This is the first chapter of my latest novel - 'Lynn Baucom'. The story is set in 1972. As additional chapters are posted I will provide a link to the complete story.
Chapter One – Annie and the Cast Saw
“Roll to your other side.” Annie said placing a warm hand on my bare buttocks. I complied sliding to my right side and giving Annie access to the outside of my leg cast.
The cast saw was noisy and the air was filled with plaster dust. The green felt of the ornate pool table I laid on was turning a milky white.
I was naked of course. Standard procedure for the removal of any plaster full leg cast Annie had told me as she helped me disrobe on the pool table.
Annie also was naked. I marveled that a body could be so tight and tanned. Muscled legs and abs. Biceps that looked to be stolen from a championship weight lifter. Annie was a hiker, mountain climber, runner, and all around out-doors type. She was 23 and a cast technician at Mercy Hospital.
I met Annie the day I broke my leg. That was 83 long days ago. 12 weeks confined to a plaster cast that ran from the base of my toes to my upper thigh. 83 days of itching, and showering with a bag around my leg, and struggling to get even the most unattractive pair of shorts over my bulky cast.
My cast was adorned with hundreds of signatures and drawings. It reminded me of the large rock that stands outside of most high schools. Boys and girls. Jocks and stoners. Teachers. Parents. Casts seem to provide a unique way for a community to come together. My cast had not been changed since it was put on. However, a rubber walking heel was placed on the bottom of the cast after 8 weeks or so. This necessitated wrapping a roll over plaster of Paris around my foot to affix the walking heel. I lost a few drawings and signatures as a result of the walking heel. But they were soon replaced by others.
The cast saw continued to roar. Annie pressed it expertly into the outside thigh of my cast. “This won’t cut you.” Annie yelled for the third time over the roar of the cast.”
I had been scheduled to have the cast removed tomorrow at Mercy Hospital. After a Sunday morning that started with a handful of Quaalude's for breakfast, two bottles of Jack Daniels for lunch, and bong hits for a mid afternoon snack, Annie decided my cast should be removed a day early.
Mary, Annie’s sister, readily agreed. She helped her sister remove my t-shirt, cutoff jeans, and panties before passing out in the blue chair in the corner of the room. Like me, Mary was a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte. She was a cute girl who looked nothing like her sister. She also was naked and snoring lightly.
Not many people own their own cast saw; not even cast technicians. But Annie was apparently a veteran bone breaker growing up. Her wreck less attitude combined with her choice of dangerous hobbies led to Annie breaking over 50 bones in her 23 years on earth. Her parents had bought a cast saw when Annie was 14 to avoid the cost of countless final trips to the orthopedic surgeon for cast removal.
As Annie continued her assault on my cast, I looked around the room. Sue, the owner of the house, was a friend of Annie’s. She was a well-known local peace activist and devout opponent of the Vietnam War which was finally beginning to wind down. Sue came from a wealthy family thus her ability to afford this nice house in the Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte with little apparent income.
There was a large fish tank next to the black and white Console TV. An Atari Pong Game Console rested on top of the television next to a pair of rabbit ears. A multi-colored print of a peace symbol adorned one wall. The table top stereo blared Jefferson Airplane tunes. White Rabbit was now competing with the noise of Annie’s cast saw.
Sue had disappeared – presumably to bed – after her first bong hit.
“There we go!” Annie announced happily peeling the two halves of my cast apart. I watched as Annie creatively used a pair of pliers to separate the two halves of my cast and a pair of garden shears to cut the padding up the middle of my cast.
In spite of the quantity of drugs and alcohol I had consumed, the sight of my leg horrified me. The leg had atrophied and looked like a pencil when compared to my healthy leg. My skin was pale and flaky and had a greyish tinge. My hair had grown under the cast and I struggled to piece together a process to make this leg look normal again.
“I know it looks like hell.” Annie said assembling her collection of tools in a small wooden box. “But it’s normal. You’ll be good as new in three weeks.”
Annie disappeared to the kitchen after the great leg reveal. She returned with a bottle of Vodka and a rag. We each took a swig of the Vodka directly from the bottle and then my favorite cast technician soothingly dabbed my awful looking leg with the cool liquid. Annie worked her way from my thigh to my toes pausing occasionally to take a swig of the vodka and offering the bottle to me.
We celebrated the successful removal of the cast by stoking up the bong and, both of us naked on the pool table, moved closer to the depths of Nirvana. Grace Slick was now singing ‘Somebody to Love’; a song that was popular 20 years before Queen penned a song of the same title. Annie sat Indian style; legs crossed over each other. My injured leg was stiff and unbendable. So Annie took the atrophied leg in her lap and massaged my toes.
The bong session was followed by a bath. Annie helped me limp from the pool table to bathroom. She encouraged me to put as much weight on the leg as I could stand. My knee and ankle were extremely painful to move after 12 weeks in a fixed position.
Annie drew a long sudsy bath in the oversized tub. The bathroom fixtures would be considered antiquated by today’s tastes and standards but were opulent in the early 70’s. The toilet, tub, and sink were avocado with bright brass metal fixtures. The floor was a bright yellow and the accent rug was orange.
In the light surrounded mirror, I saw the current rendering of Lynne Baucom. Blond hair normally permed was now curly, longish, and out of control. Blue eyes slightly red and glazed. Mascara a bit overdone but not to the level of the goths and emos who would invade the earth 20 years later. And breasts small but firm.
As I lay next to Annie in the warm bath, I pondered how a normal, active, heterosexual high school senior could transform so dramatically in 83 days. From captain of the girls’ soccer team, homecoming queen, and girlfriend of a star football player to a bisexual and drug and alcohol binging degenerate.
I felt Annie’s index finger press against my clit. I shuddered and closed my eyes. And thought about what had happened during the previous 83 short days.