Clumsy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
I kind of wanted a prose-like anthology of all the clumsy moments I've been having lately because there's kind of a lot of them...

Submitted: August 22, 2008

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Submitted: August 22, 2008

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I don't remember being clumsy before the spring semester of my freshman year. I was uncoordinated, sure. Athletically challenged to a "t" and incapable of sinking a ball into a hoop or kicking it into a net or other apparatus, of course. But if I were asked to carry the balls up a flight of stairs or set up the net thingy, I could handle it. There would be no flutter of nerves from the people around me as they watched me lug the balls up a flight of steps and they wouldn't be watching, frosty, on their toes and waiting to dive out of the way if one of my movements went awry. This was a luxury I didn't realize I had until it was ruthlessly taken away from me and I became a clumsy girl.

It all started in my eight a.m. gym class last semester. We started out splitting into groups of four and scuttling off to our little stations. My group got stuck at step-ups where we had to hold two weights and step up and down off these little black platforms as many times as we could. It went fine, at first. Right foot up, left foot up, right foot down, left foot down and repeat. Right foot up, imagine maiming gym teacher with weight, left foot up and so on. Then for some reason forsaken by the god of clumsiness, my feet decided to abruptly change their pattern. My right and left feet (that sounds weird - is that right? because it sounds like I have two sets of feet and I don't. Crap.) went up fine but instead of following the right up, left up, right down, left down pattern my left foot went down right after it went up. The sudden change seemed so insignificant at the time, but stepping down with that left foot rather than the right one apparently ripped a hole in the space/time continuum, or whatever it's called, and made me the clumsiest girl known to man.

I fell, long story short. I rolled backwards away from the black box and towards the rack of weights directly behind me. Thankfully I kept my head forward and didn't suffer any major injuries. Though, I kind of wish I had since people tend to not make fun of you for falling when you've got an injury to flaunt in front of them. If they make fun of you when you're hurt then they're an asshole, but when you aren't hurt and just have an embarrassing story, you're a dumbass.

I felt like a dumbass that day, let me tell you. The instructor ran over, that look in his eyes like "Crap, we just started. How did I overwork one of them already?!" but what am I supposed to tell him? My left foot is a bitch who jumped the gun on her turn to go down and that screwed me up? Yeah, that would sound great. Plus, no one seemed to believe that I'd fallen because I had a clumsy moment. They were all terrified that the strain of an action basically equivalent to climbing a flight of stairs had put so much stress on me I couldn't handle it. Apparently, I'm such a piss weak individual that it would be weird if five seconds of step-ups didn't cause me to faint from exhaustion. I would like to clarify here and now, I can handle the goddamn step ups. I was not exhausted or dehydrated or anything-ed. Just clumsy, apparently.

A couple days later it rained during one of my afternoon classes. I came out of Sociology and headed downstairs. The stairwell was not only sodden from people coming in from the rain, but also packed full of people putting on rain slickers and boots and preparing to forage their way outside. I, typically unprepared in spite of ten+ years of girl scouting, was going to brave the weather in my flip-flops and t-shirt.

What? It was a glorious Wilmington day when I left the dorm. I was dressed perfectly before Mother Nature intervened. Besides, my clothes and their lack of weather appropriateness, were dismiss-able compared to my slide. Once again, my feet turned on me and in front of an entire stairwell full of people I feel on my ass and skidded down three stairs nearly bowling down the people in front of me. Once again, I was the dumbass as I escaped without an injury. At the time I wrote both incidents off as a result of being stuck in a place I didn't want to be - in gym class and in school.

This theory didn't much come in handy a few weeks later when I went down to the beach with my roommates and some of their friends. I was excited one day when Teri, me and her friend Kieran went to play tennis at the courts down the street from my beach house. I did fine, which wasn't surprising (she said, so humbly) since, compared to my skill level in other sports, I'm pretty good at tennis. Plus, anything that I do when I've got the ocean within hearing distance is always fun. It was a pretty perfect afternoon until I dropped back to hit a high lob and rolled my ankle, falling to the ground with a resounding "thump!" Once again, I was a dumbass on my ass. I can only imagine what would have happened had the school year gone on much longer. Thankfully, my single, solitary final exam was over quickly and I was long gone from school before I could embarrass myself much more.

Summer went about as well as summer can go when you have to work every day. I got a job basically running errands and doing all the things that my boss was too busy to do. My first big task was to get about five hundred copies of all these consent forms made. I got them made and I was loading these huge boxes full of brightly colored paper out of my car and dropping them on a dolly inside the front door. It's about a million degrees outside and I can feel the sweat pooling between my toes and drizzling onto my black sandals as I schlepped in and out, toting huge boxes of paper. At last I came to the last box and was on my way into the building when the Duke interns who had just finished up their interviews upstairs came outside. Then, as if the universe had some tracking device on me that started going crazy because it had been presented with an opportunity ripe with embarrassment potential, I felt myself falling. My feet, slick with sweat, slid out of my shoe as I stepped up onto the inclined sidewalk around the front door. Next thing I knew I'm laying face up on the hood of my little Ford Focus flailing around like a turtle with bright pink consent forms billowing out of the box I'm holding and splaying out all over my car.

I felt like I was some inept warrior being hunted by a beast that followed me home from Wilmington. It didn't even wait a whole day for its next strike. The day after the awkward turtle incident, I had to go to UNC Hospitals to get the time cards for everyone in our office. Now, you would think I'd be safe in a hospital. Hospitals are one of the least treacherous places on earth being that there are elevators everywhere so you don't have to deal with stairs and they're designed so people can get around on stretchers and in wheelchairs, so the floors are nice and flat. But, of course, on another unbearably hot day when I had to grace the halls, someone had put a fan in the hallway and set it up to blow towards a room with some offices whose air conditioning was broken. That was fine when I was on my way up to the fifth floor to get the time cards. I noticed the fan and my eyeballs sent that little message to my brain that said "HEY! Fan there: move around it." And I did. I flawlessly made my way around the fan, barely missing a beat in my steps.
I felt more victorious than I ever have in my life as I left the fan behind me and headed to the elevator. It didn't last long, though.

On the way back out of the hospital, time cards in hand, I was walking down the hallway and I caught a glimpse of a ridiculously cute intern/doctor whatever he was. Naturally, in this brief moment of distraction I step right into the fan and fall forward. The intern noticed (you kind of would have had to be blind to miss it) and helped me up, offering me "are you okay's" and giving me this funny look like he was checking my pupils to see if I was high. Hopefully, I imagined that part. Once I convinced him I was just naturally clumsy he made an attempt to make me feel better and joked "Man, I never had a girl fall for me that fast before." In retrospect it was actually a cute little moment, but I was so horridly embarrassed at my utterly graceless plunge that I couldn't wait to get out of there. I am 99.99% sure that as I hurried away I heard him chuckling.

I had one more disastrous moment this summer on the job. I had to deliver these contracts to some huge, eight story building in Durham that looked like it was made of nothing but glass top to bottom. I went inside, delivered the contracts and picked up the ones I was returning to my boss. Clad in my typical work wear I made my way across the ornate lobby. Smoothly I glided into the majestic revolving door. Then my bag - my favorite oversize purse full of my books and all the other things I had to deliver that day - got stuck. It fell behind me and got snagged in that little space where the pane behind me met the outer perimeter of the door. The door stopped short with my bag holding it in place but unfortunately I kept going. That is, I kept going for two inches before I smacked my face into the pane in front of me and stumbled backwards, conking my head on the pane behind. Flushing the deepest shade of red imaginable, I wedged my purse out of the door and bolted from the building, praying that the large white splotch in the middle of the door I smacked into was a spot of sunlight and not the shape of my forehead, nose and cheeks made by the sunscreen I applied generously to my face earlier that afternoon when I realized I'd be outside for a substantial amount of time.

Thankfully, I still haven't been reprehensively damaged. I have a bad feeling that if I ever do get hurt it'll hit me tenfold for all the times that I was clumsy and wanted to be injured to escape mockery. Then again, it's pretty clear that the universe isn't actually out to hurt me. I'm sure if it were, I would be hurt by now. Isn't that how the universe works?


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