Bedknocks and Broomsticks (ft. Lots of Italics)

I could easily hold Doctorates in both "Fall Avoidance" and "Falling as Contemporary Dance."

I could easily hold Doctorates in both “Fall Avoidance” and “Falling as Contemporary Dance.”

So I finally realized how it happens that I repeatedly injure myself sweeping. It’s taken hard jabs in the eye, throat and mouth… and let me tell you, a joust in the teeth from an implement being controlled by my unintentional strength and dysmetria smarts both the body and mind.

Here’s how that happens (most often… there have been other broom-related injuries that, were they witnessed by another sentient being, would be laughable):

  1. I start sweeping from the edges into the center of any given room.
  2. I thereby end up sweeping the room in smaller and smaller circles until all [dander, hair, broken dreams, onion peels, whatever] is in a single little pile.
  3. I bend over to skim that funk into the dustpan.
  4. I stab myself in the [eye, throat, soft palette] with the end of the broom handle. This, I realized in a much-belated flash of brilliance, happens because I am taller then the broom and do not understand the distance that exists between my intent and the blunt trauma which invariaby awaits it. Every. Time.
"No no -- I'm not hurt, I'm HILARIOUS!"

“No no — I’m not hurt, I’m HILARIOUS!”

Doing something over and over again while each time expecting a different result is one of the definitions of insanity, right? I am fortunate that it does not apply to this situation because I have come to learn to expect some household chores to end badly.

I started pretending to run into things in middle school to cover up really running into things — it made people laugh, and I much preferred that to spreading anxiety. In college, I fancied myself the dorm’s embodiment of Jack Tripper (from Three’s Company). In my twenties I had developed a standard public reaction to the combination of alarm/humor felt by strangers and friends alike who were witness to something from my clumsy/potentially injurious repertoire: with a laugh I’d wave, and say “Oh, slapstick just follows me like around a dark cloud.”

479857_183082591870189_891939646_nLaughter is like medicine to what are frequently just the silly, seemingly scripted events of depth perception and hulk-fistedness; it is for that reason that I feel entitled to having someone else see (and maybe explain to me) what just happened up there. With that broom. I am not proud of how long it’s taken me to understand that doing something by turning in ever-tightening circles with the needed end result being to bend over is in almost every way the opposite of what I can do without injury.

I’mma chalk this up to “better late than never!” and have someone else mop the kitchen. Traversing even a one story L-shaped staircase can blow my sense of grounding and spatial awareness like a child’s pinwheel; if every fiber of my being demands I clean that floor, there must be a new way out there that I just need to learn.

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