Hugh and Mina loved to run, and I might be in my early-ish 60s, but I wasn’t so old I couldn’t indulge them. The summer evening was dark, but still warm. Running felt like flying with 30 pounds of dog pulling me along. Old neighborhood, tall trees in the tree lawns, their roots shaping the sidewalk. No street lamps.
My left arm extended forward, my connection to the dogs. My right arm swung behind me in balance as my right foot swept forward, not skimming over the pavement like it was supposed to, but finding the uphill slant of the cracked concrete square and stopping. Mid-stride.
Like hitting a brick wall, except the only thing that stopped moving forward was my foot. The rest of me fell, left shoulder wrenching as the dogs kept running, back of my right hand scraping skin off on the sidewalk in my frenzy to get it in front of me to stop my face from hitting the pavement. Utter fail.
My pubic bone hit first. Ultimately, the bruise grew to about 2″ by 5″, deep purple and red, very like bruises left by broken bones. I don’t have insurance. I won’t go to doctors. Your guess is as good as mine.
Next. The sound of a skull full of brain smacking into concrete is sickening, especially from inside the skull in question. Sickening, but oddly satisfying.
The only other person out was a woman standing six feet from my head, just about to cross the street. She turned and said,
“I heard that. Can I help you?”
I managed to sit, but I wasn’t ready to stand. In her kindness, she returned to her house to bring me a wet cloth to wipe the dirt from my face and hands, and the blood from my nose. I knew from the tenderness on its bridge exactly where I had broken it. The pain beneath one eyebrow warned me of the black eye. I was just muddled enough to be certain of a mild concussion. Crap.
Returning the cloth, which she hung on her fence while she continued on whatever errand took her across the street, I sat a few more moments to gather however many wits I could find. When I got to my feet, I contemplated going back home — a mere ten houses away. I would be able to clean up, take stock of my injuries, and lie down — an appealing idea.
Then I remembered Hugh and Mina hadn’t pooped yet. There they sat, waiting patiently while I got myself together, looking expectantly at me, ready to go whichever direction I decided. I squared my shoulders. We might as well finish this walk. Forward, not back.
That’s when I realized I’d passed the test. There is an age beyond which we are not meant to fall down. For me, that was years ago. But going forward from here, I officially became a badass when it comes to fighting this slow battle we call aging.
How about you? Are you up to the challenge?
(This is my response to DailyPosts Daily Prompt, “Test”. I thought I’d try something new. Shirley Dietz of I Just Have to Say… reminded me of this incident from a couple summers ago when she described her recent bike spill. Please go take a look; her point of view is always unique, and her writing is always excellent.)