The King, Elvis, said it right: “Wise men say only fools rush in“. Then there’s Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’.
This morning, I did both. Not Wonder Woman or flying squirrel falling, either, but an ‘oh, shit I hope I don’t break something’ flash of thought as my clog-shod foot slipped on the second rung of the two-step ladder, I dropped the end of the curtain rod I was holding for Hub and my right chest – just below my breast – thudded into the decorate square on the back of the pine chair by the kitchen table. I crumpled to the floor in a ball, howling my head off at the pain, too winded to even curse my displeasure at doing something I’ve never done before – fallen off a ladder. And a damned small ladder at that!
“Are you okay?” I opened my eyes and wondered why there was a chocolate chip cookie crumb in my line of sight. I thought I’d swept the floor last night. “Can I help you up?” Hub was hovering with the other end of the curtain rod in his hand.
“Uh, not yet.”
“I’ll get you some ice.” He bolted to the fridge and filled a ziplock with ice cubes. I hate cold stuff on my body but I knew in this case, if I wasn’t going to have a chest-shiner the size of a football, I’d better chill my flesh out. I stopped groaning and thrashing my legs. The ache subsided a bit. He placed the bag gently between my clenched arms.
I think I said something like, “It hurts like f***,” which he didn’t even notice because he was so worried.
“Do you want to go to Emerg? Do you think your ribs are broken?” I stared at the ceiling. Broken? No. I could breathe with no stabbing pains in my chest.
A ricochet of random thoughts jammed my brain.
Saturday morning at 8 o’clock. Emerg at Southlake will be like a frigging war zone what with last night’s leftover waiting-to-be-seens and a new crop of early risers hoping for a prescription or a quick x-ray. Oh damn. No, it’s Saturday and the cleaning lady is supposed to be here at 9:30. No way I’m cancelling that. It’s been two months and we have a big brunch tomorrow morning and I sure as hell don’t want to do any cleaning and besides, I have to hem those damned curtains we bought at Ikea on my insistence. Hub said we should wait to hang them but nooooo, I wanted them up so the kitchen would look nice in case it rained and we had to sit inside. Damn cheap things don’t even come with iron-on tape anymore. Where’s my iron-on tape. Fabricland has a big sale on today but it will be a zoo because everyone gets 50% off. Crap. I know I have a couple rolls somewhere in my sewing room. Yeah, I have to tidy the place up a bit so that I can find stuff easily. Oh man this hurts so much. Gee, I haven’t made the lingonberry gelato yet.Did I put the freezer bowl in the freezer? Yes. And the cakes are ready to go into the oven. Crap, I made the brine but haven’t sliced up the salmon yet. Do I have enough apple pucks for the smoker?
Hub hooked his hands under my arms to try to get me up but I howled as his right palm smooshed into the spot where’s I’d crunched into the chair. I got to my feet, clutching the bag of ice. I pulled up my t-shirt, not caring that we were standing in front of an uncurtained patio door. “Is there any bruising?”
“Nice bra,” he said. I looked down. Ah, the lacy black print jobbie. Hub smiled that mischievous smile of his and said, “Not yet.” See, that’s another good thing about having some extra passing on my body – protects me from serious injury when I crash into some immovable hard object.
I whipped a Home Depot apron out of the drawer and tied it so that the strings held the ice pack to my wounded quadrant. After a while, my flesh froze enough so that I didn’t even notice. Time to get back to tidying up before the cleaning lady arrived. Then baking, brining, ice cream making, hem the damned curtains (8 in total, 6 of them sheers, ugh). Suck it up, Buttercup, I said to myself. I was tilted to one side as I sautéed mushrooms and onions for the vegetable pate. After all, I’ve been hit harder playing non-contact recreational hockey. Then I sneezed. And saw stars for a few seconds. Yup, that’ll leave a mark.