince of Peace?

Can I love his mother?

Can I say, "Peace be upon us all"?

Can I call love "Jehovah"?

Is Jehovah three-in-one?

Can I cry out to the Great Spirit?

Can I cry out to my Father?

Can I cry out to my human family?

Can I say nothing at all?

What color burqua does the truth set free?

Would you wrap a loved-one in one?

And if they started to cry, would you take away their freedom of speech?

Must I never have to fear a dream of flowers floating free?

Do you like healing Your foot does. ... Just ask Larry.

Do you understand?

My God does.

Pick up your rug and walk.

Golly, Peter, so many questions, so little time. Actually, I did have a lot of time after my surgery and your questions have received a 600-word response — each. My letter's in the mail.

Now it's time to get off my ass and get back into the real world. I'm recovering from surgery; I'm walking a little bit again and getting stronger everyday — returning to my old, mean self. By this time next week I'll be off the pain pills, and my head will become clearer. I have a lot on my mind. I'm not sure what to write about first — the way insurance companies control hospitals, rolling down Ludlow Avenue in my wheelchair, my foot doctor who is also a world-class runner or lessons learned from taxicab drivers who hauled my ass around Clifton for over a month.

Again, thanks to all for the good faith and, oh yeah, Peter — we gotta do lunch soon. I got my own questions to ask.

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