Sunday, May 26, 2024

So, Saturday

    "Maybe I'll come up with something for Saturday," I said.

     What I came up with was to just about do myself in.  I've been chairing a small online writing-critique group for a local club since January and it meets for an hour starting at 9:00 a.m., one Saturday a month.  I can do that; there's plenty of time to grab coffee and a quick snack, shower and be ready with the stories all printed out and a "bingo card" of manuscript submissions and participants so I can be sure no one is left out.  The participants are all serious amateurs or aspiring professionals, and it's an orderly process.  Introverted though I am, I can handle it and only be a little tired afterward.  My cold is still lingering, with mild sinus congestion and a recurring, productive cough; not bad but annoying.

     In the usual course of events, there's an hour break after the critique group and then the entire club meets, both online and in person, with a business meeting followed by an interesting speaker.  It's relaxing and about the most strenuous thing I do is second a motion or make an occasional note.

     Yesterday was not usual.  I had to work, downtown, starting at 11:00 a.m.  I wrapped up the critique group a few minutes after 10:00, shut down my laptop and lights,* changed to work slacks and put on real shoes, packed my coffee cup, teabags and a candy bar, and headed south.

     Getting into work on this particular day involves talking one's way past a police officer: where I work is right on the parade route and they close the cross streets.  Some years, the officer assigned to the intersection for the street my workplace is on hasn't been well briefed; other years, all I need to do is show my ID.  This was a good year; I flashed my badge and barely had to slow down.

     I was working Engineering support for live TV coverage of the 500 Festival Parade -- a job that, if nothing goes wrong, consists of looking at TV screens and possibly making small repairs.  It can get exciting if something big breaks, but we try to have ways around all of the likely failures.  This meant I could set up my laptop and listen in to the club meeting with an earbud in one ear while monitoring the parade with the other ear and both eyes.

     It worked until the meeting's speaker began his presentation, off-mike and a little mumbly.  I had a choice: try to follow him or do my job.  I logged out.  That bread is only buttered on one side.

     Through all this, low-key interactions with co-workers, hi, howya doin', remember the year so-and-so drove by the cop without stopping and almost got arrested? (So-and-so piped up to add to that story) and so on.

     I felt kind of sleepy once things were wrapped up -- only a few hours -- and took my time getting ready to leave, waiting for traffic to ease.  I stopped at the grocery store on my way home, shambled my way through picking up a couple days worth of food, and arrived home with relief.

     Got the groceries put away, had a conversation with Tam, and went back to the kitchen, finalizing supper plans.  I was standing on our very old plastic step-stool, the kind with spring-loaded wheels that settles when you step up on it.  I was on the top step and had just shifted my weight when it made a cracking sound, dropping a half-inch as my full weight came over a wheel -- and the knee I'd put my weight on gave way!

     I lost my balance immediately.  The fall was unrecoverable.  I was in front of the refrigerator, and it doesn't have handles that stick out.  I said, "Oh!" and slowed my fall well enough that I didn't land hard, but I ended on the floor, on my back, out of breath and starting to snicker.

     Tamara came running in, and there I was, sprawled out on the floor, wheezing and snickering too much to tell her I was okay.  When I finally could, she refused to believe me until I got back on my feet.

     Dinner plans were scaled back; I made yellow rice with (canned) chicken, pigeon peas, fresh carrots, celery and a few mushrooms, chopped up.  I sauteed the fresh vegetables and mushrooms in a little bacon grease from one strip of bacon, which I crumbled in with the rest of the stuff: fast, easy and tasty.

     But I went to bed immediately after dinner, about eight, and slept until nine this morning: I was completely worn worn out.  When I started to fall, I realized I had no real reserves left; I was headed for the floor, no matter what.  It's a scary thing to realize.  Between the remains of the cold, two meetings, work and grocery-shopping, I'd used up all my energy.
* During the pandemic, I set up my bedroom desk for videoconferencing, with a couple of mounted ring lights that have home-made diffusers.  It's been useful ever since -- and I don't have to show the chaos on my big desk in the home office.


Cop Car said...

Sorry about your fall and will be glad when your virus is completely vanquished.

Perhaps it was just as well that you had no reserves to fight the fall. Some of us injure ourselves more in trying to prevent a fall than we would have sustained had we relaxed into it. If you were mirthful, you probably did really well - although you may feel it in your body for a few days.

Mike V said...

Glad you weren't hurt in the tumble. Recover at your own pace.

Anonymous said...

I can sympathize with your cold. My whole family has suffered the same symptoms that never leave. I'm working but have to drive myself to do a full day, then collapse. Never had one like this before...