In my senior year of high school, as I was strolling down the long staircase that was the focal point of the gargantuan Humanities Building, wearing a dress and carrying a pile of books that was equal in weight to a cord of wood, I violently slipped and fell, face first, down the unforgiving steps. I remember that my first thought was that everyone would see my underwear and this was my only concern because I had my period and, at that time, girls primarily wore Maxi-Pads. I hurtled full force into the swarms of other students, my 900 page anatomy, geography and political science books clocking several of them in the abdomen. When the floor finally stopped me, I lay there crumpled in the fetal position, desperately reaching for the bottom of my dress to make sure no one could see my butt. People gathered around me and helped me up and, of course, I burst into tears which caused a melt down of my four layers of mascara to run down my face as if I were Lon Chaney in Phantom of the Opera. But my rescuers were unphased. They gathered my books, they patted my hair and they took me to the nurses office where I was put back together and made new.
I always think of that experience when I lose my footing today. When I burrow down the rabbit hole or I follow a story line that involves nothing but hideous, self-defacing mush. I long for a group of screaming yet helpful people to come to my rescue and take me to the nurse’s office so she can make me whole again. And I long for the aftermath that involves all the loving follow-up-ers. The How Are Yous? and the Are You Okays?
I know there will always be times when I miss two, three, twenty steps and go hurling, confused, into the abyss. But I’ve come to familiarize myself with my snap back schedule—that time when I am able to get up off the floor, spruce up my mind and my outfit and, goddammit, be on my merry way.
Yours In Whoops,
Florence Fancy Feet