Just a Scratch

Digging through his backpack for something-or-other, buddy braces himself against the bus’s forward and side-to-side motion, doing the “Look, Ma, no hands” thing at just the wrong moment. The bus lurches and he lurches, but adroitly regains his balance by stepping back, hard. Hah!

Then some woman spoils the moment by yelling in his ear. “Ow!”

“Sorry,” he says, immediately. Credibly, too, all things considered. He clearly didn’t mean to stomp my foot.

But he did. Two of my favourite things — buses and rush hour — have just merged to produce a hybrid: buses at rush hour.

I look at my right foot and wonder whether it’s just bruised or whether buddy cracked one of the 26 bones my feet contain: one-quarter of the bones in my whole entire body, at least by number. Sort of piggy of the feet, if you ask me, not that you did. Unwise, too. Of the feet, I mean, not you.

After all, they’re small, most of them (the bones, not my feet), and they’re positioned so they stick out, horizontally, susceptible to stomping. Talk about your arguments against Intelligent Design.

An hour later, as the rush-hour-delayed bus disgorges me onto the path that runs by the back of my house, I step down gingerly, still favouring that right foot. I’m not quite hobbling, but I’m watching every step, at least until I’m distracted by a blur of ten shades of pink.

On a preschooler-sized scooter, a preschool-sized kid scoots along the path ahead of me and of her father, who is pushing a younger sibling in a stroller. All goes scootfully, until it doesn’t. I don’t see the root cause of the accident — A bump in the asphalt? An errant stone? A twig deviously placed by one of the squirrels that infest this path? — but I see and hear the result quite clearly.

She’s down, a shades-of-pink tangle of bare legs and scooter.  Crash bang.

As I walk towards the accident scene, still minding my foot, I wait for the wail, the tears, the pout. Something in keeping with all that girly-girl pink. But it is not to be.

She hops up and turns to reassure her father.  “I’m OK. It’s just a scratch.” And she’s off again.

Just like that. Not even an “Ow.”


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6 Responses to Just a Scratch

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Quite the contrast, eh! I hate to say that age matters…but there are times!

    At Chez Trailer we have a metal shed. Awful piece of equipment. At my shrunk-to-height of 5’7″ I’m still too tall for the shed door, all of which means that about 20% of the time upon exiting that shed I scrape the top of my head. Gotta tell ya, I often say a whole lot more than “Ow.” Dadblasted shed. I think it accounts for a significant portion of my hair loss too.

    How’s your foot? If it’s still hurting, take castor oil; that’s what we took for everything that ailed us when I was a kid. Cures all that is. And then some.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Age does matter, along with attitude. My foot is fine, thanks – it was just a scratch, turns out. As for your door jamb – maybe it’s been shrinking, not you. Sort of like our old clothes in the closet.

  2. That little girl must be being raised by a family of British descent. Trained from birth not to whinge or complain or fuss, that “misery loves company, but company doesn’t love misery — take your pouting self away till you are fit to be around” attitude that serves so well throughout one’s life — not mine, however, for I was raised by a hypochondriac father whose every twinge/ache/bodily function could not go unexpressed. I was 12 before I realized other people actually experienced pain! but didn’t go on about it. I still have far more body awareness than I need, but over 40 years have become medium-high maintenance and suffer in silence! and actually have less pain because of it.

    Not that I don’t scream OW if my foot is stepped on — come on, that’s natural and healthy! And you may want to get it x-rayed… poor, Isabel, there, there! Did you RISE it as soon as possible? (Just because I don’t moan, doesn’t mean
    I don’t know all about helpful body stuff. After all, my (mostly) unspoken Life philosophy is To Get Myself Comfortable. Definitely NOT a goal a Brit would understand or applaud. You’ve been to the UK…)

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I didn’t check with the father about his background – he was already exceedingly apologetic about her tendency to cut in front of me. But she never ran over my toes. RISE was new to me so I Googled it and expect you mean RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation. (Or maybe the “s” is for sherry?) Even without acronymic care, it has recovered quite nicely, thanks. Regarding “reducing pain by ignoring it” (sort of) I remember an expert in chronic-pain management saying that the advice given to fibrmyalgia sufferers to document every twinge was counter-productive, so it sounds as if there’s truth to that for more than you. I know I would do better to just bounce back up, physically and mentally, claiming that it was just a scratch.

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