" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

February 17, 2012

Baby Steps in the Big City

"Well, that’s a new technique," he said after I showed him my poor knee. "Haven’t heard that one before. So, you hurled yourself touchdown-style in the middle of a crosswalk in downtown Vancouver hoping, maybe, that prince charming might come to your rescue, on Valentine’s Day, no less. A bit desperate don't ya think?"

Some women get chocolates. Some get roses. Some get, well, you know, but me, I prefer to lay, splayed on concrete, shocked and dazed.

I wasn’t looking for sympathy. I just tripped; one of those spectacular, I think I can recover falls that has you moving even faster, almost parallel to the sidewalk, in a hopeless attempt at recovery. It would have been better if I’d just let go and fallen down, immediately.  

I was wearing the new boots I’d bought with the 3 inch wedge. They weren't purple but they were suede.  And, just as one must acclimatize to rural living  and learning how to dress down when, say, you move to Salt Spring, when you move back to the city you have to learn how to ramp it back up. That means you have to trade hiking boots and comfortable, flat black shoes or flip flops for something with heels.  
When it comes to jobs, some people focus on salary, benefits, vacation but one of my greatest priorities seems to have become, Can I dress in a way that lets me still feel like me? Can I wear jeans?

I started a month-long job thanks to "all employment eminates from Karen McD" and I was rushing, on Valentine’s Day, to the bank to deposit what seemed like pretty easy money. Then, at the corner of Howe and Pender, the rubber on the bottom of my boot got momentarily stuck and set in motion a maneuvering toward my spectacular spill.  If the traffic light hadn’t been in my favour, I might have been run right over or broken my nose on the side of a passing BMW.

It always happens so fast. One minute you’re upright, the next you’re sprawled almost licking the pavement, the world a blur of sneakers, boots and legs moving dreamlike past your head. 

"Are you okay?"  I heard a voice from above. 

I didn't even answer. Moving not yet possible. Arms reached down to help me up. Some nice young guy. I limped back to the sidewalk with his help, more shocked than embarrassed, keenly aware that I would have been laughing hysterically had I witnessed myself as the passengers in the cars a few feet away waiting at the light on this one-way street surely had. 

I leaned up against the side of the building housing INGDirect. Just stood there for a while, while dizziness rushed slowly into my head.  I touched my knee. Gauged the chance of passing out. Clutched my wallet and looked, well,  probably very strange, to those who hadn’t seen what had just transpired.  Standing there, just staring, leaning against the bank, I’m sure I looked as if I might have amnesia or dementia, confused about which direction to head next. Maybe she forgot where her office was I could hear their thoughts.

"Somebody is sure to have it on video," he said as he took another swig of his beer.  "You should put a sign up on one of the poles near there." It could just say, Spectacular fall happened here on Valentines Day. Anybody catch it on your cell? Post on Facebook. Tag me.”  

"Very funny," I said, snidely. 

An even bigger surprise? i didn't break anything or skin my chin. So, these do have a purpose, I thought, looking down at my chest. Thank god for cushioning. 

The only damage to my right knee, scraped and bloody.  A small price to pay, I suppose, in exchange for learning how to get up early again, get out and get dressed to pretend you fit - yes you do - in the big city. 

PS: That is not me, above! :-)

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