I recently wrote about my face not cooperating with my brain and now my feet are apparently in on the mutiny: yesterday I fell while walking.
Notice I don’t say “while skateboarding” or “while bungee jumping” or some equally glamourous or athletic endeavor. Nope. Walking.
Let me set the complicated scene. Daytime. My front yard. Walking at a normal pace (not running) toward my car parked out front. Accompanied by my kids (because let’s face it: there are always witnesses to help record life’s embarrassments and retell them in excruciating detail after the fact). I made the critical mistake of stepping off the curb when suddenly my rebellious left ankle chose this precise moment to go out.
I came toppling down (with a surprised, squeaky sort of grunt sound effect emanating from my nose and mouth, young witnesses later confirmed) and landed face down in a heap in the street, keys and purse strewn about the asphalt.
I felt like I’d been pushed, or at least tripped.
This is when my life switched into slow motion, like some sort of Matrix movie. I lay there in a crumpled up pile for what seemed like 10 minutes (but was probably 10 seconds) evaluating what had just occurred. Who was my assailant? Had Tall played a cruel joke on his middle-aged mother and given me a well-timed shove? Had Short picked up the sidewalk and shook it fiercely, like a blanket? Had a rare earthquake just announced its presence?
No. My feet just did not get the memo to perform a complicated maneuver (e.g. “walk”) and therefore I fell.
The fall was not without repercussions. Skin was scraped. Ego was bruised. Blood was involved.
The children (who are used to falling off their bikes and such) were immediately sympathetic and helpful: “Mom! Are you okay?” “Do you need help?”
I pushed myself up and for the first time noticed my elderly neighbor Harriet staring at me from her front yard across the street. Harriet is about 99 years old and has a live-in nurse.
I did not want to alarm Harriet, so I waved and called out: I’m all right!
She waved back from her walker and responded, “Don’t worry, dear, that happens to me all the time.”
I dusted myself off, got in the car with the kids and drove away, praying Harriet would not post a video of my fall on YouTube later.