What is happening outside my window is really the ugliest part of winter.
Since a few days after Christmas, we’ve had a lovely blanket of snow. It’s what December and January in Ohio are supposed to look like. I like how it reshapes the landscape and trees, smoothing out rough edges. The world becomes an Ansel Adams study of whites and grays. At night, the reflection of light off the snow adds to the eeriness or the magic depending on my frame of mind.
But now the ugliness has begun. This week the day time temperatures have been in the 40’s although it dips back into the 20’s at night. So we’ve gone from Ansel Adams to Salvador Dali. The world is melting! Instead of the grays being parts of shading and lines, they are now dirty smudges. The melt reveals mud, dead grass, plowed up cigarette butts, goose poop, and more, generally making the world a slushy mess of despondent shrinking snowmen.
The slushy mess wouldn’t be such a problem if it had a chance to dry up, but the night time chills refreeze parts of it just enough to make life hazardous in the early morning. I’m supposed to be at work by 7:30 a.m. when the temperature is still considering what it wants to do with its day.
This morning I didn’t notice any weather related problems with the roads. The bigger problem was a major accident, big enough to make the morning traffic report, at a pretty busy intersection that I go through every morning. So my road time was more preoccupied with my alternate route- as it turns out, the same alternate route of everyone in the area- and the fact that as per usual I was leaving the house behind schedule AGAIN.
I was late again because, just like Goldilocks and that last bear’s bed, my bed was “just right.” It was comfortable, soft in all the right places and a cozy temperature unlike the air outside the bed covers. Plus the cats were not in any rush for me to get up. The announcement of the accident did get me moving but not by much. So running late again.
Consequently Brain was not thinking about weather, slush or anything related to that when I parked in the lot at school. I was more focused on: “Keys in hand, get bag, get in, beat children to door. Go!”
I opened my driver’s side door, swung my left leg out and just kept going.
My left foot slid on black ice under the opened door and towards the front tire. I don’t think I even had the good sense to grab anything like the steering wheel or the seat because I could not figure out what the hell was going on. The momentum of the runaway left leg dragged the rest of my body out the door at a precariously crooked angle approaching a headfirst landing. I drive a small model SUV so I really had a good distance until impact.
Thanks to my cat-like, stuntman-esque reflexes and my fat ass (definitely being bottom heavy helped with the physics here) , I managed to plant my left hand on the pavement instead of my face and landed on my left hip and butt cheek. A solid two foot drop from car seat to ice covered asphalt is a stunning way to start the work day.
I could hear a co-worker and the only eye witness (plans for her later**insert evil laugh**) yelling at me across the lot : “Are you okay?!!!”
Brain:“Fuck no! Go home. Your butt is touching ice! Game over!”
I must have looked like some version of that movie scene where the unsuspecting character walks up to a car, opens the door to talk to the driver, and the dead body bonelessly tumbles out onto the character’s feet as he or she begins to shriek.
Fortunately, I did not have a bloody knife sticking out of my back, but maneuvering back to a standing position from my yoga table top pose was another set of acrobatic idiocy. I made it up and into the building without further incident and my colleague’s reassurance that “what happens in the parking lot stays in the parking lot.”
I did not beat the children to my classroom door. On the plus side, my pants weren’t ripped and I seemed relatively clean. However I spent the next couple of hours looking at my burning palm and flexing my left hand which felt stiff and unbending. And…well…my butt hurt.
As of a thorough examination a few minutes ago (this equals me doing little jumps in front of the bathroom mirror, trying to check out my ass), I don’t have any visible bruising. Somewhat disappointing. Ridiculous incidents like this need minor battle wounds as illustrations.
Tomorrow I will be more careful. I was absolutely cautious in approaching the car this afternoon. However I predict that tomorrow morning will be another instance of my bed being “just right” and some part of my body feeling just wrong.