Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stairways to hell


I've been laid up since the 17th as I managed to fall down two steps into Cormac's sunken living room, splitting the difference by folding my left ankle down to the next step and bending my right knee up at unnatural angles to hold the pose. A reindeer could've bolted between my bowed legs. 

But I had one more stair to navigate. Then, whump, I went down on my butt, hard—so freakin elegant. The edge of my outside boot caught on the steps (the sole split), as I was going down sideways. Facing forward, I would've been a real goner, or broke my nose (again). But I didn't spill my wine. Miracle of miracles.

The cardinal rule: always RICE right after you fall. I had some wine in me (anti-inflamatory agent), so I took Advil, and religiously iced my elevated ankle and knees the rest of the week.

I hate stairs. I have missed the bottom stair more than a few times.  I remember when I was somewhere between the ages of three and four, I took a tumble off the top of the stairs, and made it around the curve, only to have the home stretch open all the way down to the bottom, headfirst. The scenery jarring and bumping as my head hit each step. I was too surprised to cry. No one ever knew.


I did it once off a ladder, backwards, while painting a mural... A long step down, the jarring pain and lots of little bird stars tweeted in my head...

I won't mention the hikes, where stairs and I have parted company. How I ever made it over the Andes, with its thousands upon thousands of stairs for miles on end, was a major miracle. I was not so lucky on the glacial moraine on the Continental Divide.  My nose took a suckerpunch from a rock.


Another time Galway Kinnell called me on the phone to set up a reading, and I was so dazed, I walked out my front door, and promptly fell down my one front step. One step! Twisted my ankle but good. He wanted to know why I was whuffling like a buffalo.
  
One time I did the splitz down a long flight of attic stairs... My flip flops lost traction slipped, and down I went, like a grass toboggan ride. I had no idea I was that limber. Or that I could bend like that. 

Crotch rugburn was the least of my worries. I had to tie a bandana around my left knee to raise and lift it in order to shift the clutch—for a month....

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