Friday, February 25, 2011

Technically, I Did Not Fall

Today's post is another bitter sweet story. It's right on topic for the whole "Falling With Grace" theme  as it is truly an "Epic Amy" story. You know, I'm not sure where the "sweet" part of the story is. The bitter part is that my brother would have told this SO much better than I could. 

My brother Kevin passed away almost 4 years ago. As well as being a gifted artist he really did have a knack for telling a story. His stories would tend to get longer, larger and perhaps less factual as they were told over and over. (Like the one about making me laugh and a half of pb&j sandwich came out my nose. It was in fact Pepsi that came out of my nose and it hurt!) He'd told the story below so many times, in so many ways, that I hardly remember the true facts of it all. 

I've never tried to put it in words before and thought it would be a great writing exercise to try. Maybe I can "channel" my brother...

My brother, sister and I met at a local deli for lunch. (Oh my...I think I can hear my brother snickering) The deli was at the back of a wine store and a very busy place at lunch. My brother had been waiting for my sister and I for quite a while. Well, 5 or 10 minutes would be too long to wait for my brother but back to the story. 

We sat at the table that was closest to the back door. Maybe that's the only one available when he got there? I do know that it was the furthest table from the drink counter. My brother waited at the table for me to go and get my drink. 

I remember it was super crowded. A young guy from the deli had pulled the top off of the fountain machine to fill it with ice. I watched him put the lid on the ground in front of the machine and then dump a tub full of ice into it's top.  

He smiled and said that I could get my drink. I filled my cup with ice and soda, turned around to walk back to the table. I must have had a nice hefty push off as my one feet slid on the ice box lid. 

"Sllliiiisssshhh"...went the lid across the floor. I was able to pull my other foot forward only to slip more on slippery ice cubes. "Slishhhhhh, scrape, sllliiisssh" came from under my feet as I tried my best to regain balance. 

I just could not untangle my feet but somehow managed a forward motion toward the other end of the deli. The horrible memory of the rise and fall groans of the crowd is unmatched by the sound of my feet trying so desperately to catch firm ground. 

"Clicketty, clank, click" went my heels as I went from one obstacle to another. Dry ground, ice, dry  ground, ice tray. I would say that my feet were moving as quickly as if I were Irish Step Dancing but how misleading that would be. There was nothing rhythmic or pretty about this. 

Perhaps the other patrons tried to help me. How could they. I must've been flaying around so. I knew of their concern by the "Ohhh" as they thought I regained the "Ughhhhh" as I would start slipping again. Up and down the groans would go. 

I was so very desperate to just make it back to that damn table. Slipping and sliding I managed to move forward with my feet still somehow tangled. (Picture ice skaters in their pretty jumps with their feet crossed, graceful like?) 

One of my feet must have caught a patch of dry lanoliuim because my body was propelled forward. My feet were still tangled though and just like a plank, I fell onto a table top. The glass slammed down as I looked up at the people sitting at the table. That poor mother and son as they looked at each other and then up at me. What a blank stare- as if they were the ones that fell! 

Amazingly-  NOT A DROP was spilled from my drink in all of the swirly slipping and eventual slam on the table top. 

There were no claps...but dead silence. There was just the sound of my heels going "click, click, click" back to the table where my brother was waiting with one of his looks. I straightened my hair and ran my hands across my suit trying to gain composure. As I sat down my brother had that look that only a big brother could give. I'm not even sure if he asked if I was ok come to think of it. 

The young deli employee did come over to say he was sorry. My sister, brother and I looked at each other. Not being known for my gracefulness I think I might have even said sorry myself. 

That was probably "Falling Artistry" at it's finest. Technically, since I did do the plank thing onto the table top, it wasn't a fall. Maybe my technique gave everyone a nice jolt of adrenaline. I do know that it gave my brother more material. 

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