So this week-end was what I refer to as Laundry Week-end, what with how I do two weeks worth of laundry over at Michelle’s apartment on Saturday. I like a name that tells you what it is. Because I’m doing two weeks worth of laundry, I’m hauling two very full hampers worth of laundry into her apartment, and because she’s *never nice enough to help, I have to do it in two trips.
Michelle’s apartment is on the backside of her building so I have to cross the parking lot and then go to the opposite end of the breezeway to get to her door. The complex is pet friendly, but I thought they discouraged dogs. I’ve noticed recently that there seem to be more and more small dogs around in the neighborhood, including at Michelle’s building. As of this week-end, three of the four balconies that face the parking lot around her breezeway have dogs living in the attached apartments.
As I crossed the parking lot and walked up the path toward the breezeway the dog in the ground floor apartment on my left poked his head through the blinds on the sliding glass door and started barking at me, all menacing and tough-like. And by menacing and tough-like, I mean the dog was pocket sized and not even remotely intimidating. I looked at him, laughed and said, “Ooo. Tough guy!”
I don’t know if it was the dog barking, or me talking that attracted the attention, but just as I took the two inch step up to the next level of sidewalk, I heard barking coming from the right. I turned and looked to see the dog in the apartment on the second floor, on my right, out on the balcony and had stuck his little curly head between the bars on the railing and started barking at me, as well. My last thought as I mounted the two steps up to the breezeway was “Oh, Stereo!”
I proceeded down the hall to Michelle’s door and went in to drop off my first load. “That’s OK. I’ve got it all,” I called out, more out of tradition than any vain attempt to guilt or shame. “OK” she replied from behind the closed bathroom door. She has long since made it clear that she’s not going to feel guilty for not helping me carry my stuff in.
I headed back out to the car for the second load and noted on the way out that the dog inside the ground floor apartment had lost interest. The dog upstairs was still watching but had ceased barking at me. After retrieving my second hamper I crossed the sidewalk in front of the path to Michelle’s building, several feet in front of a young to middle aged Asian couple strolling up the sidewalk. As I headed up the path, I noticed that the upstairs dog was still watching me, so I watched him…
…And forgot about the two inch step up in the path. I caught the tip of my right big toe on the edge of the sidewalk. The velocity of my steps propelled me forward and the weight of my full hamper pulled me down. People talk about such things and talk about it being like it happened in slow motion… People lie! OK, maybe they don’t lie, but that’s not what happened to me. I went down fast and I went down hard.
Based purely on a damage assessment, after the fact, I know my left knee was the first thing to make contact with the sidewalk, because there was no skin left on it, whatsoever. My left shin has “road rash” on it and my right knee cap has just a little.
In this picture, note the band-aid on my right big toe. When my toe hit the step, it went down below the step, and the top of the toe rubbed against the concrete removing the skin from there as well. So, as if it weren’t bad enough having my pants legs (I can’t wear shorts to work, naturally) rubbing against the leg injuries, every pair of work appropriate shoes I own presses right on that part of my big toe as I walk.
It only took a matter of seconds for me to turn over and stand up again and do you know, that Asian couple didn’t even acknowledge anything had happened. No offers of assistance (which, granted, I would have declined). No inquiries as to my well being. It didn’t even seem as though they had looked my way to see what the commotion had been. (People suck.)
Four or five years ago, when I was considering my first tattoo but was afraid of how much it would hurt, I asked K about them. She told me, “It’s kinda of like having road rash.” I thought, well that’s not nearly as bad as I feared. (Never mind that I hadn’t had road rash in twenty years.) I can now attest that K was wrong! This is so much worse than any tattoo “pain” I’ve ever had. And I had something to show for the tattoo pain!