I’ve been an expert faller all of my life.
I started with treehouses and top bunks. I’ve fallen down stairs and across walkways. I fell at my high school and college graduations, stumbling on the stage boards. My mother strained to distinguish me from a hundred other gown-clad law school graduates until I took a nose-dive off the edge of the steps.
I’ve fallen for lousy lines and cagey schemes. I’ve taken many a tumble head-first into bushes and through flimsy screens. I’ve fallen short of every expectation of those who crave conformity with their own standards. I’ve fallen below sea level. Once I fell off of a third-story balcony into a bank of snow.
My clotting time regularly falls into the danger zone, leaving me sluggish and limp. My temperature hovers two degrees under the human average. My voice often falls so low that it won’t reach the bench in the smallest courtroom.
My jokes fall flat and my hopes fall into the distant dark days of a questionable past.
When I walk with people, I start out beside them but soon fall behind even the most leisurely pace.
I’ve fallen in love. I’ve fallen in lust. I’ve fallen on hard times. I’ve fallen onto every floor in my house so often that permanent hand smudges from my struggles to get back on my feet mar the door frames. I’ve fallen twice in the shower just this month.
I fell for every practical joke that my big brothers played and a few concocted by the mean girls in high school.
I’ve fallen silent.
It’s been a long day. I spent a lovely hour or two in a home to which I had not been invited for almost four years. I did a few chores; I read some poetry; I watched a television show about building yurts. Now I’m tired. But I’m not complaining. It’s the twenty-second day of the fortieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.