Saturday, May 16, 2015


It only seems like slow motion when tumbling to the ground because I’m aware of every step. The first step on Colorado River rocks behind the koi pond’s waterfall, another step on uneven rocks for balance, and the feet are leaden, refusing to lift high enough or quickly for more balancing steps as the momentum of my body pushes forward, aware the tipping point has slipped behind me, the right shoulder crashing into a spiny asparagus fern spreading over more large rocks on the mounded perimeter of the pond. No banging of the head like two friends who died from falling, sudden leaks in the brain. There is slight pain from the thorns of the fern and the middle finger on the right hand throbs from cushioning the impact. Add blood-thinning meds since a heart attack more than a year ago and skinny white legs sticking out of cargo shorts look like someone has been playing mumbly-peg with a sharp knife. Small cuts bleed as if they are more dangerous ones and they do so on through the night.

What’s disconcerting is the tumble happened to a formerly agile guy, one who climbed ladders daily hanging lights in a theatre. It was the inevitability of hitting the ground once the fall started, knowing no instinctive maneuver would be quick enough to avoid the accident. It is like the sudden looseness in the steering or the brake pedal going all the way to the floorboard, the sudden acceptance of a crash into rocks covered by a pondside fern.


  1. Raymond, when did this happen? Because late Thursday afternoon I was in Boston with my oldest daughter, stepping off the sidewalk onto a street, a Boston street after a hellacious winter, full of potholes and heaving pavement, and i steeped into a hole. A hole I didn't see because I was looking both ways, left and right but not down, before I crossed the street. Before I knew it I was on the pavement and I am now lying in bed, with three days later with two sprained ankles, cankles, typing this comment this comment to you. This aging thing sucks.

  2. Would you have preferred tipping gently (I thought) backwards into shelves of empty canning jars, or tripping on the bricky border of a flower bed while pulling weeds, sailing across the sidewalk and onto the wet lawn, or maybe meeting a big radiator face to face in the public library? This golden years thing is not what I expected! Take care around that pond, or you really will be swimming underwater!