Sunday, April 2, 2017

My right foot

About a year ago, Kim was walking down our back porch steps. The wooden steps were wet, and she was wearing her well-worn and slick-soled Crocs, which probably best explains how she ended up on her bottom before she reached bottom. Thump, thump, thump...

The offending steps...
 I wasn't home and she told me about it later. She wasn't hurt in the fall — just sore — but it could have been considerably worse. We were lucky.

"Be careful," she tells me to this day, every time I go out the back door.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I thought about all of this while I was in the middle of my own slippage down the porch steps earlier this past week. It had been raining, and I was wearing my own worn out Crocs while taking out the garbage early Monday morning.

Surprise. My foot slipped out from under me...

I have noticed this peculiar phenomenon that occurs when you are in the process of having an uncontrollable accident — time goes into slow motion. Thoughts go through your head with lightning speed — maybe even faster than that.

So anyway, while still in the process of falling, I swear I was thinking, "This is what happened to Kim. I hope this doesn't hurt..."

My right foot has become a canvas for modern art...
 I'm not quite sure what happened next. I think I tried to catch myself, but with both hands loaded with recyclables, there wasn't much I could do. I ended up on my ass, with my right leg bent awkwardly behind me. On the steps.

I didn't hear anything snap. I didn't feel anything tear. I stayed where I was for a moment, waiting for the pain to announce itself. I looked around to make sure my neighbors hadn't seen any of this. Kim was getting ready for work. I slowly started to unfold myself, limb by limb. The only thing that was starting to hurt was where I skinned my wrist, heel and knee. But no blood.

Nothing broken.

That was close.

But later in the day, several toes on my right foot were starting to swell, then turn black and blue. I went to work anyway, but early on, I had to take my shoes off because of the swelling. Apparently, I jammed several phalanges when I landed, in the way a basketball player might jam a finger miscatching a basketball. I showed a couple co-workers my mostly purple toes, because, you know, it was turning into a pretty good war story by now and I relish undeserved sympathy.

When I finally got home, I applied ice.

I felt better the next day. And the next. By the end of the week, most of the discoloration had gone. No doctor required.

Life has returned to normal speed.

We were lucky. Again.

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