Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why My Mother Didn't Name Me Grace

If a queen-sized lady falls in Queens, does anyone notice?

A couple of weeks ago, while visiting a friend New York, I fell. There was sidewalk to my left, to my right, and in front of me but I stepped backwards into a large hole where a tree was planted. I didn’t so much fall as crumple. All my weight ended up on my right ankle, and that was a lot of weight.

As to anyone noticing--you betcha they did. A young man rushed to my aid. Another person yelled, “Do you need an ambulance?” A mother in the crowded playground across the street called out, “You want me to call 911?” All this attention was not only embarrassing, but it dispelled the myth about New Yorkers not caring.

But since this was my first day in New York and my friend and I had plans, I quickly hopped up, brushed the mud from my pants and tried to pretend I was okay. My ankle, on the other hand, was shouting a different story. It looked like my foot was giving birth. There was a head coming out of my shoe! As my foot continued to swell, my friend kept saying, “Oh my God.”

I was in shock. Here I was, 2400 miles from home with an Amtrak ticket, and I had a small head attached to the side of my foot. Just as I was beginning to think I did need an ambulance, my friend said, “It’s just a sprain. Let’s go back to my apartment and put ice on it.”

Amazingly, it didn’t hurt that bad. At least it didn’t hurt until the ice hit it. The pain brought tears to my eyes and, believe you me, it wasn’t just for my ankle. I had ruined the weekend. Instead of going out on the town, my friend was playing nurse. I was also worried about Monday when I had to get to the train. Would they charge me extra for the head on my foot?

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