Falling Down

I was a middle school student in the year 1998 and as a living, breathing American middle school student in the year 1998 I thought it best to express my unbridled 13 year old angst in the form of frosted tips.  I totally rocked the spiked hair, brown on the bottom blonde on the top look.  (#cringe, #IRegretEverything)

The very first day I had the blonde spiked hair look I walked to school, single strap backpack over one shoulder of course.  It was a walk I had done time and time again.  Part of the walk included stepping over a knee height chain that surrounded a neighboring car wash.  The chain itself was nothing special, a single strand of plastic coated metal links stretched between two cement pillars and it sagged in the middle.  I had stepped over it so many times before.

The very first day I have bleached hair I trip over the stupid chain.  Some classmates were across the street, of course, they had never walked to school at this time of day before but the day I trip over a chain with new bleached hair they are right there to see the whole thing, and they shouted, “the chemicals burned your brain, Shawn!” Laughter ensued.

I wanted blame a potential burn on my brain, but this, falling for no apparent reason, had been quite a theme in my youth.  I usually walked to school with my head down to watch my feet and make sure they weren’t stepping over themselves.  I was an uncoordinated, lumbering buffoon of a child.

I looked kind of like this often:


I thought I had grown out of the ability to just find myself on the floor.  I now walk with my head held high and leave the falling over to my kiddos.

I was wrong.  Horribly, horribly wrong.

My brother was staying over last night, my wife was working on school stuff and I was doing actual work(!!!!) on my upcoming book; it was a good night.  I moved to help my wife with something on the computer and as I crossed in front of the television, suddenly the whole room looked slanted.

“This is odd,” I thought before hitting the ground.

I had tripped over my own dang feet.

As I am now a thirty year old desk jockey who writes on the internet, it comes as no surprise that I have no worldly idea how to fall down anymore.  I just kinda…flopped onto the floor.  My wrists hurt, my shoulder hurt, my knee hurt, I cursed a lot and as I stood up could not help but feel like that 13 year old kid who tripped over a chain.

The first time I had fallen over in well over a decade.  And my brother was there to see the whole thing.



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