Monday, March 31, 2008

Have a Nice Trip

Time and again, I share with people my almost stories - like the time I almost died from a scorpion sting, or when I almost made an amazing, game winning catch in a softball game, or when I almost kicked someone's butt for sitting in my seat on an airplane. The vast majority of my almost stories, however, are more focused on when, at least 3 or 4 times a week, I almost wipe out.

I've developed a bad habit of bringing up in every conversation with Curtis all my recent near misses in the world of 101 Ways Kate Can Wipe Out While Walking On Flat Ground. Once when I was walking through the lobby at work, late, in wet sneakers, I slipped on the floor and slid all the way into an open elevator door, almost taking out not just myself, but also a lawyer from my company, who happened to be carrying an extra hot venti coffee. Almost...

Tonight as I was walking over to borrow a drill from Curtis, I almost wiped out when my heel of my rather high (and hot for the record) heel wedged itself a gap in the brick sidewalk. In my stumbling and sudden halt in the forward motion I had been making, two people who had been following too close behind me almost rammed right into me. Thankfully for all of us, we all avoided the collision, I unwedged my shoe and carried on my way.

As I headed down the slope towards his condo, I remembered the stairs that were to come. They are haphazard stairs formed into the slope of a hill supposedly to look very natural and as though they were always there but what they really are is a giant safety disaster waiting to happen for anyone who is either a) not entirely sober, b) not the most stable of walkers, or most disastrously c) a combination of the two (guilty). None of these stairs are the same size, depth, or space apart. The center of each stair is brick that since it was built has now sunk into the ground and is not only not level but now has lots of little corners and pieces to trip you up constantly. Around this ankle-death trap are giant 2x4s 'framing' the brick, but not level with the brick of course, so if you don't trip on the brick, you will certainly catch a heel or toe on the wood and face-plant right into the brick. In my worst case scenario thinking mind, I immediately start thinking about how embarrassing it would be to wipe out while walking down the stairs with Curtis waiting for me at the bottom, with limbs flailing in the wind behind me.

Three stairs from the bottom, I look up to see him waiting for me, in a t-shirt and sandals, in the rain, and so I now feel compelled to hurry up so he doesn't have to stand out in the rain any longer than necessary. In my rush, I almost wipe out on a step. I catch myself just barely, take a deep breath, and pray he did not just see that, please he did not just see that oh goodness, please no.

When I caught up with him, he remarks how successful and uneventful his run in the rain was without any near misses or wipe outs on his part. I tell him as we walk towards his little gate house thing about how he nearly just saw me wipe out on the stairs (he hadn't noticed), and how I also had a near miss when my heel was stuck in the brick by the metro, but made it unscathed. He laughed and commented for as many stories as he's heard about me almost wiping out, he's never seen me anywhere near even a mild disaster and isn't entirely convinced any of it really happens.

...he just had to say that.

As we walked into the gate house area, I had only about 16 stairs to make it back down to level ground. I had come over after work and thus still had my work clothes on, which today meant my brown trousers, 2 sizes too big, and now too long, even with heels on. These pants are a little wide legged and also have large cuffs at the bottom. My heels (the hot ones previously mentioned) are very adorable pointed toe shoes with a 2.5ish inch heel - a very narrow, sharp, easy-to-trip-on, heel.

I started down the stairs, not holding on the railing, as I had a bag and purse in one hand and I was using the other to explain something that at the time was v v important. 3 steps from the bottom, my left leg goes toward the next stair but my left heel finds my right pant leg cuff instead. I'm making a forward motion; I can't stop. And there's only one thing to do - jump.

I push off with my right leg (a mere 5 feet in front of me is a giant brick wall and 7 feet to my left is a nice short flight of stairs I could fall down while I'm at it) while my left foot is very much stuck in my pants and leap towards my very probable broken ankle. 2 thoughts are running through my mind - 1. this is not going to end well and 2. I can't ruin these pants - they were too expensive! why did I ever spend this much money on pants I will just end up destroying falling down an elevator shaft or in front of a metro car, or maybe tripping on perfectly dry and evenly spaced stairs in front of Curtis!!! With nothing else to do but try for the impossible, I pull off an amazingly spectacular acrobatic feat of pulling my left heel out of my pants, maneuvering both feet under me, and sticking the landing. In heels. Without ruining my pants, breaking a heel, ankle, or anything but a little piece of pride that I've made it three months without falling like a total idiot in front of Curtis.

Curtis rushed down the last few stairs to quickly grab my arm and survey the damage, fully expecting broken, or at least very sprained, ankles, feet, legs, mangled flesh, etc.

"Holy Crap! Are you okay?"

"yup."

"That scared the crap out of me!"

"yup."

"You're sure you're okay?"

"yup. but now you know, I'm really not making up all this falling down crap."

"Yeah, no kidding."

Had a nice trip. See ya next fall.

6 comments:

Klue said...

That is an amazing story.
I also routinely fall and almost fall, so I feel your pain. Literally.

Anonymous said...

hehehe, funny stuff

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