Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Becoming the Metaphor

I fell from the grace
A quick rush to the concrete
perhaps this is fate
I fell.
All it took was one wrong step, and gravity took over.

Many people talk about the slow motion of falling. How time slows down and it's like falling through space. This is only when you know the fall is coming. When you make a wrong step and the body and the mind are not ready for it, it's something completely different.

The fall happens in real time, but the brain takes a minute to catch up and process what just happened. It's almost like being an infant again. The child bumps his/her head and looks to mom and dad (or the people around it) as to how to react.
"There's this it bad? Mom looks upset, so it's bad...annnnnnnnd cry."

There is a cage in the back of the theatre at the school where I work. On top of this cage is all of our wood and flats. I was up on top of the cage, alone, trying to get a flat down. The wood was strewn about and I should have cleared it up, but I was rushing and not thinking. This is the problem of no forethought...right Romeo? I need the door flat which I, in my infinite wisdom, have placed behind all the other flats. I have roughly four feet of depth to work with, and I start moving them to get to the door. Sounds like it isn't a problem, right? It wouldn't have been if I had been paying attention. I slid the first two flats out of the way and moved the door out and down. I turned to move the other flats back and my foot found nothing but air.

And in an instant I was on the concrete. It's weird that the pain wasn't instant. That, I'm pretty sure, has to do with knowing you're going to fall.

When you know something is going to happen, the body prepares you. The muscles tighten, the jaw clenches, and the mind goes into a form of hyperactivity. When you don't know, the body remains loose and the brain plays catch-up. I was the latter as I lay on the concrete. There were people near by, but do to the scene they were practicing in which they were screaming at each other, they didn't hear me. At first I was confused and out of breath. The fall knocked the wind out of me.

Your brain does something weird when you get hurt. While you are assessing your situation, you also drift. My mind started by telling me that I was out of breath, then I started thinking about the door flat and would it work. Next, I wondered if anything was broken in my body, which was followed by wondering if the wood or flats were broken. The final thought was of my son.

The final thought, however, was about the situation as a whole. I was alone. No one could help me and no one knew I was there. If something really bad had happened to me, I'm not sure anyone would have helped me. It was a non-crew day, and when the actors wrapped up, they left without going backstage. They never would have found me.

And thus, I became the metaphor. If something had happened...if I had been hurt badly, I would have been alone. I fell from grace on my own and was without help. I was the last leaf that fell before winter.
That's how we will inevitably be in the end. Alone.

We can be joyous and surrounded by those we love, but the journey is ours to take alone. And in the end, no one can help you but yourself.

I was lucky. Nothing is broken. I have a bruise and a limp, but I got the work done.

I fell, and in that moment, I realized that the hardest part of being an adult is no longer being able to have someone be there to pick you up.

Watch your step, dear reader, because this fall is more painful than the others.



Bacchus said...

only you could flatulently pontificate your way through a tale that simply said: "I'm a klutz ... I fell ... I'm ok".

... and I disagree ... as an adult you're responsible for picking yourself up ... but if you're doing it solo, then you're doing something wrong (metaphorically speaking).

boo said...

You are not solo, stop acting like you are. I was there and offered help, with the very thing that hurt you, and you said you were waiting until you had the whole crew there to do it right. WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT PLAN? Accept the help the people around you keep offering, and you will stop ending up with nothing but air under your feet. Seriously listen to your own advice.