Dixie Peach: But I can't help falling in love with you

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

But I can't help falling in love with you

This evening I took a walk down the street to the Asian bistro - cleverly named Asian Bistro - to pick up some lo mein for supper.

I tell you, in the three weeks since I've moved I've cooked very little. This has simply got to change.

Anyway, as I was approaching the restaurant I saw a little boy about six years old and a little girl about four years old up on the ledge of a fountain. The fountain was turned off and drained for the winter and the ledge is quite wide - wide enough for people to sit on it. The kids were walking around the ledge and the mother said "Careful, kids. Don't fall!".

I understand this mother's concern. The edge of the fountain was about two feet high, concrete, and the ground below was nothing but concrete tile.

I hate falling. It's one of those basic fears I have. I go out of my way to avoid situations where my chance of falling is increased. When I was a teenager I fell down an escalator and since then I have a fear of going down one. Going up is okay but I will avoid going down one unless I have absolutely no other alternative and even then I have to talk myself into getting on. I once fell down a hill when I was in college (and completely bombed at the time) and since then I avoid walking down hills with more than the merest incline. I fear ice. I fear snow once it's become packed down an icy. Should it rain in the winter I fear the temperatures dipping below freezing and turning the sidewalks into a skating rink. I'm very careful walking down steps and stairs and when I take the streetcar I always hope the one I need will be a new one with no steps.

So imagine my surprise when at the very moment that I was thinking that I understood this mother's concern for her children potentially falling off this fountain ledge I myself lost my balance. I must have caught my shoe on the tiniest edge of concrete tile - I certainly didn't feel it. All I knew was I was pitching forward out of balance, my arms windmilling around me and thinking "Get your balance! Get your balance! Hang on! Oh shit! Oh forget it, I'm doomed!"

Blame my being top heavy. Blame my terrible sense of balance. Blame it on me being born under an unlucky star. Blame it on Rio, if you must. All I knew was that I was headed face down for concrete. Hands out to catch myself as best I could I slammed down, banging my bad knee but avoiding smashing my face.

I must have made some sort of "Ooof!" sound because a young lady turned around and asked me if I were alright.

Taking a moment to assess myself I replied that I seemed to be okay and took that opportunity to silently ask God to send his angels to help me up so I wouldn't flounder around on the concrete like a beached whale.

I drew my knees up (painfully!) underneath myself and hoisted myself to a standing position. The young lady asked me once again if I were alright and I said that I seemed to be and was only terribly embarrassed.

"Oh don't be," she replied. "That can happen to anyone."

I thanked her for her concern and said good bye and went on to the bistro, not daring to look around me to see if anyone was snickering at my mishap.

I walked inside and waited for the cook to come from the sit-down part of the restaurant and gave him my order. I paid for my food and before he turned around to make it he said "Are you the one who just fell outside?".

Red faced, I replied that I was but that I was okay. He gave a cross between an understanding smile and a stiffled smirk and turned around to start stir-frying.

I'd almost be too embarrassed to go back but they make such fabulous chicken lo-mein.

As a side note, today starts Holidailies. From now until January 6th I will do my very, very, very best to update my blog daily. I'm pretty good about near daily updates anyway so this shouldn't be such a burden.

And if I don't do my very best to do daily updates you can make me ride an escalator.


Blogger Romani Heart said...

I have a fear of escalators too. I never fell on one, but when I was little, a small child had gotten somehow pulled into one in the big Sears store downtown. If I remember correctly, the little one lost a limb as a result. My mom went on and on about it forever. As a result, I still hesitate a few times before I'll step onto one going up.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Katya said...

I'm glad you're okay. I understand that fear of falling as, ever since my doctor told me I had osteoporosis in my hip (and only one hip), I've been scared to death of falling.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Miz said...

Since I fall a lot because of my back, when I do it and someone says anything I just smile and say, "And that is why my parents did NOT name me Grace!"

4:59 AM  
Blogger amulbunny said...

I am glad you didn't get hurt. My stepdad fell yesterday on an escalator going upstairs at Ikea, and ended up going to the hospital via ambulance. He got all banged up and at 85 it's not a good thing.

I am clod born and bred. I can walk down a flat sidewalk and somehow find the only raised part in miles. I was crossing the street one time walking back to my apartment and I fell down. Nothing in the road to make me do it, but I ended up tearing ligaments in my ankle and being on crutches for weeks.

TAke care of yourself!


7:03 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Wow, I'm glad you're OK. I lose my balance quite frequently. And I finally found someone who hates escalators as much as I do! When I was a kid I got one of my rubber flip flops caught in one and ever since them...eeeeeeeep. When my kids were babies I used to watch mothers going up and down escalators with baby strollers and I'd feel sick to my stomach. I could NEVER do that.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

So glad that you are okay!!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

I always have a fear that my skirt/shoelace will get caught and I'll get minced :|

Glad you're doing good though- I have a tendency to just randomly fall and it's never a pretty sight!

7:34 PM  
Blogger marshamlow said...

I am so glad you are ok. I am notorious for tripping and falling. Back in Indiana there was this one store and I fell in the parking lot, a lot. To the extent that my then 9 year old daughter would reach out to steady me whenever we were there. I am very excited about the daily posts, you are a gifted story teller. I hope your knee is ok!

11:41 PM  

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