Stan the Man

You might be wondering how my physical therapy is going, so I thought I’d start writing about it every now and then. In a nutshell: I’m making progress, and I don’t actually dread PT anymore. It’s actually really interesting, because of the young people who go there, I’m the only one who’s not an athlete, and it’s mostly elderly people with injuries. I don’t really know any of the other patients, but there is one patient whose name I know, and so far, he has probably been one of the most memorable parts of my PT experience.


The patient whose name I know is Stan, he’s at least 75 years old, and the reason I know his name is because I hear it being shouted about 30 times each time I go in. The woman who has been assigned to work with Stan communicates with him like he is a five-year-old with a hearing problem. That’s because he most likely has a hearing problem, and he acts like a five-year-old. Stan is stubborn as hell. I love it.


Lazy. Uncooperative. Rude. These words undoubtedly apply to Stan, who wears the biggest glasses I’ve ever seen and never smiles. The perky twenty-five-year-old woman who works with him (I’ll call her Jessica, because it’s either that or Brittney — and if it isn’t, then it should have been) is endlessly optimistic about what Stan is capable of accomplishing. (“STAN! Why did you stop? I know you can do it, Stan! Just FIVE more!”) Jessica must be insanely frustrated, and probably hates Stan more than any other part of her job, but she never lets on; she is endlessly encouraging. She is a wellspring of positive energy. If bubbles suddenly started flowing from the top of her head, I wouldn’t be that surprised.


But Stan does not do what he is told. You can’t make him do anything. And neither can Jessica. Stan doesn’t do his stretches correctly. Stan thinks leg lifts are pointless, and he lets it be known. (He never actually SAYS anything — I don’t think I’ve heard him utter a word. Instead, he makes these primitive, monosyllabic noises to express his disapproval. Like the portrayals of cavemen that the GEICO cavemen find offensive. Sounds just like that.) Stan is obnoxious. He is also kind of my hero.


Stan’s name lends itself to statements like, “Stan’s the man,” “Stan’s got a plan.” (“Stan” rhymes with “can” — but it doesn’t rhyme with “has to.”) I think Stan is the kind of guy who takes a dump in a public bathroom without even waiting to see if the other people will leave first. Stan has no shame. What do Stan, Miley Cyrus, and a wild stallion all have in common? That’s right — THEY CAN’T BE TAMED. Stan has an indomitable spirit.


I’m honestly not sure what you should take away from this, but I feel like I’ve learned something here. Say what you will about me, I don’t half-ass anything. Say what you will about Stan, he always does what he wants to do.


I do what I can. Stan just does Stan.  █

Published by Elizabeth Clausen

writer/person. I delight in terrible puns.

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