Thursday, September 9, 2010

See you next FALL!!!

My original plan was to tide you over with my “Filler” entry and then make everyone wait until next week for my big special awesome entry. While I will still be releasing the super fantastic entry next week, I have decided to pull out some of my old drawings and tell a story of pain, fortitude and ridiculousness. All in one story!!!!

So here is an interesting fact about me. I am a little afraid to say it because it may jinx me, but I have broken a bone or suffered a major traumatic injury. There was the straw in the eye incident of 10th grade as well as several stomach related emergencies, but nothing that would really qualify as extreme.

Despite my lack of truly awe-inspiring trauma, I do have one story up my sleeve that ends in a trip to the emergency room, crutches and an awesome foot fashion accessory.

In my junior year of college, I lived in an upperclassman dormitory with my awesome roommate, Joy. We had the best room on the floor – it was spacious, had high ceilings and two huge windows that looked out onto the quad. The only downside was that our neighbors were a threesome of extremely loud ladies, but that is another story.

Although my undergraduate alma mater was and is a pretty conservative place, they did allow for an occasional “open floor” on select evenings when genders could intermingle in their dorm rooms. I am sure that a wide range of activities abounded for these special allowances, but my favorite by far was Diddy Kong Racing.

I suppose that I should clarify the previous statement. Diddy Kong Racing is a video game for the Nintendo N64 game system, and it is similar to Mario Kart. While Joy and I did not possess an N64, our good friends who lived on the floor above us did. The only obstacle to our unlimited enjoyment of this game was that our friends were male.

Anyway, one fine fall weekend, I found myself with an evening full of nothing. My roommate had plans with a club or some other friends to see a movie that I wasn’t interested in seeing. Luckily, it was open floor night, so I made my way up to my friends’ room to play some N64.

Unfortunately, my gaming friends also had plans later that night. I believe one had a date and the other had studying or work that took him out of the room. They allowed me to stay on my own as long as I wanted, but after several awkward drop-ins from other guys on the floor who were extremely confused as to why two guys would allow a non-girlfriend un-chaperoned access to their dorm room, I opted to return to my own domain.

For some reason, I had gone to their room bearing an armful of objects, mainly consisting of a coat and a bag. After closing up their room, I exited through the stairwell door that led directly back to my floor. It was a short walk; just two short flights of stairs to go. I could not have imagined that it would have been difficult to navigate, but sadly on this occasion I was wrong.

It started out just fine. I was carrying my armful of extra objects which partially blocked my vision of the ground, but I had been descending staircases for so many years without incident that I was perhaps a bit overconfident in my abilities.

As I neared the final step, my mind was already whirring with potential evening activities to do now that all my nearest and dearest friends had apparently deserted me. This momentary loss of focus may explain what happened next.

Instead of stepping down onto the final step of the staircase, I misjudged my location and stepped outward as if expecting to encounter the broader floor. You can imagine the result.

All of the items in my arms went flying upward and outward. I landed with a sickening CRUNCH on my foot and collapsed on the ground. As it was not likely a very graceful fall, I was happy that there were no witnesses. Not having any experience with serious injury, I assumed that I would be able to gather my items and resume my journey homeward with my dignity still intact.

As soon as I attempted to stand, I realized with an extremely painful reminder that this was not to be. Stubbornly, I attempted this a few more times before resigning myself to sit on the floor and evaluate my options. This was before the days of cell phones (at least for me) so I could not call anyone.

All of my friends were out having fun and wouldn’t be wondering where I was anytime soon, which made me feel even worse. I believe I even started to cry.

It was at this point that someone came down the stairs. I recognized him as an RA for the 4th floor. It was the duty of the RA’s to patrol the open floors on weekends to look out for trouble. While I was not closely acquainted with this particular RA, I figured he could recognize distress when he saw it.

For some reason, my tear-stained face and seated position must have caused panic in his male brain, because he looked at me and then walked past me and out the door. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t shout out to him to make him stop and help me. I wish I had a strong explanation.

All that I can say is that I was crying and embarrassed and was expecting at least a basic inquiry into my well-being. A simple “Are you OK?” would have sufficed. Nope.

After wallowing in my despair for a few more minutes, I realized that I would have to try a new approach. I therefore piled my carried items on my back and crawled the rest of the way to my room. In my harrowing journey of pain and shame, I encountered no one.

Once in my room, I pulled myself up onto my bed (mentally thanking myself for choosing not to loft it), reached for my phone and started calling. Not surprisingly, no one answered. I was left with no choice but to call my parents. Obviously they were two hours away and could be of very little assistance at 10 p.m. on a weekend night, but I needed someone to hear my plea and feel sorry for me.

Always the voices of reason, my parents suggested that I try to call the dorm director. I sniffed that I didn’t really want attention from anyone I didn’t know, I just wanted one of my friends or my roommate to come and take care of me.

Fortunately, I actually had more than three friends in college. After about half an hour of bed-ridden self-pity, I had a knock on the door. It was a guy friend coming to see if wanted any pizza. When he saw my predicament, he immediately sprang into action. Unbeknownst to me, my friend had some EMT training and was quickly able to assess my situation.

After testing my ankle, my rescuer determined that I should really get an x-ray. As neither he nor I had a car on campus at the time, he suggested that we hobble down to the RA lounge and find a responsible dorm officer to take me to the ER.

Upon our arrival at the RA lounge, I quickly spotted the male RA who had ignored me in the stairwell. He had the decency to look suitably regretful, especially after it was revealed that he had passed me by in my time of need. His excuse was that he had encountered another crying girl in the stairwell two floors up who was mourning her very recent break-up. He had made the mistake of asking her what was wrong with disastrous results. When he found me in a very similar state, he decided not to make that mistake again.

Eventually, one of the RA’s was chosen to drive and we departed for a six hour experience with the local ER. In the end, it was determined that I had a sprained ligament and would need to wear a special blue Velcro shoe and use crutches as needed for at least two weeks.

After two days of attempting to limp around campus, I decided that I was not up to the task and ditched my medical accessories. In time, my foot healed. When my friends learned of the consequences of their failure to pay attention to me, they became slightly more responsive to their cell phones. I played up the guilt-trip as much as I could, but in the end, I didn’t really suffer any long term problems, aside from the damage to my ego.

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