A Klutz’s Tale

“I have never met anyone more prone to life threatening idiocy.” – Alice Cullen

Have you ever heard of the expression, “A Jonah day”? Yeah, well, that is a very apt description of my own day this past Friday. But the story must be told. Whether it will evoke empathy, or laughter, or both, is completely up to you. Personally, I feel like it should have been documented for America’s Funniest Videos.

It all started off with me groggily waking up, all cocooned in my down comforter, groaning as the soft strains of “I Dreamed a Dream,” from the television show Glee, came out of my alarm clock. With my eyes blurry and unfocused I reached to switch off the alarm. It is the one time in my day where I resent music. I feel like punching it in the face for trying to force its cheery, upbeat mood on me.

I quickly got ready and left earlier than usual so that I would have time to buy a few copies of The Washington Times. Today was the first day I have ever been published in a major newspaper! I wrote on the glamorous, exciting topic of the Gore’s recent marriage breakup. Yes, I was being facetious or sarcastic – whatever you’d prefer to call it. I interviewed David and Claudia Arp, authors of “Second Part of Marriage,” and founders of Marriage Alive. I also interviewed Jonathan Robinson who has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Lost in thought, I got off the crowded metro and emerged into the semi-fresh air at Metro Center. Fridays are seminar days at the National Journalism Center. Walking towards the National Press Building, I looked down at my phone to check the time. I saw stairs to the left of me so I moved towards the right thinking that the two sidewalks met evenly. Of course they didn’t, of course I was wearing heels – my heel did a weird twisty thing as I fell, full force towards the hard concrete, my iPhone catapulting through the air. My hands and knees hit the ground, my knees taking a good bit of the impact as I twisted my body to land partly on my bottom, so as to not rip my nice, new, black dress slacks. Somewhere in the distance I heard people gasp in horror and concern. My kneecaps felt as if they were knocked out of their sockets, and the first thought I had was, “I’m not going to a hospital, so nothing better be broken.” I felt completely paralyzed and like a klutz. An older man hurried over to my side as I was gasping for the air that got knocked out of me and said, “Oh my gosh, you’re such a little thing. Are you all right?” He reached down to take my hand and I merely held onto his hand for what felt like an eternity trying to assess the damage, but the my first thought after he said that was, “He called me a ‘little thing.’”

A lady brought over my iPhone, which I had forgotten about until now, and said, “Can you move your ankles okay? You didn’t rip your clothes or anything so that’s good and your phone appears to be fine.” Slowly, they both assisted me to my feet and I thanked them both profusely. Getting up I realized my leather bag from J. Crew was leaking fast. With a groan I remembered several things at once: my poor bag, notes from my interview with Joshua Harris, Michal’s cell phone (which I thought she’d want during the day), and my NJC folder. I had brought a diet cherry Pepsi with me, along with my lunch – the can must have exploded when it hit the sidewalk. Quickly I popped a squat down on the sidewalk and dug everything out. I then dumped a good portion of the liquid in the trash, wishing for napkins to wipe off all my stuff. So yes, Michal’s phone had seen better days. But all that has been sorted and I can look back and laugh now.

Oh, and to even make things better, I fell going up the escalator at the Rosslyn Metro later that night – oh so fun. This time I skinned my knee and punctured the bottom of my left big toe, causing a bloody mess. So yes, a “Jonah day” indeed: Two hard falls and single-handedly destroying Michal’s cell phone. But the Pollyanna side of it is that at least these kind of days are few and far between.

Last night my roomie and I laughed over “A Knight’s Tale.” Prince Edward, despite appearing in a few scenes, is one of my favorite characters – he is so regal and a man of honor and integrity. I love when he says to William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), “What a pair we make. Both trying to hide who we are. Both unable to do so…You’re men love you. If I didn’t know anything else about you that would be enough.” Of course Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany) is so hilarious. He cracks me up when he says, “Ah, trudging. You know, to trudge? To trudge: The slow, weary, depressing, yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in his life except the impulse to soldier on.”

And trudge through this week I shall. Thanks, Geoff – haha!

Peace out,
Rachel Duke


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