I fell on the ice today. There was no warning, and my knee and palm seemed to break my fall with lighting speed, even as my confident step was still slipping into its painful landing. Somehow, even though my brain had yet to consciously process the black ice or its repercussions, my open smoothie cup remained un-spilt and my body angled away from the pocket of my bag that held my borrowed work laptop. Amazing how that happens. My brain had negotiated the fall with a weird sort of triage, offering up my joints and few appendages as sacrifice to the gravity gods, if only they spared my cold cup of protein and the pricey technology I carried. Oof. I angrily registered the fall even as I began to stand back up, rubbing my stinging palm against my thigh and testing weight on my now-throbbing knee as I slowly moved off of the dangerously glossy patch of sidewalk.
In an instant, my proactive start to the day had derailed abruptly, like a car accident on the way to an opening night. But despite the whiplash, the show must go on. So, though my metaphorical car was feeling a little totaled I cautiously made my way across the rest of the slippery driveway. I started my car, angstily going back to throw rock salt across the sidewalk while the spirals of ice on my windshield melted. There was no cup to help scoop out and scatter the salt crystals, so I stormed in to grab a can from the recycling before stomping back out to the bag for a liberal scoop. Finally, with all the self-righteousness of a scary-movie priest who’s armed with holy water, I threw the salt at the offending patches of ice, trying to exorcise the slipperiness away.
Back inside the car, in the first moment of stillness since I’d hit the pavement, my frustration dissolved unexpectedly into hot tears. There are times when a good cry can be cathartic, but timely this was not. Taking a few measured breaths, I dried my still-welling eyes with the heel of my un-scraped palm. Time to go to work.