Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stocks and Scars

108 degrees yesterday, the humidity about ten times higher; 92* when I went to bed last night. Needless to say, very little sleep, between the sweating and the panting--that would be dog panting, I was more into whimpering as I tried to imagine the moment when this Hell is over and cooler days arrive.  It's like trying to imagine what it would be like to have wings, or walk on water.  Great in theory, but will never happen.


As I'm leaving on Thursday to head north on the first leg of my mini-holiday, I've had lots of chores and things to do this week.  I knew today was going to be the worst as I had appointments and several errands to run all over town, so I got up really early, not only because of my schedule, but also for the dogs to have a good walk at the park without collapsing from heat stroke.

So, we're about halfway around, lots of trees for shade and near the river.  The boys are off-leash as there is no one else on the trail, or even in sight. Ozzy is on one side of the path, Max on the other when I hear this rushing sound behind me.  I turn just as two moron idiot asshat cyclers come barreling around the curve.  This is not the bike path, that's on the other side of the complex.  The boys and I are on the walking trail.  I shout at the boys to "stay" then stand in the middle of the path to slow down the moron idiot asshat couple--a man and woman--who apparently feel it's perfectly fine to rip along as if they're training for the Tour de France.  They don't brake, but they do ease back slightly on their pedaling and weave around me.

Thankfully, when I growl "stay" in the tone of an irate Kodiak bear, the boys freeze like popsicles and the couple blaze through us without incident.  I wanted to throw rocks at them.

Still.  No casualties or altercations--though I was sorely tempted to point out they were totally in the wrong area of the park.

I turn back to continue walking, release the popsicle dogs, contemplate the crass disregard the couple have shown...and promptly trip over the hump of a tree root in the asphalt.

[Aside: There are several very old, very large trees along this part of the walk.  Their roots have burrowed under the path and buckled it in many places]

I try to keep my balance, but the root is a big one with a long split down the middle of the asphalt which catches the side of my shoe just when I think I've saved myself.  I land on my right knee and skid on my palms until I'm laying flat out on the path.

Suddenly, I am six years old.  I feel the burn in my hands, know my knee is cut, want to scream for my mommy.  Max dashes up, sticks his nose in my face--I guess to make sure I'm not dead--then wanders off to sniff the tall grass under the tree that has tripped me up; Ozzy doesn't even bother to look in my direction.

I roll over and sit up.  The blood is already running down my right palm, the skin is shredded, there are bits of gravel and dirt embedded and it stings like a million bees. The left palm isn't so bad...it was easier to pull out the debris and it wasn't bleeding too much.

My knee, however, is a mess. I spent most of my childhood with Band-Aids on my knees. Seriously. Back in the day, my mother should have bought stock in the company. I think the layer of skin might be thinner than normal from all the times I scraped both knees raw in accidents and mayhem.  Right now I have a two-inch gash in my knee that is bleeding profusely.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  Throw in some camels and a few sheep.  And a donkey. Ow ow ow ow.

I get up and hobble back to the car, blood dripping off my fingers, and snaking down my knee into my right shoe.  I dig out some bandages from the first aid kit and gingerly grip the steering wheel to drive home.

There's just enough time to doctor my wounds before I have to head back down the mountain for the appointments and errands.  Once everything was cleaned and bandaged, I felt better, though now the right palm stings like crazy every time I wash my hands.  And my poor, ol' knee? It's already bruising around the gash and a bit swollen, and hurts in a dull, achy oh-yeah-I-remember-this kind of way.

Whilst driving around town, groaning as I got in and out of the car, I couldn't help pondering the vagaries of Fate.  What if I hadn't gone walking so early? What if those moron idiot asshat people had stayed on the real bike path?  What if I'd been looking at my feet instead of glaring at the bikers?

Thing is, there's nothing more senseless than asking what if.  And I've got the scars to prove it...

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