It wasn’t so dark that I couldn’t see the bare essentials. The night sky was filled with clouds, and the waning crescent moon was somewhere behind one of them. I could look up, and see the illumination, the scattering and outlining, clouds drifting by in bits of white tufts in the sky above.
After it happened, I fell stupid to be honest. I knew the thing was there — the orange construction grade string, stretched out between two iron pegs — driven into the ground by some musclebound construction man, earlier in the day, who was wielding a mallet sized sledge hammer just after he had eaten his lunch.
The dogs were with me tonight, though, both of them, frolicking, bouncing around, looking at the new surroundings, the gravel, and the mud. So I walked with them. And when the chill in the air had finally given me enough discomfort, I decided to head back indoors. And that’s when it happened.
I didn’t see it, but somehow knew it was there. And I felt the minute when it happened, that orange string, stretched out across the drive. It reached up and struck the front of my leg, just above the ankle. The faltering began immediately. My head thrust forward, well in front of the rest of my body, and my chest seemed to follow forward like a lemming jumping off a cliff. But somehow, my legs were not playing along, and I lunged, trying to keep up with my speeding torso.
And in that moment, a scene began to play right before my very eyes. It was actually an old cartoon reel, and in it, Bugs Bunny had just stretched out his skinny gray leg, hoisting forward three big white toes at the end. Right into the path of Daffy Duck, who had been running right along. Poor Daffy, clipped his webbed foot against that bunny-leg-protrusion, and began, helplessly falling forward in a faster-than-life thrust. His legs spinning circles behind him, as his beak led the way, jutting closer and closer to the ground. Until. Finally. Daffy’s face planted firmly into the ground with a jaw-popping blast, with his duck teeth scattered all over the ground before him, dirt wedged up and around his face in a path of destruction.
While watching all of that play out, right there in the night, my body decided to replicate the scene, in full. My legs spinning behind me, trying to get near the front of me, for what seemed like several minutes. Further and further I sped, until at last, gravity overtook all the efforts of my middle aged body, and I flapped forward, right on the newly laid gravel, face and hands first. Like a baseball player, diving into to second base. You’re OUT. I jumped right up, and began arguing with the umpire, pointing vigorously at second base, right there in the middle of my driveway and the silent night. The players cleared the benches.
But just Louie and Ollie came running. We walked back to the house, dejected. “Hey Grace. We haven’t pooped yet,” they said to me.
So we went back out, again, to flirt with the dangers of the night, me, and my funny dogs.
“Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand”
― Hayley Williams
“Most important thing in life is learning how to fall.”
― Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses
“And falling’s just another way to fly.”
― Emilie Autumn