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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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.

19 comments:

joeh said...

It could only get better...but maybe not any funnier.

Delores said...

These things hurt less when no one notices.

vanilla said...

The rest of the day, at any rate, will be an improvement.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
As one who was born living several feet closer to the earth than the average, meeting said earth is not any less damaging. I too went down like a felled tree only last week whilst on an Edinburgh bus. Unlike your experience, EVERYone wanted to help me up. Just as well. There's no 'ta-dah cat-like' left in me...

I trust there will be no lasting impression upon your knee... YAM xx

Catalyst/Taylor said...

In my advancing years I am finding myself to be more and more careful about falling. I feel like my bones are more brittle and the getting up again is more difficult. Watch for ice, Pearl.

Leenie B said...

Flexibility! Strength! and Balance! are overrated. A skirt that holds together during awkward, early-morning splits...priceless.

jenny_o said...

And I think the takeaway of this story (for me) is that I can continue to boycott yoga, for if Pearl The Yoga Devotee can fall, what hope is there for me, She Who No Exercise Since 1986?

I do hope you had no lasting effects, seeing as these things generally feel worse by the second day.

Geo. said...

Yoga paid off. You must be very bendy to have fallen into the splits without lasting damage. I'd have be hauled away in a pillow case.

Murr Brewster said...

It is a simple fact that some of us are more affected by gravity than others. Come the rapture, it'll be you and me, baby, stuck on the planet like push-pins and looking up everybody's skirts.

SuperLux said...

Hope you have sweeter days ahead. :)

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm with Yam. I have a personal trainer restoring my balance, after one such fall a month, last year. She's the best; she's kept me upright for ten straight months.

Daisy said...

Ankles, knees, hips--none of those joints can be trusted. No way but up after a fall like that. Glad your injuries were minimal. I don't think I would have popped up so quickly.

River said...

what Leenie said! I usually fall getting off the bus, although falling for me is rare.

Elephant's Child said...

Ouch. I have fallen more times than I care to remember. And still blush thinking of the time I landed face down on the road with my skirt over my head as a truck beared down on me...
On my way to a job interview. For which I arrived grubby and bleeding.

Merlesworld said...

I fell over a lot a few years back, I found out it was the shoes, as the warmed up parts of the sole would weaken and over I would go.
Merle..........

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have flown in the air and met the ground face to cement too many times in the past few years. So far, it has been 50/50 when someone would notice and help.

Mary Koppel said...

The buoyancy of your post-yoga self is remarkable, madam - slippery, slickery streets and sidewalks mean I'm gripped with terror during most Minnesota winters - hence the desire to not be in MN during the winter. Now to figure out how to do that...

chickensconsigliere said...

I am sure you were ninja cat-like. A mere cat could never match you.

Jen said...

Q. What did the Calvinist say when he fell down the stairs and broke his leg?
A. "I'm glad THAT's over with!"

My most memorable fall was a few days before my wedding, leaping off my parents' front porch to greet my fiance. You know, I wanted to make him feel good. I did. He ended up catching me by the elbows. Too late to save a scraped knee.