Ever had one of those mornings when you know you should have just stayed in bed?
I experienced one not long ago and have decided to take you along for the whole miserable re-enactment. Lucky you.
The morning started off fairly well. Oh sure, there’s always the anxiety associated with packing lunches, gobbling breakfast, and then trying to whip myself into some sort of presentable shape for work (not an easy task I can assure you).
No, the trouble began when I slid my feet into my husband’s steel-toed work boots and clumped out the door in bathrobe and curlers to start the bus.
It’s my occupation and, like the mail – “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
A bit dramatic, but you get the picture.
It had been warm the previous afternoon; the snow had melted, then frozen into a sheet of ice.
During the night a westerly wind picked up and polished the land with sifting snow until it gleamed.
Sadly, I hadn’t noticed, or things might have ended quite differently.
Instead, I jogged heavily down the incline, gathering momentum with every step until suddenly I couldn’t stop, my feet flew up to meet me and I measured my length across the frozen wasteland with a resounding WHUMP.
Thanks to Newton’s laws of physics – dealing with acceleration and force, not to mention a slippery slope – I skimmed along for quite some time before grinding slowly to a halt.
A protracted interval then ensued, marked only by the groans of a middle-aged woman struggling to breathe.
Then, as the first cold rays of dawn illuminated my prostrate form (spread eagle on the driveway beside our busy thoroughfare) I gathered the presence of mind to wonder what might occur if someone spotted me from the road, and drove in to see if I were dead.
If they did, it wouldn’t play out the way these things do in movies. It never does for me.
On the silver screen a handsome, brawny man would leap from his expensive automobile; rushing to my aid.
With a dazzling, but sympathetic smile, he’d bend anxiously over my perfectly made-up features and artfully arranged hair, gather up my slight, almost waif-like body, and lift me effortlessly into his masterful arms.
Naturally, I’d be wearing fluffy, high-heeled slippers and a pink, diaphanous peignoir set which would flutter attractively in the breeze as he’d march purposefully to the sanctuary of my door.
Once there, he’d take his leave only after assuring himself I was sufficiently recovered to carry on alone.
Doubtless, he’d then bow low, kissing my lily-white hand before motoring away with a caring hand of farewell.
My reality, however, would likely involve a 90 pound weakling (as featured in old Charles Atlas ads) clambering unhurriedly from his old rattletrap to prod my lifeless bulk with the toe of his boot.
He’d bend to peer into my puffy, gasping face, scrubbed clean of all artifice apart from the unpleasant remnants of yesterday’s mascara, and would visibly recoil.
Curlers would be strewn about me in the snow like tiny fragments of flotsam after the damaged freighter has slidden beneath the waves.
My fuzzy purple housecoat, warmed by body heat, would have become one with the ice beneath it, and I imagined my savior chipping it free with an old shovel I keep nearby to dispose of dog crap.
Finally, amid much awkward scrabbling and heated exchange, he’d drag me upright by the scruff of the neck before exiting the yard without so much as a backward glance.
Alone, I’d struggle to the bus feeling like a bloody fool.
But, enough time wasted on foolish visions.
I turned my head (mostly to assure myself it was still possible) rolled onto my knees, gathered what shreds of dignity I had left, and crawled back to my house.
Some days it would be better to just stay in bed.