Images of the Fall

I had intended to review a notebook today, but then something happened and I can’t decide if it means I’m psychic or clumsy.

For the past couple months I’ve noticed a lot of people trip as they walked down the sidewalk. This gave me images of me tripping and falling, which is something that used to happen at least once every year–it’s also a tradition that I scuff new shoes on some structural oddity on the road–but I realized, as I watched the suffering of others, that for the past few years I hadn’t fallen down or even had an embarrassing trip. However, the image of it happening has been stuck in my head.

Today it became more than an image. Of course, six bottles of collectible ink were involved.

After doing my “work” for the day, I headed down to Tokyo to go to Takashimaya department store in Nihonbashi to acquire some ink for some customers. I proceeded, with no trouble at all, to the fifth floor and actually found a clerk quite easily. (Note: I should have realized this was an omen so one strike against psychic.) I can tell that the staff are now used to dealing with ink hoarders as the clerk didn’t blink when I requested a couple bottles of flavors and she instantly told me which ones were sold out. (Note: I take credit for all this. Long story.)

I stuffed the ink into my book bag, much to the chagrin of the checkout clerk who wanted to give me a carry bag. She seemed especially concerned when I was forced to shove the package down with some force to get it past some of the crap I carry.

After completing the transaction, I headed back downstairs and out Takashimaya’s impressive front entrance. However, as I turned in the direction of the crosswalk, I discovered that Takashimaya’s entrance is not level with the sidewalk when I rolled my ankle on the raised step.

What happened next was an odd hop, a loss of balance, a flop to my hands one elbow and knees, a loud slap, and a surprising amount of pain. After I recovered I shifted to a seated position on the sidewalk to reset my nerves. I told the concerned on-lookers I was okay. (Note: as everyone who’s rolled an ankle knows, you don’t feel the real pain until later.)

After that, I went to one of the best liquor stores in the world where for a couple hundred yen I was able to sample a couple expensive bottles of bourbon. (Note: I count this a trip to a medical clinic.)

Luckily, the ink was intact. My instincts caused me to fall in a way that protected the bag, hence the inexplicably injured elbow. This instinct came from my father who used to say as he was carrying his cameras across slippery sidewalks:  “If I fall, grab the camera, not me”.

Of course, if I’d listened to the checkout clerk and placed the ink in a Takashimaya carry bag, I’d now have a broken glass collection and six highly decorated small boxes, so that’s one strike against clumsy. (Although I suspect my instincts would have changed my landing style in that case.)

My ankle is okay, albeit a little sore. I do have those odd scuffs on my elbow and knee where the fall drew blood without damaging my clothes. (What evil is this?)

Now, though, I’m afraid to carry the ink to the post office.


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