A funny thing happened on the way to the vending machine.
It was such a beautiful day that we had decided to take our walk outdoors at one of our favorite places, a local university which has the distinction of having a first-class series of tunnels for going all across campus ... indoors ... in case of bad weather.
But we were OUTDOORS, just strolling along, enjoying the weekend quiet and the array of autumn leaves.
The sun was shining. No call for ducking indoors to escape rain on this day. In fact, I was glad my glasses have the ability to darken, effectively turning into sunglasses when I need that.
It was a bit cool, though ... cool enough that a hot drink from one of the vending machines was enticing.
No problem. We were near a building that had a battery of such machines (I have an impeccable memory for such things). We ducked inside and headed down one of the corridors.
Then I spotted a side corridor which would save us a few steps and get us to that hot drink much earlier.
Natural leader that I am, I was in front ... by maybe half a step ... looking ahead to the lighted doorway way up ahead which, I recalled, was not far removed from the target of our mission.
We went down three steps and were making good progress along the darkened corridor. Oh, I forgot to mention that my glasses had not adjusted yet from being outdoors - and the corridor seemed really dark to me.
No problem. My memory, remember? I had been down this corridor before.
But I had forgotten that we had to go down another set of three steps, then advance, go up a set of three steps, then up another set, before we had arrived safely to the other side.
I took a step ... having forgotten the configuration of that particular corridor ... and it was like stepping into a well ... more like stepping off a cliff.
My right foot thudded on the edge of one of the lower steps and I don’t think my left foot touched anything until I hit bottom ... after banging my head against the wall and skinning my right hand in three places.
It felt something like doing a cartwheel ... and landing on my head, I imagine.
Phyllis was understandably shocked by my sudden tumbling and crumpling on the floor, and was immediately ... safely ... beside me, checking for injuries and offering help.
My assessment: Bruises, but no broken bones. How lucky could I get?
The vending machines, you say? Oh, we found them right where I remembered their being ... but the chairs I remembered weren’t there.
Plan B: We went carefully ... hand-in-hand this time ... through one of the tunnels to another building where there were machines ... AND chairs ... AND tables.
It was my turn to buy, so I fished for coins and inserted them ... and when I heard my change plink down, I retrieved it ... PLUS some 30 cents that someone else had forgotten to retrieve.
How lucky COULD I get?
And funny? It’s a lot funnier now than it was the day it happened.
TODAY’S QUOTE: “I’m becoming so-o-o organized! You know, a place for everything ... and everything in its place. I’m making progress on that part (still a few miles to go) ... but I’m having a little trouble remembering where those places are that I’ve put things.” - Professor Squigglee
TODAY’S POEM: I know, I should throw it away ... at the very least, not wear it in public.
But I can't bear to give it up. It's my hat. We've been together so long, through so many things. It's like a part of me. And there it sits, "like a cabbage leaf on my head."
The poem began, as many poems do, while I was out walking, this time with Phyllis.
Actually, we encountered two young girls, strolling in the other direction. Strangers, but I probably smiled and spoke.
One of them smiled and said something in reply, but I didn't catch what it was.
After we had walked far enough that I thought we were out of earshot of the two, I asked Phyllis: "What did she say?"
"Cool hat," she replied.
"That's right. Cool hat," she assured me.
That's when I had the impulse to toss my hat in the air and do a few dance steps right there. Who says I'm not in touch with the younger generation?
It has been
lost and found,
it cries for mercy,
and it sits like
a cabbage leaf
on my head.
But then she,
a young girl about
half my height,
flashes a smile,
says, "Cool hat!"
and for a moment,
just a heartbeat,
a quickened stride,
I feel like
tossing my hat
in the air
(orignally published in Capper's)
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