gutterball

img_0381-650.jpgWhen I was 12, I guilted my mother for never coming to watch my soccer games. She sighed and decided brutal honesty was, as usual, the best way to get me to shut up.

"I can't stand watching you run," she said. "It's like watching a bowling ball skip across a cow pasture."

This is sadly accurate. It's also true of how I walk. I walk with great force, and I don't exactly stop on a dime. Melinda Gates herself can attest to this, but that's another story.

The other night, I left a restaurant at my usual pace. I stepped off the curb and strode toward my car, not seeing a second curb—a cement parking curb that the restaurant had thoughtfully painted the same color as the asphalt. I went down with incredible force. If you told me I smacked the pavement with 1000 pounds of force, I would believe you. I bounced. And for the first time in decades, I heard a group of people gasp at my own injury. I can't say I missed that sound.

"Who. The fuck. Paints a parking curb black," I groggily said to the onlookers helping me up. One of them insisted that I go inside and complain to the teenagers making minimum wage. I declined.

"It doesn't hurt now, but it's going to hurt tomorrow," she mothered.

"I assure you that it hurts now," I replied as I staggered to my car.

It's two days later, and my long-bad elbow sounds like gravel sloshing around in a can of paint. It's an odd sound, at once both moist and crunchy. It is unwelcome right before a move, but at least it repels the many people I make listen. Here's hoping it's days of entertainment, not months.

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