Saturday, June 07, 2014
A block later I tripped and fell on the concrete sidewalk.
You know, if you haven't fallen down since you were a kid, you just somehow forget how to do it without getting hurt. There was no slow-motion, oh-my-God-this-is-going-to-be-bad sense about this fall. It was just WHAM! and I was down, blinded by the pain in my knees.
While Bernie knelt beside me trying to ascertain whether or not I had hit my head (I hadn't) a nice man pulled over to the side of the road and jumped out to offer assistance. I didn't really at that point want assistance, I just wanted to lie there on the hot concrete and wait for everything to be all nice again. But after a minute or two, I knew I had to try to stand, and my kind men took my hands to pull me to my feet. That was when I noticed the pain in my hands. Then it was obvious that I'd done a four-point landing, knees and the heels of my hands.
What I should have done was ask the nice man to give us a ride home, but oddly, that never occurred to me until about a hobbled fifty feet later, when I had to stop in the shade of a tree and wait for the throbbing to stop.
I could have called someone to come get us ... if I had a cell phone, which I don't. And even that wouldn't have worked because I don't use the phone if I can help it, and so have no phone numbers of friends or neighbors memorized -- at least none that live in town.
That was one long mile to get home, gimping along in the 90-degree afternoon heat. Bernie carried my purse, in which fortunately we'd stashed a cold bottle of water. We slowly oozed from shade to shade as we could, and I made it all the way.
What was nightmarish was the sudden realization of how isolated we are. Cars zoomed past us on the busy street, but no one looks at pedestrians and wonders if they want to walk or can walk -- if they didn't want to walk, they'd have a car, wouldn't they? Everybody has a car! On the other side of the sidewalk was a sound wall -- no contact with people there, and since people only walk if they want to walk, there was no place to sit in the shade, not until we made it back into the residential area, where a picnic table in a little park had one corner in the shade. Then on down the streets to our own street, plenty of houses, no one around. Early Thursday afternoon, everybody's at work, or out shopping, or holed up inside their shrouded windows, watching TV in the air conditioning. What a desert I live in!
I was lucky; nothing is broken. The bruising and soreness will fade. But the sense of isolation ... that's still there, in the back of my mind. How many injured or hurting people have I not seen, that I could have helped? I don't know, of course, but I think I'll keep my eyes open more now.