I have never claimed to be graceful. I have no sense of depth around me and constantly bump into things. However, Wednesday I out-did myself. I fell down at work …. Full length …. Face into the carpet …. In front of someone. I managed to step on the side of my shoe rather than the bottom. Normal people would stumble a little bit, right themselves, and go off muttering about the crack in the carpet. NOT ME! I crash landed, hard, horrifying the person nearest me. After I had managed to sit up, trying extremely hard not to a) vomit and b) be a girl and cry, I took inventory. Right ankle – probably lightly sprained and starting to swell. Left knee – banged up but good. Left and right biceps – twisted slightly as I tried to prevent the final face smack-down into carpet. Nose – scrape across the bridge where glasses took their pound of flesh. Dignity – in shreds.

The guy who saw it all was very sweet. Once he determined I was alive and definitely not getting up to my feet for a minute, he went and got me a wet towel to clear the blood that was by then trickling down my nose, and in doing so, giving me some very much needed time to get myself together. I managed to get to my feet and immediately had to sit down because I got all woozy. But, after a minute, I was able to walk back to my office, and finish the day. Of course this happened at about 9AM so I had the whole day in front of me. No one would have stopped or even questioned me about leaving, except I wouldn’t allow myself to go. After the initial shock, it was something I am very used to.

I first hurt my ankle so badly I tore ligaments in it in 8th grade. At our school, there was a steep set of steps that went to the 6th grade classroom, where we had English every day. One day, I tripped and went down the entire set of stairs with my foot bent backwards. By the time my grandmother came to pick me up (she was taking me shopping for my birthday – an unbelievable treat), my ankle was the size of a soft ball so she took me to the doctor instead. Since then, every year or two, the ankle gives way. I can be coming downstairs, stepping off a curb, or just walking normally and the ankle collapses. I wind up with a sprain that lasts for anywhere from 3 days to a week, and I try to keep off it as much as possible for the first day or so and then start working it by walking a little bit more each day. First thing in the morning, when I swing my legs over the side of the bed, and the blood first reaches it, is the worst. Very painful. But then, as I walk on it more and more, and get it stretched out, it gets to be okay. The worst thing about it is I can’t drive properly (I can’t brake), so I have to rely on someone to be my chauffeur. Poor Helen has had to bring me to and from work for the past two days. But today is so much better than yesterday – hopefully, this is one of the short ones.

I rarely do this damage to myself in the comfort of my own home. When I was in college, I visited a friend on Block Island in Rhode Island. For those of you that don’t know, Block Island is very small and most people walk or ride bikes around – they leave their cars on the main land. I twisted my ankle at the BOTTOM of a very large cliff which I then needed to get back up before I could treat it in any way. I have also injured it while working in NYC, requiring me to walk back across town before catching a bus back to NJ. Then there was the time I twisted it and fell into a hedge and wound up with a twig through my lower lip (completely through). Got to love my life!

Anyway, tales of my exploit have made their way around the office. Luckily, the guy who works next to me was no where near by when I fell because he would have been in hysterics. Literally, I think he might have hurt himself laughing – he nearly did when he heard about it. And my favorite nick-name Gimpy has been resurrected again. I’m telling everyone that I’m trying to perfect the sport of carpet surfing before the 2008 Olympics. What the hell – laughing is much more fun than crying:)


3 Responses to “CARPET SURFING”

  1. amanda Says:

    I forgot to warn you that the dansko’s are a far way from the ground and inevitably you will sprain the ankle if you twist your foot. One too many times have I done it- These damn family ankles….

  2. painted maypole Says:

    oh…what a good attitude. i hope your body and ego heal quickly.

  3. sheoflittlebrain Says:

    I used to have an ankle that betrayed me, but when I was in my thirties it started stronger or something..Hope yours gets stronger one of these days, and hope you’re well on the road to recovery.I’m sure you had a lovely Christmas and are currently engaged with your nose in a new book!

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