It sounded like an explosion and felt a little like one too and it hurt.
It’s something I’d never done before.
I walked into a sliding screen door once and into a sliding door twice, but never to the point where I hurt myself.
There’s a video currently going viral on the Internet of Philadelphia Eagles fan slamming into a subway support pole. I did something like that once years ago. I was rushing to get out of a bar to catch up with some friends who had already left. I’d stayed behind a moment to talk with another friend. Just as I got to the door a woman and her boyfriend entered. I shifted my shoulder and leaned to my left, deftly avoiding bumping into the woman who, I noticed as I slid past, was quite attractive. Maybe that’s what I did wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have looked at her. Probably, I should have looked just at the space between us that led to the doorway, because instead of neatly slipping out the entrance my shoulder slammed into the door frame and my knees buckled as I almost fell to the ground. I was athletic enough at that time to easily regain my balance and continue as if nothing had happened.
The next morning there was a large, purplish bruise on my shoulder which was sore enough to make me wish I had bumped into her for two reasons. First, it’s unlikely she would have left as much pain and as much of a bruise as the door frame had, although there probably would have been a problem with her boyfriend who was a bit bigger and maybe a little more muscular than me… maybe a lot more muscular. He could have left me in more pain and more bruised than the door frame had. Second, there was the memory of how pretty she was, and you never know where these things like that could lead.
I was happy no one had their cell phone pointed at me because I think I was hurt a bit more than the Eagles fan. He slammed into the pole with his shoulder. I slammed into the one I hit with my face.
I was returning from a walk to the grocery store. After crossing the street, I pulled out my iPhone, planning to call someone.
I’ve often seen people walking down the street, heads bent, eyes staring at their cell phone screen, oblivious to the world around them. I’ve thought how stupid they looked and how dangerous their activity was. After all, they could bump into someone or walk out into the street into the path of a car, or into the side of a building, or into a street sign or light pole.
Usually, when I take out my cell phone I first look around, checking my surroundings, or I stop and step away from whatever traffic might be moving along my path. That’s not what I did, though. I continued walking as I pushed the button to get Siri’s attention. The line of light appeared at the bottom of the screen. The words, “What can I help you with rose to the top of the screen. I started to say, “Siri call…” and looked up as I spoke, just in time to see this….
After the explosion, after stepping away from the pole, I continued on my way. Anyone passing by would have heard me saying, “Dumbass! What a stupid dumbass!” Gingerly I touched my nose. It was bloody. My phone was still in my hand. I should have used it to see how my face looked or to take a picture. Instead, I made my phone call.
When I got home I checked myself out in the mirror. There was a line of blood down my nose to my mustache. I washed it away, dried it, and applied a band-aid. I didn’t notice the scratches on my glasses or that the tip of my nose was a bit swollen. This is what I looked like… not great, but certainly not at all like someone who’d stepped into an explosion. Also, it hurts more than my shoulder did those many years ago.