Like most human beings I am affected by the force of gravity and thus I have a tendency to fall at inoportune times. Of course, this can be both hilarious and traumatizing. Usually traumatizing and then very funny after I’ve realized that I’m ok. I’ve become fairly good at falling over the years as most people do. At least, I hope most people do. Hell, I may just be abnormal in that respect. I am, in fact, somewhat clumsy although I can never gauge whether I’m more or less clumsy than others.
When I was in elementary school, around first grade I believe, I fell off a piece of playground equipment. I fell like a stone, of course, right down to the woodchips that covered our Narnia-sized playground. This piece of playground equipment has been torn down much like many pieces of equipment from my generation. Which is a shame because I can only remember two big injuries being caused by it.
Anyway, I didn’t just fall off what we called the “Old Ship”, I fell with consequences. See, I fell facing a vertical ladder. My forehead bounced off of the steel rungs once by one and when my head recoiled, the back of my head slammed into a heavy bulkhead. I fell to ground, landing on my feet but immediately fell onto my rear. My companions, Marie Graf and Rachel Gormley, hastened to my side as I sat down heavily on a well-worn piece of wood.
“I’m fine.” I said, cutting off their inquiries before they came. I reached back to rub the back of my head and my hand came away red. I think my heart stopped as I heard female screams. I think I was too stunned to scream myself. Someone must have gotten a grownup because before long I was in the nurse’s office and then the emergency room. I got two stitches, the first in my life.
That moment came back to me recently because I fell again. Now before you jump off your chairs in worry for my safety I didn’t need any stitches this time. I merely bruised the side of my left knee and, of course, my behind. Basically, I fell off of a ladder.
I arrived at my job in the morning to see my boss ready to work on the porch roof of the house we had built for Proof. He needed help so I grabbed a ladder and set it up on the porch and grabbed a battery-operated screwdriver that I will refer to as a “Screwgun”. Anyway, I climbed up the ladder quickly without realizing that the ladder was not fully on the platform. One of the back legs slipped off the edge and the ladder fell backwards with me on it.
Time seemed to slow down, as cliche as that is, and it seemed to take a minute to fall about 7 feet. This is what convinced me that I’ve learned how to fall because I didn’t freak out much and I spread out the contact. That way the impact was spread out over my body. The only reason I bruised my knee is because it landed on a bucket. I got off light this time and it made me actually laugh out loud and carry on with a jolt of adrenaline. I’ll keep you all informed.
Bonus: This song by Ben Folds reminds me of my epic fall from the “Old Ship” every time I hear it and yet a few people know it is one of my favorite songs. It’s about when Ben Folds fell off the stage at a concert in Japan.