CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "I'm running low on ideas on what to write about," I said to a friend. "Run across anything lately that might make a good column?"
Instead of answering, she grabbed my arm and examined the bruise which ran from elbow to wrist. It was a veritable sleeve of colors, from yellow to a deep purplish blue.
"How the heck did you do that?" she asked.
"I fell off my desk," I answered.
"And you're asking me for column ideas?" she said. "That has to be a story."
"I suppose it would fit the season," I said. She looked at me blankly, the wordplay not sinking in. "Fall," I said by way of explanation.
She must've been hoping there was something lascivious about my tumble, since she seemed disappointed upon hearing my injury resulted from a remodeling project and not a sexual tryst.
Basically, I was standing on my new homemade desk, screwing in a clip for a light, when I grossly misjudged how close to the edge I happened to be.
It was one of those slow-motion falls, where you recognize you're falling, realize it's unavoidable, and begin evaluating the items upon which you'll soon land while adjusting your limbs to minimize damage.
Notice all the yous in that previous paragraph. As if the rest of you are as clumsy and experienced at falling as me.
Although I haven't yet reached the point where I'm on a first-name basis with emergency-room personnel, it's certainly not for a lack of trying.
There was the Christmas-morning elbow dislocation.
The stumble down the stairs at the newspaper that rearranged my ankle.