Got out of BART in downtown Berkeley a short time ago. Excited about getting to Half Price Books, which was holding a copy of Romeo & Juliet in the edition that my son and I like best (Signet Classics), because of how they clearly mark which words and phrases are footnoted. (We're going to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., this week.)
In front of me, on the sidewalk, an older man, with a cane, moving slowly. Next to him, spread across the sidewalk, a large family (apparently unrelated to the older man), also walking slowly. So I'm stuck behind a wall of slow movers.
I accelerate and sidle around this group, and cross the street toward the bookstore. Coming up on the curb, I trip on something infinitesimal. It all happens in slo-mo: me starting to fall; my full cup of Peet's coffee getting squeezed in my hand, so the top flies off and the coffee starts to pour out; my knee, then my hand, hitting the pavement; the coffee spilling out onto the sidewalk and onto my glasses (though thankfully -- somehow -- not onto one of the beautiful shirts my wife has made for me).
Now everything relating to me is still; I'm on the pavement; my glasses are splattered with coffee. I stand up, feeling somewhat foolish (and a bit sore), and begin to clean off my glasses. At which point that elderly man walks by. As other people stroll on, he stops. "Are you okay?" he asks.
Yes, I am, I tell him. And I hobble into the store to get my book.
4 comments July 17th, 2007