It’s not pleasant to fall as an adult. Let me just say that at the outset. I have tripped a few times over the past few years, say over a curb or uneven sidewalk, and gone to the ground, grazing my hands and knees on gritty concrete, the raw sting an admonishment to watch what the hell I’m doing. Mostly, my ego is the thing that takes the worst beating.
Not now. Now that I know what it is to dive head first down concrete steps, hands full so I take the brunt of it with my face? Now I have no ego. I am washed clean of it by blood and gravel and more blood and fear and picking myself up to walk crying down a busy street (no cars stopping, not even though my two hands were pooled with blood), turning right, walking up that street toward friendly neighbors’, watching them try to figure out who I was though they know me quite well, then everyone, more neighbors, some I know, some I don’t, rushing to lie me down, to run for ice and wash cloths and clean water and shushing and cooing and cleaning and touching, and me crying, sobbing, trying to feel with my tongue if my teeth were all there. “I’m sorry,” I kept saying, and they’d shush me some more. “Thank you,” I kept saying, and I’ve never meant it as much.
Thank you world. Thank you for kind people, for resilient bones (women, take your calcium), for efficient funny ER nurses, and for these ugly abrasions and contusions that mean I am alive, and that I have survived everything, so far, that life has thrown at me.