Today was one of those perfect almost fall kind of days...amber sun shining, big puffy clouds, deep blue sky, and a temperature that's just a notch or two cooler than it has been in months. It was the kind of day that Alabamians use to reassure themselves that summer will indeed end at some point. You know, it's like Mother Nature tossing us a bone.
These are the days that I most love working on a college campus. The hustle and bustle of students hurrying to class; professors gathered in small groups chatting over coffee; bicycles and buses whizzing by; squirrels acting a fool on the Quad - it's all a bit magical in the fall. And so I typically choose to walk to meetings and classes on these days so that I can soak it all in. Breaking free from my windowless dungeon of an office is a treat any time, but on a day like today, I was downright gleeful as I started my trek across campus for my 2:00 class. I mean, who wouldn't be giddy to be counted among Alabama's best and brightest? For a few minutes I can go back in time to the glorious Samford days...when I was one of the preppy sorority girls meandering through life with all my beautiful friends...
I was thinking as I stepped on to the sidewalk that I really should try to lighten my load. I tend to carry way too much stuff in my hands. I had both my Vera bag (with my MacBook Pro in it) and my ridiculously heavy purse on my shoulder. I also had my phone in one hand and my Tervis tumbler of unsweet tea in the other. "Maybe I should stop by my car and drop some of this off," I thought to myself. Before I had a chance to make a decision on that, though, I began to lose my balance. "Oh God, NO. I am not falling. NO." I started to panic. The sidewalk was crowded with students. Young, beautiful students. Students who were having no trouble with their balance. "Do NOT let this happen. Do not fall." I kept walking trying to steady myself. Then I knew it was going to happen, and I knew I wouldn't be able to prevent it.
All six feet of me went sailing through the air and landed face down and flat on the sidewalk. My bags flew one way. My phone ended up in the street. My Tervis rolled up the sidewalk. I'm pretty sure I screamed like a girl when I was falling. Three students stopped to help me. Thirty or so looked on in horror. I jumped up rather quickly while two young men gathered my belongings and repeatedly asked if I was OK. They really were sweet, but I couldn't even express my gratitude because all I really wanted was for the ground to open up and suck me in.
It wasn't until I was several hundred feet away that I realized the palms of my hands and my elbows were bleeding. My right knee was throbbing. (This is the same knee that my doctor stuck with the world's largest needle of cortisone last week.) I made it to the building where my class meets, and tried to cobble myself back together in the ladies' room with the two Hello Kitty bandaids I managed to find in that ridiculously heavy purse.
As I was leaving the restroom I overheard a young lady telling her friend, "My mawmaw fell down the stairs this weekend."