CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The weeks leading up to the holidays were more frenzied than usual for me, but even so, I should've known better than to repeatedly say the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a break.
A break is very nearly just what I got.
Imagine asking for a pony and actually getting a pony, except the pony is served over rice with fava beans and a nice Chianti.
You see, normal people get a Christmas break. I got a Christmas dislocation.
I was having trouble sleeping in the waning hours before dawn Christmas morning, so I decided to put some finishing touches on the bench I'd made for my parents. I'd built the bench using scrap lumber and an old wooden headboard I'd salvaged from the curb, and decided to add some color by attaching a pair of primitive-looking bluebirds to the back. All I needed to finish the birds was some black paint for the eyes.
I went to our basement to get the paint, and when I didn't find it in the first box I looked in, I lifted the box and put it behind me in order to look through the next box. Almost immediately, I found the paint I needed, so I grabbed the bottle and turned to head back upstairs - completely forgetting that first box I'd placed on the floor.
To protect my already soft noggin from our cement floor, I stuck out my arm to break my fall. The resulting sound was horrific.
The visual was worse.
I tried to stand, but my loose and wobbly arm threatened to stay on the floor if I did, so I started to yell. Other than our garage, there's no place in our house I could've fallen that would've put me further from my sleeping husband and daughter than where I was so gracelessly sprawled. I managed to reach a broom and began banging on our furnace as hard as I could, expecting I could at least trigger some alarm-type barking from our dogs, thus waking the humans.
Wham! Wham! Wham!
Wham! Wham! Wham!
What's the point in having three dogs if not one of them is capable of saving little Timmy from the well? Apparently they don't clock in for duty before 9 a.m.
After about 10 minutes of banging, Geoff awakened and found me. I missed my chance to use the "I've fallen and I can't get up" line, but with my history, I expect there will be other opportunities.