Last night I was up dealing with a couple of paramedics until after 10. I'm fairly certain they thought I was crazy or in shock, I was laughing so much. The important part is I'm mostly ok. I think. So, since the EMT's said I'm gonna live but I'm probably gonna be sore, I figured there's no real need to go to the ER. I've broken enough bones to know nothing's broken this time. Bonus! I figure, I'm fairly mobile so it'll work itself out. Why take up a hospital bed when I don't think anything is broken aside from my pride, right? Besides, no doctor on earth can fix stupid.
It was my own fault, I can admit that. I was lost in thought dealing with personal issues and wasn't paying attention. Stairs are usually pretty simple things to negotiate. Unless you've gone brain dead, which I apparently did temporarily. Whoops.
The worst part? I spilled my coffee. Aside from that I think management might've over reacted in calling out emergency workers. Dude, I didn't have a stroke, I just caught my toe on the lip of a step and went on a little trip. I figure they're worried about lawsuits but I'm not that guy. I'm not gonna sue over something that wasn't their fault. This was gravity's fault.
I seriously need to consider not distracting myself so much. Surprisingly, I used to have the balance of a mountain goat. Reflexes? Pfft. I could react to things almost before they happened I was so quick. Which brought me back to a day I was reminded of just last night.
I used to play disc golf but, as is usual for me, I had a very unorthodox style. (I bowl with an underhand sidearm that puts a left handed back spin on the bowl even though I bowl right handed). In disc golf I drive with a right handed forehand throw which gives the disc a curve like I'd thrown left handed and I get great distance. This comes in handy on some course since it'll arc off to the right and courses are set up to provide problems for righties, not lefties. The drawback is I drag my right foot which wears out the toe portion of my shoe. Told ya, I'm weird. Don't know why, but doing these things this way just feels more natural and gives me better control.
So about 15 years ago I'm out playing disc golf with my friend James, his wife Veronica, her son Isaac, my buddy Ray and my then girlfriend Kate. Wow, I'm surprised I got her name right. She was a fun girl and enjoyed joining us. Until that day. It's not my fault though, I swear.
See, part of the fun in playing disc golf back then was my dual function in playing. And how I got people to come along. My main function was showing up and playing. Sober was optional back then. Despite the fact I'd get there around 9 in the morning and on a motorcycle, I'd say at least half the time I'd have still been awake for the past day or two. I'd work all day, drink all night and usually show up with a backpack full of beer.
Raining? Pfft. Who cares? Who needs a helmet? There's me, well over the speed limit, shorts and t shirt in a thunderstorm some days. Yeah, I'd take a spill occasionally but I'd bounce back up. Sometimes I'd bounce a few times before I got back up. Then I'd show up at James and Veronica's and Veronica would patch me up. Fun times.
Now I'm older and a little more breakable. But I still get told regularly that "you don't have the sense God gave a turnip." Eh. Maybe not but when it's my time to go I don't think having less scars or broken bones is gonna get me a better spot at the cemetery.
That doesn't mean I don't still have some underlying sense of self preservation. And it kicked in that day on the golf course.
I'd already gone out in the lake a time or two to retrieve one disc or another. I think I'd even climbed a tree to get one. Or ventured down into the ravine, I'm not sure.
What I do remember is walking back towards the actual course. Basically facing oncoming throws as I rounded a corner. Kate was behind me because she'd gone with me to cheer me on or make sure they knew where my body could be found should the EMTs need to be summoned. I'm pretty sure most of my friends spent a lot of time with 911 already punched in so they just had to hit the call button. Thus was the life I led. Christian Touchet, life risker extraordinaire.
So, as I round the corner of one wooded dogleg in the course, Isaac had just let fly quite the quick and on-target throw. There's me staring at a disc that seems to be traveling at supersonic speeds and I simply reacted. Pure reflex, like a cat. Or Spider-Man. I dropped into a push up with a slight roll to my left so I could track the trajectory of said disc on the off chance it gets lost in the woods for my retrieval. During my rear facing matrix move I watch this thing, which had been about throat level make an astonishingly quick bee line for Kate's forehead. THWACK! It was like a sniper shot.
As the leading edge of the disc (and those leading edges are substantially thick at the center but taper toward the outside) connects right between her eyes, her head kinda snapped back. Amazingly, this helped it change direction and make that left hand angle in the course perfectly. (Well done, Isaac!) She drops, the disc continues its course for a great lie and I just lay there trying to decide if he'd killed her or not. I mean, there was the lake but nothing to wrap the body in. Not to mention all the work of finding rocks big enough to weigh down the body, we'd have to all get our stories straight, etc. It was a logistical nightmare for a minute.
Fortunately, she started laughing maniacally with the rest of us so we knew she was gonna live. She may be cross-eyed for life now but she was gonna be alright. An hour later we finally finished the course. Shoulda seen the knot on her head though. I thought, damn, she's gonna sprout a horn if we don't ice that down. If memory serves, we iced it down with frozen margaritas and Guiness on draft at Chester's hamburger joint.
Then there's today. Three quarters of the way up a flight of steps and I trip because my mind is fuzzy. When the manager of the truck stop comes running over I must've looked insane. Busted lip, covered in hot coffee, holding my arm, laughing like a hyena on nitrous oxide. Yeah, I'm gonna be fine. I think. Except for this knot growing on my head and the one on my shin. I wish there was a disc golf course around here somewhere. And maybe I should consider listing an emergency contact.