Question 199 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
How accident-prone are you? Describe a recent incident.
I go through spells–not sure if it has to do with the phases of the moon or the alignment of the stars or just dumb luck–when I am literally a walking accident. At those times, there’s not enough bubble wrap in the world to protect me from myself.
Take that bruised leg in the photo, for example. I got that bruise at the gas station. And you thought the only danger at the pump was blowing yourself to kingdom come if your cell phone rings! I am proof that even the most mundane tasks can be dangerous. When I hopped out of the car to refuel, my upper body swung the door closed before my lower body got out of the way. Hence, the bottom corner of the door gouged the side of my calf.
It is one of those injuries that hurts like holy hell…but I couldn’t look at it or grab it or hop around cursing lest I had to explain to someone what just happened. I had to calmly circle to the opposite side of the car and insert my debit card into the pump, pretending it was the wind funneling between the fueling islands causing my eyes to water. With every penny that clicked by on the digital display, I had to pretend that I could not feel a hematoma swelling under my skin, threatening to burst free like an alien.
I wish I could say that this was the first time I’d slammed my leg with the car door. Or even the second. But I have run out of fingers on the first hand and have moved on to the second. I’d like to think that I’ve finally learned my lesson, that I shouldn’t be required to completely encase my lower legs in shin guards before getting in the car, but with my tendency to be accident-prone, I suspect the tally will soon require toes.