Fall Guy

It’s been quite a while since I had a decent fall over.

Which is massively out of character for me. Because I fall over a lot. I am just amazing at it. I can fall over nothing at all, which is a massive skill in and of itself.

The best fall I have ever done – because I’ve done enough to know these things – was when I was at secondary school and I fell down some steps outside of the annex building which housed our classroom. I fell, landed, rolled and stood up in one almost perfect fluid movement. When I fell down some similar steps at Uni some years later, it was not quite as amazing and just ripped the knees out of my trousers.

But hey ho.

When I first started going out with Carole we went to London and I just pretty much fell over nothing outside Westminster Abbey. Just fell over. Flat onto the pavement. No rhyme, reason, or trip hazard. Just me. Falling.

A few years ago, leaving the West Yorkshire Playhouse, I fell over. That time I was looking at my phone at the time, so I wasn’t paying attention. That one really fricking hurt because I smashed my thumb to the point where I had a tubigrip bandage on it for a while because yaaay self diagnosis. My thumb is still attached and does what it is supposed to do, so I guess I can’t have been too far off.

A few weeks after that I just fell over in the middle of Huddersfield.

Yesterday, though, I fell over on the communal path around the side and back of our row of houses, while carrying a rose bush.

It was the least painful fall I have ever done in my life. Ever. It’s as though I have adapted to falling in such a way that when I am about to do it, I throw my belly out first to protect me. I think that’s what it is. Play to your strengths. Adapt and survive. All that sort of thing.

Yesterday’s fall was entirely my fault too.

As we were walking round the house I took a swing at one of the feral children’s bikes. Because you know, the children are shits. It wasn’t a vindictive break the bike kind of kick. It was just a “grrr, bloody feral children and their bikes all over the place” kind of kick. Unfortunately what that did was make the bike fall over directly into the path of my already moving feet.

And after I’d falled, and gotten back up, all Carole was mainly worried about was whether I’d broken their bike.

I mean, yes, she was worried about me. But she was more worried about me breaking the bike. The bike of our mortal enemies. The bike of the junior human noise machines. The bike belonging to the child who thinks it’s hilarious to slowly stomp up each and every stair. The bike of the child who runs around the upstairs of his house at 1am.

I was more hurt by that than by actually falling over. Into a rose bush. AND a bike.