Friday, January 12, 2007

Spin, Parry, Thrust, WHAM

I had a near-death experience today. I suppose it could be argued that any day in Oakland is a near-death experience, but that would be another lengthy dissertation. And yes, I'm almost certainly overstating an event that will be referred to later as "My Boo-Boo." It was, however, significant trauma for the end of my week.
I bumped my head. To be more precise, I slammed the left side of my head against the divider of the shelves where my students usually put their coats and backpacks. If I had done this on purpose, I don't think I could have achieved a better result. I was standing up and turning to put a piece of paper into the recycling bin - curse my ecological conscience - and as I made my graceful pivot to the left, I found the corner of the shelf with my temple.
My cat-like reflexes and spider-sense must have taken off for the weekend early, because I didn't even see the offending chunk of wood before the impact. I found myself abruptly on my back on the tile floor of my classroom, eyes shut, and fingers fumbling for the spot where I was certain to find blood and gray matter leaking out of my skull. I do not recall what expletives I uttered, but I know that they were more vehement and expressive than any that I have used when children were present. If there was a bright side to this blunt force trauma, it was that it occurred after school hours and I did not have to explain my salty vocabulary to any of the gentle ten-year old souls who came into contact with me in the moments after my collision.
As is my custom, I got back to my feet, found the form that I needed to deliver and headed up the stairs. When I reached the office, I was greeted with great concern and fear: "That's grotesque!" and "Have you seen yourself?" I had a pretty good sense of just how large the swelling was on my forehead, as I had kept my hand over it most of the way up the stairs in case it happened to rupture.
I was given ice for the swelling and sympathy for the pain, and I started to focus both eyes for the first time in several minutes. Soon I was told that I no longer looked as though I had a growth, and that I no longer appeared to have spawned an additional being - not unlike Athena from the head of Zeus. When I finally got a peek at myself in a mirror, I understood the concern. I approximated the circumference of a silver dollar - the old Eisenhower jobs, not these new-fangled Susan B. Sacajawea deals - and imagined the reaction I would receive at home.
Dad found something with his head again. Yup. Happy Friday.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. Let us accept that it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye, and that it follows that if nobody loses an eye, then it is all fun and games. Because nobody lost an eye in this otherwise violent situation, it still qualifies as fun and games, in spite of all bumps, lumps, Eisenhowers, Sacajaweas and pleas to the contrary. Right, Daffy?


mrs. id said...

The reaction from home: "Aww, I was hoping for a baby girl."