ginocchia

knees

It was evidently a fad in the 1920s — illustrated knees. The Italian word for knees is ginocchia, which of course makes me think of Pinocchio and how I never knew whether I liked that story or thought it was creepy and strange and probably fantastic or all those things together my head buried in a book. All the lies and pretend. I have this picture in my mind of the book I read as a child, how Pinocchio was illustrated — his bones (not bones, actually, but carved wood because he was a toy but you know that) his joints shiny brown painted. It comes to mind, the cruelty of the story the intimations of abuse or am I remembering something entirely different? My ginocchia, my left knee, is monopolizing my thoughts these days. The pain of near-bone-on-bone, of osteoarthritis of inflammation brings me to — well — not (to) my knees but to this weird level of suffering that is acutely physical yet mind full, altering, mind-altering, daze-inducing. Honestly, it takes my breath away and then whimper. I was reading an interview with the great cartoonist Roz Chast in The Paris Review just now, before I came to this space. The word illustration and even as I read the pain in my ginocchia insisted on being and I wondered whether Roz Chast might illustrate my knee and in doing so draw the pain and away. Dear Reader, tell me about knees. Tell me about the curious way the left side of my body is rebelling. My left eye, my left knee, the soft fleshy part below the thumb of my left hand. Tell me why. The left side of the body is feminine, someone said. Listen to the body, someone else said. It is telling you something.