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.
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.
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.
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