Listening to people's ailments makes me ill, in sympathy, so I'll keep this short. Last Sunday we were out walking on the perfectly smooth river ice. During the thaw two weeks ago, the river came up and the ice went out. Then the temps dropped to zero and the surface froze. Beautiful! But as the water ran out, the ice began to collapse to it's normal depth of one foot. To get onto the river you had to climb or slide down a sharply angled ice floe. This is where members of the party started to fall; nothing worse than a whacked funny bone for we were padded against the cold. When we reached the bridge we began turning over the floes by the shore, marveling at the patterns formed by the river on their undersides.
At last it was time for hot chocolate by the warm stove. When I stepped onto the ice in the ditch, the goddess of gravity grabbed my ankles and thumped me on my back like a freshly caught halibut. My companions gathered round and helped me to my feet. I hadn't hit my head and my limbs still worked, but my inner works were all ajangle. My lungs felt too flat to take in air. My voice was thin and wheezy. My spine felt fine but the affiliated ribs were not happy.
Once back home, I popped a couple of pills and sat quietly and thought of people in car crashes and running backs blindsided. I thought too of soldiers and hand grenades until I convinced myself things could be worse. I had promised to grill that evening, and a glass of wine settled the shaking in my hands. Matt fired up the coals and supper was served on time.
By coincidence, I had a physical scheduled for later in the week. The doctor said I'd be fine. He told me he was in the middle of inventing boots with studs that would retract into the soles when you went inside so you didn't tear up the floor. I told him to put me on his list.
|Beneath the floes. Beautiful, cold; indifferent to you.|