Friday, November 06, 2015

woman down

As I open the door to exit the senior-living facility, I am startled by someone facing me, in my face, more accurately. A thin, frail elderly resident, trying to get in. Do we both scream? We surprise each other. She is falling backward. It is all happening in slow motion, as they say. But it really feels that way. I am somehow summoned out of my slo-mo reverie. By what? I grab her, brace her, sort-of catch her in midair as she goes down. I break her fall. She lands on her rear or her arm or her leg. I cannot say for sure. Does she bounce against the railing? She does not hit her head. I help her up. We were both scared witless. Are you okay? Yes, she says. She says she thought she heard someone (me), from the outside, as if to scold herself for not preventing the incident. She talks about how easily she bruises. She lives next door to my mom. Are you sure you are all right? Yes, she says. We talk some more. As William Carlos Williams put it, "so much depends." Yes, so much depended. Could've been far worse. Phew. Hashtag grateful. You sure you are all right. Yes. Boy, I'm glad I wasn't speeding out that door.

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