So last night I’m heading down the front stairs, a bag or two for the recycle bin in each hand, and there’s no moon and no lights on and it’s pitch dark and I forgot there was one last step and bam. Nothing broke, recyclable or me. I picked myself up, went on down to the bins, did a few things in the car, smarting a little, came back in, popped a couple Tylenol, tooled around the house doing chores, wrote an essay, reworked a couple more, straightened out the place and got ready for bed. Then I noticed I had a bruise the size of a dinner plate. Realized it hurt. Took a couple more tylenol, and went to bed. I woke up today a little stiff and sore and the bruise was gorgeously purple. Very impressive. Then it dawned on me….I’m 57 years old and need to stop hurting myself. I’ve been hurting myself my whole life in all kinds of stupid ways, falling, slipping, bashing my head, slicing myself, everything and anything, and it’s time to stop. I mean I bet I’ve fallen on those steps half a dozen times. I’ve fallen so many times in my life–I have one functioning knee–that I fall like a stuntman. I fall without dropping what I’m holding. I fall and catch my glasses at the same time. I fall and get right back up like it’s nothing and didn’t even hurt, no matter how much it did. One time my knee gave out while on me while I was holding a cup of coffee and in half a second I was on the floor in a heap but didn’t spill a drop of coffee. It was a wedding reception, I remember, with all these people in suits and finery staring. It’s a skill I learned after probably hundreds of falls. A stupid skill, but a skill. So the next moonless night I decide to walk blindly down our treacherously charming old Silver Lake stairs–people were much smaller in 1932, and had tiny feet–I’ll take a flashlight. And only carry one bag and not four. And try not to be such an idiot. It’s taken me fifty seven years to figure that out. And while this is a subpar blog entry, I just wanted to have it here so when I’m all laid out in traction trying to use the computer with one unbroken finger I can remember the promise I made myself, laugh, and hurt all over.
OK, time for more tylenol….