Best Laid Plans and Worst Laid Sidewalks

20 Sep

I just had bad luck: I’d dropped off mail in a blue mailbox a few blocks from my apartment and petted a very friendly little black cat. Maybe I was daydreaming about adopting a black cat, but as I was walking back, I tripped on a very bumpy sidewalk. I didn’t just trip–I actually twisted my left ankle and fell on my right side, badly scraping my right knee and hurting my right pointer finger. The ankle is only very mildly hurt, but I suspect it’s a slight sprain. It hasn’t swelled up, and I can limp around with very little pain. I’m still somewhat in shock. A couple of nice bikers stopped by and helped me sit down on a stone wall and talked with me; one of them said these sidewalks are terrible and she frequently falls on them (or trips on them, anyway).

Usually in the dark, I have occasionally stumbled slightly on the uneven sidewalks, but this seemed rather extreme. Right before falling, I had been looking straight forward, not paying attention to the sidewalk surface. It’s ironic, since I meditate and hike—I pay attention under those circumstances. Coming to think of it, surely the most disciplined meditators don’t look at the ground the entire time they’re walking, whenever they’re walking.

I had to set aside my plans; I meant to hop in my car and drive to In Other Words (the feminist community center/bookstore where I volunteer)—to shelve books on the new shelves and to later attend a book discussion group. Instead, I limped the two blocks home and put my ice pack on my ankle and hydrogen peroxide on my knee.

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