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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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.

35 comments:

esbboston said...

Question: Was it eXactly four years ago, because there is snow in this story and it is currently July so that could only mean one of two things. The first is that in July it is winter in the southern hemisphere and you found some place Minnesota-like, lets say Chile. Skiing maybe? The second is that by four years you meant light years and it was distance and so you were visiting a local star and found a cold planet or an even colder moon. I must warm up now, hoping you have a great Wednesday - it is Wednesday, right?

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Frankly, I think disguising it with a little break-dancing would have sealed the deal. You may even have scored some loose change? Indigo x

Simply Suthern said...

While in the split you should have thrown your hands up Cheerleader style and hollared "Superstar!!" like Mary Katherine Gallagher.

You take so much blog fodder from the bus, It's time you gave back. There just may be another aspiring blogger on the bus.

Eva Gallant said...

I can picture it all now: Pearl putting on the floor show for the disinterested commuter crowd. Such a waste of talent!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I tried break dancing once. Didn't end well lol.

jabblog said...

Perhaps you shouldn't sit down today in case you can't get up again. On the other hand if you're sitting down you can't fall down, can you? Of course that wouldn't prevent you falling OFF your chair. I think you should stay at home somewhere safe, like the floor.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

It's a rule of the universe that every so often one must be reacquainted with the surface under ones feet. It's been maybe two or three years since I did it....not in any rush to repeat the performance. Keeps you humble yes?

Shelly said...

After a start like that, a day's got nowhere to go but up. Be gentle with the knee and foot-

terlee said...

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who does the crash and burn dance with an audience...

Marion Bulmer said...

Once a year since I turned fifty I have measured my length on a concrete path, or stumbled going UPstairs (never down) and in my case too it's the left ankle that has let me down. My left knee is a mass of scars and stitches from when I also fell onto it when running as a child.

Mightily cheered to find there are other people who cannot rely on the left limb to keep up and do its share of the work with the right. My left hip is crap as well. And the digits of my left land are more arthritic than the right hand.

Sinister, or what?

sage said...

Not everyone can board a bus with such grace! Next time I ride the bus, I'll have to keep my eyes open.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Never mind the red-tinged knee; what about the bits in the middle of the splits. All intact? Yoga or no, that would have stretched some very surprised muscles!!

Me? I can trip over the big toe which moved in front of the other four...

Along These Lines ... said...

All I know is my lawyer told me to fall down A LOT.

tiffany rose said...

Oh dear, so sorry to hear of your mishap. I can't help but remember a couple days ago when you were planning your next sick day ...

bill lisleman said...

Given the choice between performing this whole body stretch on the morning vs. afternoon bus, I would go for the afternoon one. I'm not a morning person.

Yolanda Renee said...

Reminds me of the day I slipped and fell in a room full of men, skirt up around my head, and only one came to my rescue. My face was red for days, and still gets a twinge when I think of it. Ugh!
Love those embarrassing moments, NOT!
But you wrote it with such humor! Well done!

Sioux said...

Once, around 20 years ago, I thought I would jump a fence--you know the kind, the cheap everyday kind of fence--in an effort to get a wiffle ball that had flown into a neighbor's yard. This is how I envisioned it: I would leap up, land on the top of the fence, perch there for a moment, and land lightly in the other yard.

Needless to say, it resembled a comedy routine more than a graceful choreographed number by the time I got through.

When I fall, I always ask if anyone around would like an encore...

Joanne Noragon said...

I used to crumple nicely when I tripped and fell. Now I go down like a felled tree. I have always avoided the splits.

Geo. said...

I have always thought we should start the day on half-gravity and not turn it up 'til noon or so.

fishducky said...

I think Geo. has the BEST idea!!

Buttons said...

Oh that was good to get that out of the way. If you were Canadian you would be saying "I'm sorry" to everyone that had to see it. Yup strange eh?:) B

Z said...

Yes, why is it we always want to leap up and pretend we're absolutely fine?

Daisy said...

A woman after my own heart. My knees and ankles have betrayed me on more occasions than I'd care to admit. Traitors!

vanilla said...

That's our Pearl. Rises bloodied and battered, yet looking forward to a fabulous day. You rule.

vanilla said...

That's our Pearl. Rises bloodied and battered, yet looking forward to a fabulous day. You rule.

Gigi said...

Well if you are going to take a spill (and if you are me, then it is pretty much inevitable at least once a week) then you might as well get it over with bright and early before anyone has had their coffee.

Elephant's Child said...

As a person who has planted their face in the road, the garden, the carpet... I am in LOVE with Geo's idea. Do we have to turn gravity up again?

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Pearl, the way you worded that first paragraph is priceless. I keep re-reading it, for the laughs. I'm impressed that you can do an awkward version of the splits. I do hope it heals quickly.

xoRobyn

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Ok it could have been worse you could be like my mum, she has a habit of falling over and doing damage like a broken wrist, a broken elbow and broken shoulder and not all those breaks happend at the same time these are just a few of the fall she has had over the years......

jenny_o said...

One of the neighbourhood kids used to say in an aggrieved tone, "I meant to do that" whenever one of his moves didn't work out quite like he had pictured it in his head. Maybe next time you could try that.

Love the line about leaping up quickly. I had to do that at our wedding reception when the new Mr. pulled out my chair in a gentlemanly way when we stood up, and forgot to tell me.

jenny_o said...

I should have said - forgot to tell me BEFORE WE SAT DOWN AGAIN ...

River said...

"The bus comes on time, as buses do..."
Not here downunder Pearlie girl. Here you get to a bus stop and sit down with a good book to wait. And wait and wait and wait....just when the book gets to a really good part, the bus that was due 15 minutes ago pulls up with the "now" bus directly behind it and the next bus too, which is running early for some unknown reason.
So one falls into the habit if being a little late to the bus stop only to find they've smartened up the scheduling and the bus you thought was going to be a few minutes late has come and gone on time, leaving you still waiting for whatever bus comes along next.
You could try asking the driver to wait until you sit down before taking off, that's what we oldies do. Much easier on the knees.

Tez said...

Your, "I cannot resist Amy or her ability to speak in earnest exclamation points..." had me laughing out loud. You do my spirit good, Pearl,you really do.

I hope you recover from the impromptu splits soon. xx

jeanie said...

I had that happen recently - without the snow, the bus or any excuse really.

Diane Tolley said...

Yoga, splits, bus riding, personal physical weaknesses. This post has it all! Pearl, you're my hero!