Last Monday I tried to dig up asphalt with my right knee and it didn't work. Don't you know old people who experience a bad fall as the beginning of the end of their earthly career? Not this time. We pitiable old duffers don't mean to fall. We try very hard not to fall. But we do fall, and it's not a pretty sight.
Very soon after we moved into our present residence, the man next door witnessed my fall on the front steps, rushed over to help me up to my feet, and now I can remind Tom that I fell for him the first time we met.
Of course I can--and do--replay this most recent event in slow motion. We were at our favorite nursery supply. We decided to use a wheeling cart to tote our planned purchases. As I moved toward the cart, I kicked the cement barrier for cars in the parking lot, and my legs can no longer move sprightly enough to recover. I can see the adamant objects of my environment coming up to meet me, but in review it is happening in slow motion. There is the metal cart itself, and there is that black pavement, made to resist indentation by 2 ton vehicles, and to my left is the fender of one of those vehicles. There is really no hospitable touchdown point to which I might aim my trajectory, but I do manage to raise my arms to save my head from concussion. Somehow the primary contact was made with my right knee, and with my considerable girth behind it, it came down with devastating force.
Some concerned fellow customer asked if I was alright. To this lame question I offered the distinctly honest answer, "No, not really." I was still lying on the pavement, and frankly I intended to stay for a little while at least. I couldn't imagine being any more comfortable doing anything else--certainly not using my damaged limbs to regain my stance. He wisely advised me to take my time. Eventually a clerk rushed to the scene and offered the same lame question to which I gave the same honest answer. Between the two of them I attempted to regain my feet. Once again my corpulent physique posed a challenge, but these rugged men were able to set me upright at long last.
We sat at a table which had been offered for solace, and made plans for the remainder of our day.
Later that day, when we saw the grapefruit-sized knee that seemed to be headed for watermelon instead, Barbara asked if I wanted to go to Urgent Care, and I submitted to her reasonable suggestion. No broken bones, but some blood vessels were obviously opened, and what with my aspirin and plavix regimen, my veins were leaking copiously into the surrounding tissue. The prognosis is for my survival, and in fact I am scheduled to stand and deliver a sermon on March 25.
When I took a fall over a curb in Chattanooga, TN, my wife asked me, "What are you doing?" Which inane inquiry prompted several sarcastic quips to come to mind. But that is all recorded in some ancient blog of former days.