“The art of falling down”
-A cut and bruise narrative-
They say some people are prone to falling down. Some people are prone to falling down every now and then. Some are prone to falling down – over and over – time and again. I may belong to the last category, if you believe my wife. Last night was one such night. It was my turn – again. What was amusing with this particular mishap was the fact that I had a few seconds to think about the consequences of my falling down as I was falling down. This has never happened before.
My feet were bare as I climbed down the stairs and as I leaped towards a door totally oblivious of the furnished space in between. That space was supposed to have been empty in my imaginary world (which was superimposed on the real world until a few weeks ago). Those few seconds that would have cost me, had I turned the lights on to give some visibility along the rather docile path that I was treading, were completely worth wasting, in retrospect. But then again, that was retrospect in quotes.
The big toe on my right foot was the first to sense the unveiling danger. For the message to travel through the communication channel between your toe and other senses is normally like driving on an Interstate highway passing through a big city during peak hours. That kind of speed was absolutely not enough for my brain to have acted upon issuing any warning messages to my other toes on my right foot or my left foot. At that point when the bad news was released to my right big toe, it was all over. The sensory system was essentially preparing itself for all the formalities associated with a big blow and had given up taking any kind of precautionary measures, but instead was ready to alert the swat team to be on its “toes”.
That process of my sensory system getting ready for the accident and of it alerting my other part of the brain to send damage control messages, was the reason when my “normal” and the rational side of my brain had those few seconds at its disposal to think about the earthly effects of such a fall. There was a wicker couch whose leg was the first point of impact. Then there was an oval shaped center coffee table with a detachable glass top. To the other side was another wicker couch leaving just a few yards between it and the door that I should have grabbed without any of these interferences had my imaginary world still stayed real. The tumbling over the first couch was more or less pain free. Once I landed on the coffee table, I knew I had lost control of the proceedings. Actually, it was only at the moment I came out of my imaginary world. I saw this glass top slipping from its base because of my right and left tibia pushing them. I thought it was going to break into smithereens and bury my lower limb(s) with splinters & a pool of blood. Fortunately, the glass top glided slowly to the other side while one end found a nice resting place between the carpet and the left leg of the other wicker couch, thus preventing a free fall. Because this displacement created a big hole on the top of the coffee table my limbs got stuck right in the middle of the coffee table. I was trying to fall towards the other couch to get some support to do a quick balancing act. Before I could do that, I could already feel my tibia in both my legs being severely bruised and hurt, just because the glass-wicker combination is terrible. In the end, I managed to get a good hold of one of the cushions which acted as a brake on this chain of events. I finally fell on the other couch – my upper body on the couch, my lower body still stuck in the coffee table while my abdomen up in the air for a few seconds.
When it was all over, I told myself – “Man! How did I manage it again?” I rubbed my limbs as hard as I could, expecting it to give me some excruciating pain. I felt all the bumps as my hands glided over the ridges of my tibia, reminding me of all the many “great falls” of the past. It took me another 15 minutes (and the lights to be turned on) to figure out that I actually had an open wound as a result of a cut. Some first aid, some self pity, some spouse pity, some spouse care and some self-annoyance later, it was business as usual.
If I had maintained a diary with days and dates of all my “falls”, then I am sure I would surprise myself by going through that list as I sit down and blog. Numerous and many – but the truth is that I can feel the pain right now in my tibia. Like they say, “this too shall pass”!
In retrospect (sic), I seriously conclude that if falling down is an art, then I am an artist who has mastered that art quite well.