On Friday, July 10th, it rained hard all day in Brooklyn. Come mid-afternoon, we decided we needed some stuff from the nearby supermarket. Because it was pouring, I took our car. As I left the house, I was preoccupied with keeping my facemask dry.
I parked the car, put the mask in my jacket pocket and opened the door. Before I even got out, my glasses became all fogged up. After I got out, I looked ahead to the market entrance, maybe ten yards away, and saw the shopping carts. I wondered if they would be dry enough to use. Without much thinking, I decided that I’d wait until I got into the store for the air conditioning to clear up my glasses. It never occurred to me that there was anything between me and the carts.
Twenty steps into my journey, the ground gave way underneath me and I wound up a twisted pretzel on it. I was completely stunned. I had no idea what had happened. A couple of women coming out of the supermarket stopped to ask if I was OK. I responded that I thought so. I was able to pick myself up and reassured them that I could manage.
I still could not comprehend what had gone on. I turned around and saw one of those rubberized cones that they use to reserve parking spaces. Obviously, I had not seen it, stepped on it, lost my balance and wound up on the ground—all in the space of a second. I was a bit shaken and went back to the car and drove home. My wife helped me get my sneakers off and looked me over. No broken bones but a really sore right thigh and a scraped up left elbow.
A day later, I think I’m on the mend. And the moral of this tale? I’m not sure but I think it has something to do with absent-mindedness. It can lead to a funny story, mild embarrassment or a serious injury. For me, it was a bit of a funny story and a bit more of an embarrassment, and not a serious injury. But it could have been worse. And that worse could have been bad enough to land me in the ER or even a hospital bed. So, absentmindedness, even of the completely innocent variety, should be avoided. “Easier to say than do,” I say to myself. But then my other self says, “It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.”