Sunglasses? Check. House keys? Check-check. Cell phone? Checkity- check-check! Good to go.
To where am I going you ask? Nowhere special. Just a walk around the neighbourhood to stretch my legs. So why the cell phone if I don’t use it to text or call anyone? The only incoming calls are from hubby at day’s end when he’s leaving work.
Why the cell phone?
In case I fall.
I’m afraid that I will sprain my ankle and fall and not be able to get home. I’ve considered taking a walking stick, or a cane, just in case.
I see those eyeballs rolling! Come on, Maggie. Really? I do not blame you!
It’s happened about a half-dozen times over the years. I’ve injured both ankles, each time more severely than the last: just walking along the dang-blang sidewalk! I figure I’m due for another slip up any day now.
My most recent tumble was about three years ago. You know those fancy-schmancy walking shoes? The ones with a tapered heel that keep you trim and fit as you balance on what little remains of the sole. I was wearing them as I walked home from work. I stepped on the edge of the sidewalk exactly where the adjacent grass concealed a hole in the ground. Because there was no heel to hit the ground, my ankle turned further than it would have in a normal pair of walking shoes.
Down I went. I heard a snap. The neighbourhood heard a mighty roar: a furious and indignant curse. Luckily, I was just outside of the public library. The librarian called for a taxi. I must have looked shocky, because both she and the cab driver encouraged me to go to the emergency clinic.
The physical pain was bad. The emotional pain was a thousand times worse. I felt vulnerable and ashamed for being so careless, for being so inept and lacking grace.
Emotional ghosts of torments past haunted me. The words of dear old Dad, “Good God, Margaret, why don’t you watch where you are walking! You’re as clumsy as an elephant!”
Oh, hey, there’s the gym teacher, too: “You will stay until you clear the vault. That’s all there is to it! Now, just DO IT!”
An ex-husband also raged at my less than Olympic performance as I struggled to climb up a steep trail.
I thanked the cabbie for the suggestion, but told her to take me home. The last thing I wanted was to face anyone at this point. Then I did what any injured animal does. I retrieved the ice pack, poured myself a drink and hid.
It was the worst sprain I have ever had. My brother convinced me to get X-rays. The ankle was not broken, thank goodness. It took the better part of a year before I could walk with confidence.
The shoes rest quietly in a landfill somewhere.
My demons rest quietly and wait for their next cue.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Something happened on the weekend that I want to explore by writing. It is longer than usual, so I will set it out in parts. This is the first in the series. As it turns out, today’s Daily Prompt fits quite well with the theme of my story. It asks, “Do you hold a grudge or do you believe in forgive and forget?”
The short answer to the question is no, I do not hold grudges. To me that implies plotting revenge, or never letting down my guard. I am neither clever nor motivated enough.
I practice forgiveness, mostly for my sake. Most often the person that needs forgiveness is me for being in the line of fire in the first place.
Forgetfulness? Hell, I’m 58 and menopausal. Yes, I forget, names, dates, and the such-and-such theory of whatever field of study I researched last week. All ancient history. Trivial things. Vanished.
But events that shaped my psyche and are indelibly etched on my character? Push the right button and I’m transported back to the incident in a heartbeat.
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