I fell down on Saturday. Lauren and I were putting away her Halloween decorations at one of my many storage spaces. As we came out of the building I stepped on a stone just wrong, and my loose (but stylish fold-down, stacked heal) boot gave way. I hit my knee, my side and my shoulder in an artless tumble to the gritty pavement.
I’ve fallen a few times since I’ve been sober. Once when I was moving and stepped on a slippery unfolded box, once on a rough road on Current Island in The Bahamas, another time in the parking garage of my condo building. My sober falls always involve inappropriate shoes, unavailing hurry and the kind of distraction that has me wondering as I sprawl, “Where am I? What in the world just happened?”
The following things went through my head (in this order) after I fell at the storage space:
- Shit. Did I rip my fabulous new hemp leggings with the zippers and studs Kim gave me for my birthday?
- This is embarrassing. Lauren will have to hoist me up from the ground or I’ll have to crawl to the bumper to pull myself up because my legs don’t seem to be working.
- I haven’t done this for a while…
- My ankle hurts. My knee hurts. I hope I didn’t break something…
- Thank God. The pants are intact.
Isn’t it strange the things the mind prioritizes when something like this happens? We always laugh and say, “I’m alright.” A bone could be poking through the skin but we feel the need to make things okay for anyone watching.
When I was drinking, I fell a lot.
In those days it almost always involved my blood and the frantic search for scattered porcelain laminates and several good Samaritans to lift me. It is not easy to heave the dead weight of a drunk. But there was no embarrassment, and I usually just got up and continued drinking…
And nobody was laughing.
Today I’m not drinking because I’m watching where I’m walking…
How come you’re not drinking?