Tuesday Obituary: Leg

Tuesday Obituary: Leg
Relief horses' legs, New Kingdom, Amarna Period, ca. 1353–1336 B.C., Egypt. Via Metropolitan Museum of Art.

by Sahar Tavakoli

Kicking the bucket: My right leg has gone dead, oh man, my leg has gone dead, just shy of 36, in Milan, Italy, under my desk, on the 10th of July, 2023, having been crossed over my left leg for too long. It hurts so bad.

It is oft remarked that one ought not judge another until having walked a mile in their shoes. I would estimate that I’ve walked ten times that amount in the shoes of my legs, at least. Nonetheless, I still feel unqualified to cast any aspersions on my lower extremity. Anyone who has ever seen me dance will be able to attest to the fact that my limbs and I are not always on the same page. It was a decent leg, usually moisturised, scarred from that period in which I was determined to be someone who shaved their legs with a cutthroat, tattooed under the sole of its adjoining foot, and dimpled on the thigh. It was the heterozygotic twin to my left leg.

Having a slightly smaller foot than its left sibling, it often gave unreliable feedback when trying on new shoes. It was, however, the stronger leg. Not much of a runner or kicker, it was my right leg that would always provide the first powerful push of a bicycle pedal. If the pedal wasn’t ready to meet it, the top of my right foot would guide the pedal into the right spot. It was the right leg, too, that would always send the elliptical a little off kilter, and it was with the right leg forward that I was closest to ever achieving the front splits.

In 1983, Billy Gibbons pondered, "she’s holdin’ leg, I wonder how to feel them." Thirty years on the question is perhaps more relevant than ever. The crus of the matter being that I am typing one handedly while pounding my own calf with the fist of my non-typing hand. Paresthesia—or the anatomical big sleep—iis apparently caused by the compression or tension of a nerve and not, as the common misconception goes, by the loss of blood circulation. Some might wonder, then, if hitting a limb that died for having been compressed is really the way to go. This is my matam for the muharram of sitting with my legs crossed when my mum always told me not to.

My right leg is survived by the sudden onset of nauseating pins and needles and by my bicycle which could probably do with having its tires pumped.

Sahar Tavakoli writes The Stopgap’s late news (10 letters). 

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