Thursday, June 18, 2009

When you fall...

If I’d been any closer, I might’ve heard the sound of your body tumbling, tumbling, ass over teakettle, softness striking cold cement. But instead I was running, running, the six endless feet to catch you when you hit the bottom. The accidents always happen when everything is so good. And things had been so good, you were saying goodbye to your Gretchen, calling out “I love you and I want to take care of you.”

Your head hit the concrete with a muffled thud, not a whack, and I was grateful. Grateful for gravity’s mercy on this one, grateful for each cement step that broke your long fall. You didn’t fall down the steps so much as fall down a step, and then another one, and another one, minutes after your Dad warned you “If you keep doing that, you’re going to fall.” To which you answered, in all of your three year old chutzpah and oblivion, “I want to fall Daddy”.

Right now, as I write this, I’m reminded of another fall down the stairs, a different type of day. Not sunshiney fresh Portland evening but the claustrophobic feeling of the Maryland house at night, the avocado walls, the avocado carpet, the lonesome flicker of the TV. My mom very sick, losing her grasp on the railing, coming barreling down the stairs in a blur of heft and confusion. I was lying on the couch (In fact, I’d had the feeling-known, really-that I should help her up the stairs but I was angry at her, angry at her for having a couple of drinks, most likely angry at her for being in the act of dying, right in front of me, every day.)

But you, fresh you, I could scoop you up, hold your whole body against mine. Smell your sweat and skin as you criedhard, but not worrisome hard, into my shoulder. I’m grateful, right now, that I had the chance to comfort and cuddle, the chance to make this fall right.


Laney said...

holy cow Batman...that was beautifully sad and good at the same time. I just found your blog through Jude. You are a gifted writer and I am glad you have found this space to do it and share.

tara. said...

this is so beautifully written. your words have a melancholy but soothing cadence. i am loving going back through your posts and getting to learn your voice. i know it's a struggle, believe me, but keep it up! you have something wonderful to share.