Friday, February 11, 2011

Losing Face

My face stopped bleeding and I found my credit card in our big recycle bin.  It was a quintessential good news/bad news kind of day.

But now you say you want the rest of the story.  I suppose you think something significant happened here.  Something connecting these two events.  I'll let you decide.

It had been a remarkably productive day.  That should have made me worry, I suppose.  Then I went to use my credit card.  It was not in my wallet.  Amazingly, I actually remembered where I'd last used it last--at the pharmacy--and I actually had enough wits about me to think perhaps I (gasp) threw the card away with the prescription packaging.  But if I did, had the truck come yet to empty the bins?  No, it hadn't.  I rummaged in trash and recycle.  I believed and I achieved!  The credit card was found and put back where it belonged.  I was saved from myself.

That made it time to take the dog for her walk.  I'd already rehearsed for this week's shows and spent thinking time on a new story, so this walk wasn't for double tasking, it was just for recharging (and well, peripherally, for the dog's sake).

We headed out.  I dutifully took along the newspaper bag (dog walkers will understand the meaning of this), and I used the bag as needed, and that's when things fell apart.  When the dog and I resumed walking, I was still busy folding over the used plastic bag, when there was this bump in the sidewalk that I didn't see, and gravity shifted, and ... and ... and I remember thinking, I wonder what I should try to save?  My knees?  My arms?  My wrists?  Saving Face never even entered my mind.

And yet there it was.  My face skiing the sidewalk.
The dog stopped and tapped her toenails, waiting for me to get up and move along on her walk.

I'm retro.  I carry cotton handkerchiefs. Thank goodness.  I used the one in my pocket to mop my face during the rest of the walk.

The dog and I returned home right as my husband came home from work.  He set into telling me the significant news from his day.

I gathered that my face bore equally significant news when my husband stopped short in the middle of a sentence, to exclaim, "Whoa.  What happened to your face?"

An hour later, I arrived at NEST (Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team) for my overnight shift staffing a site for folks who needed shelter from the snow that was expected to happen that night.
Nobody commented on my appearance all that night.  Not the people I was working with.  Not the guests needing shelter.   I figured that some of them never noticed because they never looked directly at me.  Some noticed but didn't find the appearance surprising, and the rest noticed but chose to say nothing so as to spare me embarrassment, or to let me, well, save face. 

It wasn't until morning when I was standing in the hall, wriggling one hand to loosen it up (the one that was bigger and stiffer than the other, the one whose fingers apparently didn't appreciate being bent backward in a tumble), that one of the shelter guests finally spoke up.  "Looks like your hand's bothering you ... and your face ... what happened to you?"
"Oh, I just fell on the sidewalk."
"Well, Hon, you got to be careful in this snow."
I laughed.  "I'm afraid I managed to do this yesterday before the snow."
She stared at me.  A long, incredulous pause in which I swear I heard her thinking, now there's one clumsy woman who shouldn't be allowed out on her own.

Today, I look as though I had a botox treatment, only the stuff slid off my lip and up under my nose for the ultimate pouty look.  Playing harp helped loosen up my fingers, so all's well there.  I know that I could easily have done more damage, and I’m ever so grateful I didn’t.

All that's left of my news is wondering what I should do about Saturday's performance. Is there any hope that I can cover the dark scab with makeup, or should I go with a glaringly neon Band-Aid? In either case the audience will no doubt think I have some significantly weird ideas about unisex mustaches.

I hope they enjoy mine.

1 comment:

  1. Ow! Jack and I both vote for neon bandaids. If you got it, flaunt it. But don't get it anymore, okay.