Spice of Life


It’s something that could only happen to me, I decide.
This is, perhaps, not the best time to be thinking something like this, but I seem to have very little control over what my brain spits out. I have no idea how this happened, but my chair is tilting sidewise with me in; our destination appears to be the dining room wall. Two other things become clear to me in my undignified tumble: half the dining room is staring at me and the other half will be by the time I hit the floor.
Just before I smash into the wall, I manage to more-or-less catch myself on the table and swing my feet clear of the entwined legs of chair and table. Despite these efforts, all my momentum is still directed sidewise and downward, so I find myself staggering backwards against the wall. The chair meets the floor with an ungodly amount of noise.

I was right. Everyone is looking at me. Wrinkled faces look up from their food and take in the spectacle–a deep silence ensues. Mr. M, one of the residents at my table breaks it.
“Are you hurt?” he demands.
I shake my head. “Other than my pride, I think I’m okay.”
“You been drinking?” he grins.
“No,” I grumble.
“Aw, shucks,” he replies, taking a long drink of his hot chocolate. “Does that mean the show is over?”
And with that, the whole room starts to laugh. As I pick up my chair and settle myself back into it, I can hear at least twenty retellings of my fall. Apparently the look on my face was quite something!

So little ever happens to break the routine of the nursing home; the world swirls around them and, for the most part, their lives are the same day on endless repeat. Boredom is a very real problem…so when something interesting does happen, it is instant gold. The sleepwalkers awake and hold on to this proof of life with dogged tenacity–more so, sometimes than the story deserves.

I scoot the chair back up to the table, this time with great care. A few minutes ago, the atmosphere in the dining room was one of lethargy–now it’s buzzing with life.
I turn back to the lady I was trying to assist at the start of this little adventure. She is a woman of few words, but she parts with one now.
“Clumsy,” she says and swats my arm gently. Her eyes are sparkling though–she’s laughing on the inside for sure.
Maybe that’s worth a little pain, I think as I rub my arm. I’ll have a bruise for sure.

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