“People who always criticize others for choosing the wrong options are people with options!
— Lindon Dodd
I start this week with my own quote for a reason. This was a week I learned a few things about myself — the hard way. And isn’t that the way many of us learn most things? I learned that I am pretty much a clumsy, awkward klutz. I once against was justified in knowing that not only is modern technology a bit of a bore to me, but it can also be a great big old pain in the butt — almost literally. And oddly enough, you can be too pretty to be my friend!
I awoke one morning this week and took a few steps. In a few seconds, I was bounced around like a pin ball until mercifully I finally hit the wooden floor; albeit with a tremendous amount of force.
I was getting out of bed half asleep. I didn’t reach for my glasses. Almost any man over 40 knows the first thing you have to do when you awaken is to pee. I wasn’t even ready to get up. I was going to lie in bed and watch early morning news.
So here I am half asleep, mostly sightless without my eyeglasses, and the room is dark except for the faint light of the television. What could possibly go wrong?
Then it happened. To this moment I have no idea if I slipped, tripped, stumbled or what. I can factually tell you nothing. All I know is that three to five seconds seemed like an eternity. As I lay there on the floor for a second, I didn’t know how badly I was injured. I knew there was blood on my forehead and quite a bit of pain and confusion.
I managed to get back up on my feet and began to look for clues. A really nice wicker laundry basket was all but destroyed. A very large and extremely heavy dresser mirror was lying on my bedroom floor. The ironing board still left up from pressing my work clothes the night before was collapsed and the iron on the floor. My bedroom lamp was bent and bulb was shattered.
And I still needed to pee!
As I kind of limped into the living room, my son looked up and asked, “Are you okay?” I wasn’t sure how to answer. At that moment I didn’t really know. The aftermath was two very black eyes, two minor cuts on the forehead, some very sore insides, and a bit of a sore back. And there was a bit of amazement that I wasn’t on the way to the emergency room.
The worst part is to go to work and for the next few days have to answer the question, ‘What happened to you?” After a while I began to make up stories about a fight at a biker bar and other fantasies.
The very first person who asked me, I told them I had a fall at seven o’clock that very morning. The first question, “Were you drunk?” My answer was obviously, “Of course, that’s how I prepare for work every morning. I start getting all tanked up around 6:30 a.m.”
My favorite response came from a female friend when I saw her. “You are wearing more eye shadow than I am today!” Women can be so cruel when they hear you had a near-death experience; cruel and funny.
This story should naturally insinuate to you that this was the single most embarrassing thing that happened to me this past week. It wasn’t!
On Monday, I walked into the probation office and my friend and kind of my boss (okay, she is my boss, but I think of her as a friend first) rushed over to me with that look of panic on her face. She never shows panic. I was panicked by her panic. She rushed up to me and demanded, “Give me your cell phone!”
Apparently, a lawyer had called and another probation officer said something about me posting live on Facebook for about 10 minutes. The phone was in my pants pocket. It must have been like the finger version of the butt dial when I put the phone in my pocket. I still have no idea how many people heard me just walking in the courthouse and talking with a former inmate I was escorting to the probation office.
She deleted the evidence from my phone. I have a love/hate relationship with modern technology. I love that it is here, but I hate that I have to misuse it. I am really more of a carrier pigeon kind of guy.
It’s been a helluva week and I will carry around the evidence for a while. I have answered the question “What happened to you?” at least 30 times! I even thought about typing up a response and giving leaflets to anyone else who inquired.
That 10-foot walk from my bed to the master bath will never seem routine again.
The “too pretty to be my friend” story will have to wait until another week. The names will have to be changed to protect the innocent. I am reminded of a slogan on a sign outside Godfather’s Lounge in Louisville that probably describes the females who are in my circle of friends: “39 beautiful girls and 3 ugly ones!” I bet you have never managed to lose 42 friends at one time!
— Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.