Just Call Me Grace – Part 1

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Sometimes I wake up and wonder where the hell the bruises came from. Do I have some ghost haunting me that takes pleasure in leaving little blue and green marks on me? Am I sleepwalking into objects in the middle of the night? Nope, it’s just that I’m a little on the clumsy side and tend to forget about all the times during the day I run into things.

Yes, I have a propensity for injuries and accidents. I blame it on having some depth perception issues. My sister says it’s because I was born blonde. The years have turned my golden (and sometimes green) locks into a generic brown that helps me blend into the furniture. Convenient camoflauge when you want to avoid being seen by your household. So, what has me going off on such a random topic?

The large, green bruise on the top of my right thigh. How did it get there? As I was tipping the very heavy yard waste container back last week so I could move it to the curb, I underestimated just how strong I was. I gave it one giant push down, helped by my right foot to push it a bit, and the knuckles of my right hand came crashing down into my leg. F@$*! Yep, that hurt. It still hurts a bit. And there is a small knot under the crayola colored mark.

This is nothing compared to some of the things I’ve done over the years.

One day, my friend Joanna and I went to visit her boyfriend. He lived in a fraternity house, which was a health hazard in itself. It was the middle of the afternoon and we had been there about an hour. We talked as we left the house and I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going. After all, I’d been in the house many times, so walking out the front door shouldn’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, there was a disconnect between my brain and the rest of my body. Foot one stepped out the door, quickly followed by foot two. Problem was that I stepped out into air, forgetting that I needed to step down when leaving the house. I looked like Wile E Coyote dropping off a cliff. Landing on both knees, I quickly jumped to my feet in the hopes that nobody but my now-hysterical friend saw me. She still brings up the fall when she sees me.

I used to have a horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE, backhand. It took many years to perfect the form I now have, and I spent many years running around the tennis courts avoiding having to hit one and look like a spaz. On those rare occassions that I did try to hit it, before it just miraculously became good, I cringed. I’d see the ball coming and think to myself “Well, this point is about to be over.”

One fine, summer morning, my mom and I were out playing on our usual court. The one next to the fence where my spastic backhand wasn’t at risk of drifting into other courts or harming innocent players three courts down. My mom returned my shot and as the ball approached, I wound up for my backhand…and shot it off the edge of my racket straight up into my left eye.

Temporarily blinded, embarrassed, and pissed off, I threw my racket down in rage and swore under my breath. That was the end of that game. We went home and I iced my eye, rinsed it out, and got ready for work. My vision was blurry until the next day. Today, my vision in that eye is fine, save for what appears to be a small piece of tennis ball fuzz that has never left my vision.

Some of you have read my tale about monsters under the bed. You know how it ends, but I think it’s so funny that repeating it for the unknowing masses is worth the time.

I have always feared that something is going to grab me from under the bed when I get up at night. Even at my advanced age, I still get a twinge of this now and then. The feeling is worse in strange places. Many beds have been subject to my flying neurotic reaction to this fear. If I can jump onto a bed and stay out of reach of whatever creepy little claws might be waiting for my poor ankles, I will.

On a family vacation to Colorado, we found ourselves making an unexpected stop. We didn’t make the hotel we had planned on staying at, and found the closest one we could at a very late hour of the night. With my parents and aunt in an adjoining room, my sister, her boyfriend, and I settled in for the night. I was the last one to use the bathroom, so the lights were out in the room. My fear of the monsters came at me like a runaway car. With the bathroom light on, I took one last look at the path between me and the safety of my bed. It wasn’t a long jump, but it required some careful manuevering so at to not run into the wall. I flipped off the light switch, took a quick step to my left, and made the leap onto the bed…

and slid right off of it headfirst into the nightstand. Fortunately, my years of playing softball kicked in as I realized I was in a slide I couldn’t stop. I put my hands out in front of me, saving my head from the corner of the nightstand and keeping me from tumbling off the edge of the bed altogether, where I’m sure the monsters were waiting to pull me into their lair. My sister and I started laughing hysterically, so much so that neither of us could breathe, or talk to my mom when she came busting through the door between our rooms. “What the hell is going on in here? You’re going to get us kicked out!” My sister tried to answer, but only squeals came out. I’m pretty sure my mom rolled her eyes at us in the dark as she turned around and shut the door, but I can’t be sure.

By the way, did I mention I was in my 20s when I did this?

The next installment will bring tales of man-eating green waste bins, demonic shopping carts, and goldschlagger.

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