“Have Another Fall, Pratt!”

(March 25, 2018)


Not “cracked ribs,” maybe

even worse: pulled away from

the cartilage – it hurts!*


  • (Separated ribs playing rugby and it’s just like that, then.  Getting up from a chair much less out-of-bed a trial.  Guilty, you honor!  I plead six weeks I fear. Got whole “cage” wrapped in a brace. Krestol salve on the skinned knee and hand – I am amazed so little damage when I tripped at Oh-Dark-Thirty (4:45 a.m.) crossing a street undergoing repair at the intersection of 15th and Elm and I so missed the step up to the crossing street’s pavement:
  • Suddenly I found myself in a shallow dive onto dirt and macadam pavement – the camera bag sprawled and so did I. Both hands outstretched as I recall as I twisted to keep the left side out of the ruckus – stones, sticks, partial slabs of not-yet-picked-up pavement.  I know the drill.  Falling and I are old friends.  I rolled into the fall and flopped onto my back. Nice trees.  Glad it’s so dark and I did not call out or went dead.  Let’s debate that latter.  Check for coppery-tasting blood, J. You know the drill. Eech. Ugh. Dirt and all. Quitcherbitchin’ and do it.  Oh, good.  just dirt on the forehead and all above that seems just stupid not stupid-and-squashed.  Shoulders, arms, hands work. Ooops, one hand, the left does not like me any more.  Well, whose would? Know any near 70-year-olds whose body lying on a ruined street awaiting un-ruin would clap joyfully over the fall?  Me neither.
  • I’m an expert at falling, turning, stumbling and even crashing. Mostly, ’cause I am oversupplied with arrogant self-awareness and a big dish of body-control sometimes supped but often ignored.  Take the fall on elbows, forearms, hands and knees.  J – maybe the road-facing chest will take a bit of softening if you swing the empty camera bag under your fall – better a shredded heavy-duty bag than a heavy body.  Sounds good. Do it.  I don’t remember but when – two or three aeons afterward I saw the dirt and dust marks on one side of the bag that matched my shorts, socks and left knee I guess I made the move in time.  I recalled having a little trouble negotiating the lip of the pavement at 15th after climb-stumbling awkwardly up the incline from ruined Elm to the shelf of 15th just before the pavement of that well-remembered street resumed.  I debated a nano- or three nano-seconds whether best to launch into a shallow dive or try to “sprinter’s block” race to an upright stance.  Vetoed immediately: I could not see my way – Hey! See? Where are my eyes? My glasses? Did I break the broken beasties?  Too much to worry about now, we are going down, Captain.  Prepare for crash. Now!
  • I am sure my hands are bloody and crusted with marl-mud and bits of strewn street.  My knees? Maybe that’s why I decline three repeated attempts to stand.  Can I stand? May I stand? Go back and rest a bit and think this through.  You just took a tumble – and no one ’round to applause.  Quit laughing! Now. It hurts to laugh.  Oh, no. Not the ribs! Again!  Last time was mid-season in second year of rugby – and no one else on team ready to play hooker.  That was a tale I’d tell if my ribs would quit trying to convince me they were broke – at least one. Not coughing up blood, so that’s a relief. For now.  Okay, you convinced me.  roll onto your front and try the knee-first hands-down standing stand.  Okay, again.  You remember how, doncha?  Quit pestering me.  I got hours to sunup and I won’t mind the embarrassment.  Wanna bet? Okay, one more time. Hey. I got the knee down…yep: the right one’s got a big ol’e scrape and looks raw red in the streetlight.  Dang! That rib just under the heart hurts every time I move. So? Just God’s way of saying “Pain proves you’re alive, Boy. Quitcherbitchin! Yessir! Right away Sir.
  • I had had worse growing up. And hope to have worse again.  And maybe one day even grow up.
  • The dive I am sure has saved me a lot.  Oh, there. By the camera bag, just a half-crawl-sprawl away is my daylight – nightlight – glasses intact and shiny reflecting streetlight right at me.  Hate to hunt up my polarized sunglasses out of my shorts to try to walk to the morgue -or hospital – to get my hurts attended.  Thank you Lord.  I will tend to standing up in a moment or twelve, soon as my ribs quit telling me to baste and turn. Okay?
  • There’s More but right now my ribs hurt again. OK, more then they did a few hours ago.  So I will hie me hence to the manse and see if I got supper ready in my absence.  Maybe I will see y’all Sattidey and finish the sprawling tale of a toe-twisted J and his brand new proof that God loves him.

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