I fell down the stairs.
It wasn’t my first time. I have long feet, and my brain is far from them. Once or twice I’ve overshot a step, my foot slipped off, and my skeleton made that brrrrink! marimba sound as I went down the wooden stairs on my back.
This time was different. Laurie and Laura were hosting a Mediterranean dinner party, and decided it would be fun to move out all their living room furniture and have everyone sit on pillows. I don’t know if people really eat like that in Mediterranea, but I know these two will never have a regular dinner party with brats and ketchup paper plates, because that would cheat us out of the fun of moving a couch through a skinny doorway.
I have a huge pile of big, brightly colored pillows in my attic, left over from a previously brilliant home decorating idea. I promised to contribute them. Even with my long arms, it’s hard to gather up big pillows, hard to keep ahold of them, hard to see where I’m going.
And hard to find that first stair.
My screams were muted; the pillows were all over me. I felt like a sock in a clothes dryer. It was like having sex with the Sta-Puf Marshmallow Man: didn’t hurt, just generally unpleasant.
When I was in high school I worked for a motel, washing bedsheets in an array of giant laundry machines. My friend Odee, son of the motel owner, stopped by to visit me. Watching me work, he decided he could fit himself into one of the industrial dryers. So I helped him in, tossed in a few pillowcases, turned off the burner so he wouldn’t wrinkle, and set him for ten minutes. Although I couldn’t hear him through the glass door, I though he was having fun because he had the same expression on his face that people do when they ride the rollercoaster.
I was getting a strawberry pop out of the pop machine when the timer rang, so I was a little late letting him out. He was surprisingly mute for as mad as he was: his parents didn’t allow him to swear and he didn’t really have anything else to say.
I had yet to sucessfully make a noise as I tumbled to the bottom of the stairs and piffed to a landing. My daughter passed by on her way to the kitchen. She stepped gingerly over me, tippy-toe-ing through the scattered pillows, not asking for clarification. She is used to me not making sense.
“I’m fine,” I offered.
She replied, “Are we out of milk?”