For June Phyllis Patterson

Newspaper   Flavor   Tingle

Headlines Avoided

By PM Smith AKA Phyllis Patterson

I pad barefoot across the bathroom floor. My eyes are filled with soap and I do not see

the puddle of water standing in my path on the tile floor. The fall hurts—or should I say

the landing hurts. It hurts a lot. After I utilize all of the curse words in my repertoire, I

lie on the cold floor waiting for the pain to subside enough to try and stand. My eyes are

watering and I cannot be certain whether it is still from the sting of the soap or tears of

pain.

My backside tingles and I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I

mean, what does a broken hip feel like? I have never broken any bones before so I am

clueless. Suddenly, the commercial of the old woman lying on the floor crying, “I have

fallen and I can’t get up!” pops into my mind. “Oh no!” I whisper. “I am that old woman

on the floor.” This painful thought abates the real pain slightly, but when I try to move

the real pain strikes once again, so I remain prone.

My next thought is to imagine the headlines of the local newspaper. “Elderly Woman

Found Dead on Bathroom Floor—Naked!”

When did I become an elderly woman? I didn’t feel elderly this morning when I

finished working in my garden. I didn’t feel elderly as I savored the wonderful flavor of

the expensive coffee; a delightful surprise gift from my children. I didn’t feel elderly as I

stripped off the soiled garden clothing and stepped into the shower. Oh, now I know the

exact moment when I became elderly—it was when I fell and couldn’t get up. “Wow!” I

think. “That’s how quick it happens.”

This realization sparks something and I feel anger rise in my chest. “I am not

elderly—yet!” I say firmly.

I take a deep breath and summon my reserve strength. I roll around until I manage to

sit up. “Boy my butt hurts!” I say between teeth clinched in pain.

After a moment or two to regroup, I wipe the sweat from the effort off my face with

the toilet tissue, which is thankfully, near enough to reach.

“Okay, old girl.” I say to myself. “Let’s see what you are made of?”

I hear a scream and am a little surprised to realize that it is coming from me. I feel

dizzy from the pain, but this is overcome by my excitement that I am now standing.

“Now what?” I ask myself—I am now having an ongoing conversation with myself

and add. “Why don’t you try to take a step?” I answer. “I am not sure that is such a good

idea, just yet.” My brave self is becoming a little miffed at my cowardly self and I speak

firmly. “Take the step, dammit!” “Okay, Okay!” I say and I push my foot forward. “Ow,

Ow, Ow!” comes out of my mouth from not only the cowardly self but also the brave

self. I slide the other foot forward, cursing, but find the pain easing. When I make it to the

bathroom door I congratulate my entire self for the accomplishment.

I must sit on a pillow for several days, but the x-ray shows nothing broken. I am so

happy that I don’t have to be elderly—just yet.

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About Jim Hilton

Just having a good time writing about our little adventures.
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