Essay: Taking a Fall

Mar 6, 2020

I was walking downtown to meet a friend for lunch and tried to kick a chunk of ice off the sidewalk.  The ice didn’t budge but I fell straight down onto the concrete, cursing my stupidity. Slowly, I sat up and felt my forehead, seeing my hand covered with blood.


“You okay?”  A man was coming toward me from his truck. 

“I think so,” I said, holding a kleenex against my face.  “My knee hurts.” He helped me move a few feet to sit on the steps of a vacant house.

“You might need some stitches,” he said, sitting down beside me.  I asked his name and he told me he was doing drywall across the street.  I dug another kleenex out of my parka.

Finally we both decided he ought to call 911 and he did, reminding me to stay seated.  I asked his name again and told him mine, told him how I’d done this to myself.

And then the medics came with their calm efficiency and helped me onto the gurney, asking if I’d lost consciousness, if I was on blood thinners.  No, no. Soon I was in the Emergency Room getting help, finding out I had broken my kneecap.  

Realizing I had never thanked the drywall man who had been so kind.  And though he told me twice, I couldn’t remember his name.