Revolutionary Squirrels

I tell people that it was revolutionary squirrels that broke my arm. I spin a funny story, me at my front door, fending them off with a pair of knitting needles and a scarf, waving my knitting around like a bull fighter. The story is funny. People are laughing.

It sounds better than it really was. What it really was was not so much stupid as stale and stupidly pedestrian. It was nothing more than the sort of thing I have been doing for thirty odd years.

I look back at it, and it’s cringe worthy. You can see exactly how it added up. I was running late because my conference call ran late. The conference call I took, even though I was on vacation. The conference call I accepted, even though I looked at the time and thought “that’s going to be close”.

The call ran late, and Mr. Spit was standing at my office door, telling me we had to leave. We got in the car and I realized that I had to return the chairs we borrowed last night, if I was going to put the top down on the car. I had promised our friends a tour around the yarn stores, with the top down.

It was running up the sidewalk to return the chairs that I tripped. I didn’t even see the stair.

It was a long thirty seconds, laying face down on the concrete. I had time to think. It was the moment when you realize that this is going to hurt. It just hasn’t started yet.

And what I thought in those thirty seconds was: still.

After 34 years old, I am still doing this to myself. I am still a klutz. I am still doing this.

I’m afraid I don’t know what else to say. I do this. I do this to myself. I over promise and find myself scrambling so that I don’t under deliver.

Which ends, face down on the concrete, thinking “Still . . . ”

I’ve been doing this for all of my life. Running late, being disorganized, rushing.

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7 Responses to Revolutionary Squirrels

  1. Mer says:

    I broke my elbow 6.5 years ago walking my dog. I tripped over some sidewalk and that was that. I’m a lawyer, and I had some colleagues suggest that I sue the woman who owned the house in front of which I fell, since by extension, she was “responsible” for the sidewalk. I gave them all the same answer: how can I hold someone else responsible for my lifelong inability to pay attention to where I am going? I thought the incident would finally teach me to pay better attention. 6.5 years later, not so much. Old habits die hard.

    Be sure to consider some PT for the elbow. I found it helped immensely.

  2. a says:

    Ya know, some people are graceful. Some people’s eyes are on the prize and not on the step. I like to call it focus. It speaks to your ability to concentrate. From one klutz to another, you have my sympathies…

  3. Needles says:

    We are sisters under that nice yiddish word, klotz.

  4. Maureen says:

    So your real story sounds better than either of my real stories of breaking my elbow.

    First time, I was standing looking at my car in disgust in a hospital parking lot. When I took my great aunt into the emergency room, it was 70 degrees. 8 hours later, she was discharged home and waiting for me to pick her up at the door, and I was standing at my car in my sweatshirt, cursing the 3 inches of fresh snow on my car with more falling. It was supposed to be a mild spring day, no snow in the forecast. I was just contemplating this and the fact that I spent the entire day in the ER instead of work, standing there, and I fell, broke my arm. My sweatshirt that I was cursing for not being warm enough, was cut off of me an hour later when I got to the emergency room (after driving said aunt home and getting someone to stay with her, then getting someone else to drive me)

    Time two, we were camping. We had been hiking on very rough trails, some that were not even trails. Up and down large hills. Climbing over fallen trees. We were walking on a groomed path. No roots. No incline. Just flat groomed path. And I tripped over my feet. Which was complicated by the fact I was carrying my 3 month old who barely weighed 9 lbs. Yes, broke the same elbow, in the same unusual manner I did the first time. Let me tell you, I almost passed out from the pain. It was worse than labor (no joke).

    Amazingly, through very aggressive early therapy, I have only lost a couple of degrees of motion in my elbow. My ortho is very impressed with this. It hurt like a *itch. (And time #2 took forever to heal, 14 weeks before I was cleared to work, which most likely has something to do with the fact I was not supposed to pick any weight initially, but I had said 3 month old, and a 2 year old.)

  5. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I do things like that a lot. Once I busted my face open on a pole I didn’t know was there.

    I walked right past someone I know well at the store the other day too. She saw me and stopped me, but I would not have seen her otherwise. I’ve come to the conclusion that I do these things because I am busy THINKING. (Sounds better than not paying attention, right?)

  6. Andie says:

    I’ve often wondered if I would have done better to take ballet or dance lessons … I am not graceful by nature either. My DH, who is taller & bigger than I am, seems to walk more lightly while I (apparently) thud around.

    As HereWeGoAJen says … I think it’s being wrapped up in our thoughts and the external world doesn’t register the same way.

  7. loribeth says:

    I haven’t broken any bones (YET — knocking wood…!) but I am a klutz too. I have taken some nasty tumbles & banged into things, resulting in sprains & big purple bruises that took weeks to go away. And yes, I was usually in a rush at the time. You’re not alone!

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