I was lying down on the sidewalk, coffee spilled and slowly crawling its way into the street to my left. I reached for my phone that had flown from my right hand when I went down, but realized it was out of my grip as I heard the faint sound of my mom’s voice coming through in the distance.
Valentine’s Day was shaping up to be quite a day.
I lied there in shame thinking that I don’t think I’ve publicly fallen since I was a child, but then quickly remembered slipping and falling on the bus a few months back. Nope, this was just the level of grace I bring to the table.
I purposefully made eye contact with the woman sitting in her parked car staring at me who couldn’t bother to roll down a window to ask if I was ok, but was fine gawking as I licked my wounds and picked up my belongings.
I thanked God my phone had survived the fall and picked my coffee cup off of the ground as I assessed the damage.
“I just fell,” I said on the phone to my mother.
“What?” she asked.
“I just slipped in a some wet leaves, and I fell on the ground like a child for the second time in a few months.”
“Are you ok?”
I wanted to cry out of shame and feeling sorry for myself, but I pushed it down.
I assessed my situation. My gut reaction was to tell her, “No I’m really hurt.” But I was more pathetic than anything.
My friend who is a doctor has a pain scale she uses for her patients to realistically assess where they are at pain-wise on a scale of one to ten, so I knew I wasn’t that bad. After all on a Katie pain scale, eight was being mauled by a bear. Though I was reacting like it was an eight for drama, I was not anywhere close to being mauled by a bear level of pain. I didn’t even have any bones popping out, so I assumed I must be ok. I was simply a one and being a pansy.
I already felt the blood oozing out of my knee but knew I’d have to take off my tights when I got home to really assess the damage. My wrist hurt, but it wasn’t worse than my knee, so I shook it off and figured if I could walk the rest of the way home I’d live.
“It hurt but I’m fine and just being a baby…I’m more dying of shame than actually dying,” I reassured my mom.
I gimped the rest of the way home, cleaned out my wound and decided if I should take a picture of my goose egg swollen knee and send it to Katie so she could diagnose me as physically fine but mentally missing a few marbles.
I decided against it. I’d already hit my quota of medical/science questions for the time being and I needed to save them for real emergencies.
I rested up and iced my knee, kicking myself that I had promised a friend that I would show up to his album listening party this evening. Is “I fell” a decent excuse as a 30 year old woman?
I decided to be a good friend, wrapped up my gimp leg and threw on some jeans and a tee shirt and headed out the door, figuring everyone would have to deal with my half ass appearance as I was done putting in effort.
I walked up to the bar which was in a basement, my favorite kind, and a guy who was really edgy looking with tattoos, a beanie, and a ripped denim jacket was at the door checking ID’s.
I handed him my license, and he asked me how I was. I figured no one wanted to hear my sob story, so I gave the blatant,”Fine, and you?”
“I’m good. Listen I’m sorry parking wasn’t free, but I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t want to overstep my bounds but you are gorgeous.”
I looked down at my outfit as if maybe I had a Cinderella moment and just blacked out when my fairy godmother showed up.
“Anyways, I hope you have a good night and hope you come back this way sometime.”
I smiled, and told him, “Thanks, I’ve had a rough day. Thank you.”
Apparently my gimp leg and grimy look was working for me.
I found my friend, Scot, downstairs. I met him in Prague nearly a decade ago and venture out of my hole to support his musical endeavors whenever I can. I of course spilled my fall story immediately, adding how I’ve never been happier to have a cheese addiction since at least I knew my bones were strong and I didn’t have the osteo. He was quick to laugh at my tale of woe, as I would expect of any real friend of mine.
As Scot mingled around the room, one of his friends came up to me and introduced herself. She asked me if it was ok to give me a hug. I wanted to ask if she heard about my fall from across the room, but she apparently just thought I looked warm and welcoming.
I’m not a hugger, but apparently I was putting out some good aura vibes tonight that were freaking me out. Did I hit my head when I fell?
I said my goodbyes and made my way home after what turned out to be a good night once I sucked it up and powered through.
I got into my Lyft home, and the driver started talking to me. I told him about the event I was just at, and he told me about how he was driving until one of his friends finished their plans and then he would have someone to hang out with this Valentines Day.
He told me his story about coming here from Uzbekistan and his family being in Canada, and we swapped laughs and travel stories on the ride to my house.
It’s basic car banter really, but I forget the vibes I give off looking like a slum lord with a limp, and by the time we pulled up to the apartment, he told me, “I wish I had met you before tonight because then you and I would be spending Valentines Day together and I wouldn’t have worked at all. Our timing is just off.”
I laughed, and I told him that was a very flattering thing to say as I left the car. I thought to myself that I need to rough it a little more often because apparently that was immensely attractive to everyone around me.
I took a spill and now everyone was falling for me.