Shortly before The Tale of Despereaux, and gathered my belongings, including a heavy black bag that I haul nearly everywhere--my current writing projects.. on Monday, I parked the Boys & Girls Club van in its spot after taking a group of kids to the cinema to see
The plan was to transfer my stuff to my truck, parked just beside the van, and then take the van key inside the Club. And the plan was to do it quickly, considering the frigid temperature.
Well, as long-time readers of this blog may know, I'm not the tallest person. I have to adjust the van seat every time, because the customary driver is around six feet. Getting into and out of a 12-passenger van would be difficult without the handy step on the driver's side. I opened the door, hauled my belongings from the passenger's seat over to the driver's side, put my left foot on the step, and prepared to disembark.
As soon as I put weight on that foot, it slid right out from under me. I heard a pop. I landed hard on my left side, stuff scattered around me, right shoe landing between the noses of the two vehicles, and I just sat on the freezing pavement. "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God. It hurts. It hurts. Oh God." (You get the picture.)
After a while, I got the ankle to move, and stood, gathered my stuff one more time, and put it all inside the truck, wondering 1) how I was going to make the trip to the building and back, and 2) how I was going to drive home, since the left foot was required to operate the clutch.
There was an adult and two boys who were sitting in a black pickup when the accident happened, but I don't know if they witnessed it. However, when I was upright finally, they got out of the truck, and I called to the dad to take the van key to the front desk for me. He offered to help me walk inside, but I said I was going straight home.
I did make it through city traffic, then took a back road home so I could drive slowly--not over 35 miles an hour, the posted speed limit--and thus not use the clutch very often. In fact, I managed to travel that entire road, from where I turned off at the highway until the city limits of the little town where I live, several miles later, without using the clutch once. When I did use it, I'll admit that my imagination saw the bones of my foot grinding against one another. Yes, I am a dramatic wimp.
My dad called shortly after I arrived home, and he came over to finish doctoring my injuries. I managed the elastic bandage myself--I have a lot of experience, and at least three elastic bandages from prior trips to the clinic--but he cleaned the two deep cuts on the back of my right foot. Don't know how they happened, or why the right show flew off, but maybe the foot was cut on the underside of the step.
If I hadn't done myself similar injury many times in the past, I wouldn't have a handy pair of crutches. This morning, I felt the pulled muscles and bruised hip and butt and calf, but I can walk without the crutches, if I keep my foot flat and don't try to bend it in a natural stride.
Here's the crazy thing: There's pavement "burn" (or "rash", whichever one wishes to call it) on one knee, but my pants are entirely uninjured. How does that happen?
I intended to go to work today, but swollen foot wrapped in elastic bandage would not insert itself into shoe. I could have wrapped it in a Wal-Mart sack, I suppose, but that wouldn't have helped my ability to operate the clutch.
Anyway, before Dad left last night, I told him I felt twelve years old again, getting first aid after wrecking my bicycle for the unknown time. We laughed, and he assured me that if I wanted the attention, I coulda just called. I didn't have to thrown myself out of a van.
But where's the story in that?