Last Thursday night I was a couple blocks from my apartment and I stumbled, careening through the air with three bags in my hands and a pack on my back. For one second, while midair, I was in denial. Nooooo, I am not falling, I am not falling. Then I’m sprawled on the dark sidewalk, still clutching my bags. It was a compact fall, and I thank my overall strength and fitness for unconsciously contracting all variety of muscles for that split second.
I have a lazy left foot that tends to drag a nanosecond behind a normal gait and during that time it gets into trouble. An uneven sidewalk, a slight divet, and that left toe may get caught.
Once I became vertical again, I laughed. What a sight I must have been. What a klutz. Yes, I’ve fallen before, I have several scars on both knees to prove it. When I was eight and riding my red bicycle in a parking lot, I decided to close my eyes and ride in a circle. Boom. That was a bad bruise. When I was in my 30’s, I was speed walking to the streetcar one morning, eager to get to work where there was to be a celebratory lunch for my recent promotion. I wore stockings and skirts to work then. I was passing another pedestrian and stumbled. My lazy left foot. This time I flew several feet until I landed on all fours. Ripped stocking. Bloody bruise on my right knee that required my schlepping home to clean it up and apply bandages.
As long as I can fall and laugh about it, text my friends, that’s fine. But I fear falling one day that will lead to serious injury. Will I have to wear one of those special necklaces? Maybe I should get a roommate.