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Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Like to Get It Out of the Way Early-Like

I wouldn’t say I fall down a lot, but I will say that I've found myself suddenly several feet lower than expected more than once.

I remember the day as if it were four years ago, the day I executed what, in hindsight, was an exceptionally ill-advised leap over a snow mound between sidewalk and street. The left ankle, a synovial hinge joint I’ve always suspected of being the leader of the many weak links in the chain that is my body, collapsed in what would turn out to be a third-degree ankle sprain.

I was forced to whine and demand control of the remote for absolute days.

Later that evening, whilst the connection between my lower left leg and left foot took on the appearance of a large, spoiled peach, I had the couch-bound time to reflect on future fallings, fallings that might leave me lying, again, in the snow-encrusted street in front of the house.

“Yoga!” Amy enthused. “Flexibility! Strength! Balance!”

I cannot resist Amy or her ability to speak in earnest exclamation points, and so I joined a yoga studio.

And I lived happily ever after.

Or so the Germans would have you believe, for I am here to report that I have once again been betrayed.

It is Wednesday morning, dark and wet, and any illusions one has to it still being summer must be abandoned.

The bus comes on time, as buses do, and I step up, run my “Go” card over the scanner.

Beeeeeep.

The bus pulls away from the stop.

It’s one of those weird buses, the kind where the first two-thirds of the bus contain seats that, rather than facing forward, like civilized people around the world prefer to sit, instead face inward, so that once seated you have no option, other than closing your eyes, but to look at the faces or knees of the person across from you.

Or, you can simply fall to the floor.

Whoosh! The grooved rubber mat of a floor is surprisingly slick, isn’t it, and even my sturdy, hey-I’m-running-to-the-bus-here shoes can’t save me. I go down, in a skirt, into an awkward, early-morning version of the splits, my right leg forward, my left leg back.

Ta-dah!

I leap to my feet in what I hope is a cat-like fashion.

My fellow passengers remain surprisingly passive.  Perhaps they are not awake.

“Hey!” It’s the bus driver, his face in the rearview mirror. “You okay?”

“Oh, sure,” I say. “I’m fine, I’m –“ I look down. The top of my left foot is scraped and dirty, a thin line of blood trickling, my left knee bruising and taking on the pattern of the grooved aisle.

I feel around my backside, searching for the ripped seam that is surely exposing me from behind.

Surprisingly, the skirt is intact.

The man directly across from me, headphones on, eyes shut, head bobbing in time, continues to do so, oblivious.

I sit down and smile.

Thank heavens that’s out of the way, huh?

The rest of the day is going to be sweet.

55 comments:

Audubon Ron said...

You'll do anything for attention. ;)

Pearl said...

Audubon, :-) It was pretty amazing. So that was yesterday, and today my left side is really quite sore. Not as limber as I thought!!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Poor girl. Every now and then we find ourselves "ass over teakettle" as my mom would have said. Quite disconcerting isn't it?

Shelly said...

I feel your pain- I've done the same.

You made a grand recovery. You could have then extended your arms high in the air with one leg back in the lunge position and said, "Superstar!"

Russ said...

Ah, but if it were the Germans, we'd have you doing Pilates.

Silliyak said...

I was waiting for the other riders to hold up score cards, I'll bet they were thinking it anyway.

Eva Gallant said...

Pearl, you acrobat, you!

Pearl said...

Delores, I've always enjoyed that description...

Shelly, next time!!

Russ, I shall drop into that "V"-looking pose on the way home tonight. :-)

Silliyak, do you think? Those bastards!!

Eva, :-) I do it for the people.

Sausage Fingers said...

Pearl, I will reserve a beach chair for you it sounds like it's time to retire down here.
Margarita - on the rocks or frozen..
sorry I should know the answer to that you are from Minnesocolda...on the rocks it is
Salt?

SunnyToast said...

Great post...I miss your blog:)

Vicus Scurra said...

Sobriety would be my advice.

Pearl said...

SF, on the rocks it is. And salt? Don't mind if I do!

SunnyToast, stop by any time! I post daily!

Vicus Scurra, what, and ruin my record around number of days at work inebriated?! NEVER!!

Joshua said...

I need a few vodka and Red Bulls before I can pull off that maneuver. Oh, and my body from 15 years ago.

Daisy said...

I don't think my body could ever have been so graceful. Perhaps I can "take up" yoga too...just in case.

Pearl said...

Joshua, Hey, I'm not above the drunken "feats of strength"...

Daisy, I'm sure I've described it as more graceful than it looked in real life, although I did bounce back up pretty quickly. But man oh man am I sore today...

SherilinR said...

i have so been there & done that! and what's up with bus seats facing each other? i don't understand at all since fewer people can fit & everyone feels uncomforable.

Kara said...

Which would be better - kindly passengers who jump to your aid, or passive & unobservant one who don't appreciate your spontaneous acrobatics?

Joyful Things said...

When I drop like a sack of hammers, I get up at the speed of light with a Ta-Da! I meant to do that. I lick my wounds later, in privacy. But worse than being the one going down? I am the nervous laugher - had I seen you do the splits this AM I would have been in hysterics - laughing at your expense. It's just something I can't stop from doing. It has landed me in hot water a lot..... hope you're okay .....

Pearl said...

Sherilin, the facing seats stink. :-) I am against them.

Kara, I would rather have a pastry. :-) Oooh. I can tell that I need to eat something soon. Everything is starting to seem food-related...

Joyful, my mother does that. :-)

Hilary said...

Ugh.. I feel for you. I managed a third degree ankle sprain at the end of July and am only, as of this week fitting into an oversized slip on shoe. I'm glad you got away with smaller injury this time.

Leenie said...

Flexibility, yes, strength maybe, balance and athletic ability NO. In my case, anyway.
Wish I'd been there. I know I would have given you at least a nine.

(Hope you got your hardhat ready in case a bus-size hunk of space junk heads our way.

Pat said...

Maybe - like me - you need to start taking care. I wouldn't want you to end up having three fractured legs as I did before I got old. Sheer carelessness eg talking to someone behind me whilst I'm walking forward. Now I always have my hand on the bannister when I come down stairs etc etc. Do take care Pearl- I'd hate you to really hurt yourself.

Crystal Pistol said...

Hey! You're a brunette now. I dig it. You look good.

On that note, it would be far more embarrassing to have a fall as a blonde. You'd just be perpetuating stereotypes... :)

Hope your sore hip feels better.

SeaD said...

Oh Pearl. I am so right there with you. My knees show signs of giving up if I fall on them one more time. In a reastaurant once, I did a little fall, slide past two tables and "ta-dah!!" What more can you say?

Simply Suthern said...

If you would ride in when the bus is full there wouldnt be room to fall. You might also consider a bit of bubble wrap around your knees.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I wish you could have seen my eyebrows go up while I was reading this! I wasn't expecting you to come out with it the way you did. Took me almost as much by surprise as I expect it did you when it happened to you.

Pearl, MAN this whole post is just some awesome writing. A spoiled peach.

Ay yi yi!

ipenka said...

"We're here at the finals for the world bus gymnastics competition. Our competitor, Pearl, just landed an advanced move, now its time to see what the judges give her..."

Russia: 10 France: 10 Man with Headphones: 0

Susan Kane said...

Just found your blog from Delores/thefeatherednest. I have recently taken up prat-falls as a hobby. It isn't working out well for me, not at all. Broken ankle, broken finger, so far. Wish me luck.

Nezzy said...

What a gal won't do to be the center of attention. Heeehehhee!!! I laugh 'cause this is soooo somethin' I'd do!

Thanks so much for the good read and the laugh today sweetie!!!

God bless ya and have a beautiful day void of falls, splits or scrapes!!!

Diane said...

Or the day could be all . . . uphill . . . from here!

That Baldy Fella said...

Fortunately, in today's information heavy world, you can get away with falling and no one turning away from their iPhone / iPad / Kindle / inner voices telling them to kill.

Mind you, best check YouTube to make sure no one's posted it with amusing sound effects...

Lizzy said...

It is best to get that crap out of the way early, then the rest of day has more promise.

lisleman said...

spend more time with your cats, they can teach the moves.

Oh the LLL thing is still open waiting for submissions. Just click on the LLL if you can't find it.

jenny_o said...

Sturdy hiking boots should keep that from happening again. Better add a knapsack and a walking stick to the ensemble, so the boots don't look out of place.

Seriously, as I've gotten older, I have become super cautious, just because it takes so darn long to recover from falls, even the kind that one can jump up from as if they were nothing.

Hope you feel better quickly.

aBroad said...

Brilliant !
My falls are never before an audience, that might be why they are so dreadful. There is no sympathy at hand ! or ogling .. or even a bit of mocking .
I opened the trunk of the car, took a step and fell down. Still holding the dry cleaning, to hell with the knees.
Then we went to the ballet that night.
I had a slight headache due to the jarring of the body from the impact to the pavement but hey, sitting and watching ballet isn't hard on a person.
By the time it was over, the migraine had blinded me, the knee was trying to push its way out of my trouser leg and I no longer felt my toes.
Falling down really sucks Pearl, stop it now.

The Elephant's Child said...

Ouch. I hope you are OK. So reminiscent of the time I went arse over tit in the middle of the road. Truckies hooting and honking. Skirt (of cours) over my head. By the time I got up both knees were bleeding, as was one elbow and both hands. Where was I going? To a job interview. The pity factor worked. I got it.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

But "the skirt was intact." Gurrrrll, that's all that matters.

Gigi said...

What an optimist you are....had it been me, my last line would have read, "The rest of the day is going to be a real b*tch...."

Heal up quick, Pearl. The treacherous months are looming.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Ouch! I could just feel that ankle sprain! I've done that more than a few times. I realized I was middle aged and invisible,in fact, when I stepped in a pothole at a construction zone at a model home project some years back. I fell like a stone, spraining my ankle. No one in the crew, a few feet away, even noticed. I crawled into the model home office on my hands and knees and the hostess greeted me with a big smile, brochure in hand and said only "Have you visited our models before?" Aughhh! I love your attitude about getting the fall out of the way so the rest of the day will be sweet. Good for you!

Esther Montgomery said...

I use that I broke my wrist when I fell in the snow to justify that I like it.

Rory Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rory Grant said...

Did you fall or did you tumble? There's a certain amount of dignity can still be retained in tumbling. Gymnasts do it for a living.

Leaping to your feet in cat-like fashion suggests to me that you're too graceful to 'fall' and in fact tumbled :)

Rory

klahanie said...

Hi Pearl,
Have you missed me? Yes? No? Maybe? Anyway, your entertaining story, for some weird reason has reminded me of ummm....buses and public transport. In my case, no skirt was involved.

Nobody needs to 'coach' me when it comes to buses. Yes indeed, I've had my fair share of experiences on this mode of transport.
Maybe you can relate to this. You get on the bus. That would be the second bus, after the first bus driver looked straight at you and continued on. You stood there, as that first bus drove by you, with your arms waving frantically, praying for a miracle and hoping that the driver will have a change of heart and stop. But alas no, instead, you get drenched by the worst downpour known in twenty years.
When you get on the bus that kindly stopped for you, the driver decides it would be hilarious to accelerate and brake really quickly. That way, you lose your balance, you wipe out, fall into the lap of an old lady and proceed to dump your two bags of groceries, which were full of eggs, a variety of sticky syrups and fresh sardines, all over her fake fox fur coat.
Lets not forget the times you have been on an almost empty bus. The guy who has had a bit too much to drink, who has plenty of seating options, sits down right beside, or should I say, on top of you. And what does he talk about? This guy with bad breath and body odour? Well, of course, he goes on about the kids these days, the state of the nation, politics, religion and finishes by letting you know the true meaning of life. You smile and hopefully nod your head at the right times. As you try desperately to get off the bus, ten miles before your destination, he gives you a big hug and promises to be your best friend forever.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Ugh.

One hates to fall. Each winter I cringe knowing there will the the one big ice fall. Fortunately I seem to be impervious to the fall tumble. (Yes, I know, I should have said fall fall.)

Jocelyn said...

That's a real quality skirt you were wearing there, then. I'm of the "rips open at the slightest gust of wind" skirt school, so I'm full of admiration. This distinction is, as well, probably why I'm so-oft called "slut" vs. your "Ms. Austen."

Or, well, what I mean to say is: glad you weren't hurt.

W.C.Camp said...

Wow I literally WINCED at the telling of this tale. I hope you are ok and am impressed with the way you handled yourself. I wish people would at least acknowledge your calamity and maybe at least offer to help? Props to the bus driver though!! W.C.C.

Tempo said...

I fall down much more than is dignified, I'm kinda used to it after all these years. A doctor told me it was better to fall than strain or break something trying to stay upright...he was looking at an xray of my damaged hip joint at the time and he was right. Thats just one of the reasons I dont wear skirts....anymore!

Symdaddy said...

I would have helped you to your feet, Pearlchen.
I would've, honest!

Roses said...

I feel your pain.

Worryingly, I only ever fall over when I'm sober.

It's quite distressing.

Hospitable Scots Bachelor said...

Oh, you've had a Summer have you? Here in Scotland we just get longer spells between the rain showers. Here, just for you Pearl, are some of my very best exclamation marks. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

R. Jacob said...

Pearl
Raise your right hand and swear "Alcohol was not involved!"

The Jules said...

I seem to have an instinctive reaction that occurs whenever I do something like that (and it seems to happen with alarming frequency).

I jump up and shout "Ta-daa!"

I wish I didn't, but I do.

jabblog said...

If you're destined to fall, it will happen. Do what dogs do, don't resist and give in gracefully. (Must remember this good advice next time I take a tumble!!)

Ach du lieber said...

I feel your pain. Happens to me so often I've taken to carrying around scoring cards numbered 1-10 that I can hand out to my unsuspecting judges. It's all about continuous improvement, you know...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

At least you didn't "Stick" in the landing...