“Whoa, man, are you okay?” Asked the man I had just smugly passed on the stairs because he was moving too slow for my athletic and agile, nothing-can-bring-me-down-it’s-Friday two step leaps up the concrete stairs in the transit station.
“Do you need me to call someone?” Asked the same too-slow-for-me man who undoubtedly watched me eat it on the stairs several feet ahead as one of my two-step-per-leap hops tragically and anomalously became a one-and-a-half-step-per-leap. After that, it all happened so fast that I don’t really know what happened completely, but I did think about pockets.
Pockets are cool. Really, really cool. You can put stuff in ‘em like coins, gum, chapstick, and little pieces of trash. They’re really helpful when you don’t know which of the 34 established categories of Seattle trash your gum wrapper should fall into. So, instead of humiliating yourself around all the green Seattle-ites and (God-forbid) throwing compost into the landfill bin, you think, “I’ll throw it away at home,” and wad it up and stuff it down with all the other shame-inducing waste. Pockets are also good for hands, particularly ugly hands. My hands aren’t ugly, but they were cold and pockets are good for cold hands too.
I was thinking about pockets as my face hurled toward that oversized concrete brick.
Do you know what pockets are not good for? Falling. Pockets are terrible for falling down on concrete stairs when they are full of your hands. Do you know what’s terrible for breaking your fall? Concrete. Do you know what is wonderful and effective for breaking your spirit? The tragic combination of concrete, stairs, and elbows. And guess what. All three of these things broke my fall and my spirit along with it. Pockets full of hands, anomalous one-and-a-half-step leaps, and concrete, and elbows, and stairs. That big slab of concrete didn’t shatter my knee cap or my elbow, but I definitely wanted to shatter some knee caps right about then. Of course I couldn’t because movement was so painful that I’m pretty sure the growth of my fingernails hurt.
Anyway, back to too-slow-for-me (but-more-coordinated) guy’s question about wanting him to call someone.
No, no, no.
Seriously, no one needs to know about this. NO ONE.
“Hey! Do you need me to call someone?!” This time from balcony guy farther away.
That guy was from way up on the balcony overhead. Balcony-guy came running down the stairs. I don’t know where too-slow-for-me guy was. Beat me to the top of the stairs, no doubt… Anyway, balcony-guy was bounding down the stairs (which is a bad idea, trust me), and so-quiet-I-could-barely-hear-her girl pointed out that my ORCA card was on the ground. That was obviously what I was thinking about, not my shattered bones that had just been hurled against massive rock slabs. I directed so-quiet-I-could-barely-hear-her girl to slip it into my bag. She didn’t really have to slip it in because my bag was wide open and all the items were ripe for the taking. She could have tossed it if she wanted.
That was about the time balcony-guy came down the stairs.
He was nice and thoughtful enough. He helped me up, asked me if I needed him “to call anyone.” (Seriously, what’s up with that question?) Balcony guy would have been much more likeable if I wasn’t so mad. My anger at Friday morning was probably balcony guy’s biggest flaw.
And what is it with this question, “Do you need me to call anyone?” Quiet girl asked me the same thing. I would have never thought to ask that. If I needed to call 911 for someone, it wouldn’t be at a time when I could actually ask that question because, I don’t know, IT WOULD BE AN EMERGENCY.
I don’t understand. Maybe they could call and order a large pizza for me because I was sad, hurting, and didn’t feel like moving. Isn’t that what sad, hurting people who don’t feel like moving do? Order large pizzas all for themselves so they can have another part of their lives to not share with anyone? No, I’m kidding, that’s terrible!
After balcony guy helped me up and made sure he didn’t need to call anyone, I hobbled to the elevator and continued out into the mean world of Friday.
While on the elevator to street level, two things happened. I kicked the side of the elevator and then followed it up with snapping out of my pride and realizing that I’m very weak and frail compared to life. I realized that in a split second, I went from thinking I was pretty awesome to realizing that I was nothing more than a moist, spongy, pink blob of organic matter that can’t walk properly or handle falling more than a foot and half. As I took the elevator to street level, let’s just say I was put back in my place.