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Night Fall

January 11, 2016

I was in that spot roughly halfway between vertical and abed when I heard the Noise.  I wasn’t standing, yet I wasn’t laying down either.  I was in that awkward position  between the two where gravity ruled and I fell, thankfully to the bed, somehow landing to the dog’s left, who’s primary concern was the treat clutched tightly in my right hand.

In another part of the house, something had cracked loudly, fallen with a clatter followed by a sliding whoosh and a thump.

I scrambled to my feet as fast as a lady of indeterminate age with a bad back, artificial knee and general klutziness is capable, nearly tripping over the dog who remained focused on her treat, seemingly unaware of the disturbance in the other room.

“What the heck was that?  Do I really want to investigate?”  I thought.  “What if it’s an intruder?”  I’d heard a crack and a clatter and a slide and a thump, but no crash  of breaking glass.  

I was somewhat relieved…  at least I would know the other party involved, namely, my husband Jimbo, the man who has had a wide variety of mishaps over the years.  He has fallen out of tree stands from various heights on multiple occasions with a number of lethal weapons and unintentionally dropped a loaded boat on my foot resulting in three broken toes (mine) and a strained back (his).  On a recent trip to Alaska, he nearly slid off the edge of a ten-foot cliff saving himself by clutching tightly to a menacing plant known as Devil’s Club.   He escaped that little fiasco with a mere meniscus tear in his left knee which has since been repaired.  Jimbo has slid on ice, fallen flat on his back, and tripped both up and down stairs. He injured himself with a chainsaw, twice, and even shot himself in the hand with a compound bow.  

So what happened tonight?

Thoughts tripped about inside my head, sometimes colliding and cutting each other off.  Whatever could it be this time?  Would reinforcements be needed…  possibly the first responders or the fire department?  Did he break anything (including himself)?  Was he okay?  Was he alive?  Did he have a heart attack?  Did his blood sugar take a nosedive?

I hurried through the kitchen and hooked a right into the living room.  There, over the back of the blue Lazy-Boy, underneath the Christmas tree, were a pair of rather large feet clad in Jim’s dark brown slippers.  The toes were pointing up, in alignment with the rest of the body, so a broken or dislocated hip or knee was unlikely.    

         I skirted the chair and found my hubby laying on his back atop the backrest of the armless office chair.  For all the world, he looked like an overturned turtle with its shell on sideways.  The turtle was dazed but conscious.

He uttered a manly groan and slowly brought his hand to his head and checked for blood.  Finding none, he gingerly began to move his remaining limbs.  Being a veteran mishapper, he knew the drill;  make sure all his parts were still attached with little to no bleeding and working fairly normally before attempting to rise.

“Are you okay?”  

“I didn’t knock the tree over,” he muttered.

“Well, thank God for that,” said I, suppressing a smile, “but how about you?”

“I hit my head on the table.”

I extricated the chair from beneath him as he began to grumble, “The damn chair broke!”  

There, under the tree up against the wall, was the fractured leg of the chair, its swivel foot still moving slightly.

Jim carefully extended his legs one at a time, sliding his feet across the floor then lifting each leg in turn.  In time, he log-rolled onto his belly and hoisted himself to his hands and knees.  

I offered my help which true to form, he promptly refused as he struggled to settle himself into the recliner where he could properly assess the situation.  He gratefully accepted the ice pack I procured, looking first at the pack, then at the various parts of his body that might benefit from an application of cold, finally choosing to place it on his scalp with great caution.

The following morning I expected him to descend the stairs with the agility of a man twice his age.  

I was wrong.  

He came down with his normal gait and a bewildered expression on his face.  “Wow… I thought I would be one hurting machine today.”

A day or two later, he regaled our chiropractor with the story of the night fall.   The good doctor put forth tremendous effort in maintaining a professional facial expression, finally allowing himself to smile.  This was not the first time we showed up at his office following an accident.  He knows us both quite well.

  1. Don Ludemann permalink

    Was Jim standing on the chair? Or just sitting? Is this the cause of his (renewed) back pain?

  2. Jim was sitting on the chair. His back has been more problematic since early summer… this fall didn’t help but could have made it much worse.

  3. Greg Frosig permalink

    A story as only you can write. A story where the mishap can only happen to Jim.

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Thanks, Rondi! Jim is gifted in the ‘odd mishap’ department…

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