Teenage Deadly Embarrassment!
High school is a treacherous age. All grown up (or nearly so). Yet, no sense of poise, of confidence; no idea of what to do in the face of personal disaster.
I remember this rainy day all too well: rushing to lunch, quick-stepping carefully on the slick, painted concrete. Reaching the door into the "caf" and feeling rubber underfoot, my errant brain signaled "safe now" to my feet.
Feet stepped forward off the mat. Oh, Crud! The floor is wet! Both feet slid, I lost all traction. Borne upon the momentum from my rush, found myself propelled four feet into the air. My legs out in front like popsicle sticks; my book bag sailing above my head.
Defying gravity, there I hung, exposed, for five full minutes (it seemed) before descending at Mach 1 onto my center of gravity amid a dark chorus of rhythmic claps, hoots and foot stomping.
The books then cascaded around me in a torrent to match the weather. My face, apple-for-the-teacher-red, and no place to hide. The floor did not open cooperatively.
What could I do, but leap up, snatch the books and continue on to the lunch line, trying in vain to pretend that nothing had happened.
But there were stares and pointing fingers; and not-so-muffled giggles. And all day long, a tell-tale muddy blotch on the back of my skirt.
(And there I was, supposed to be a High and Mighty Senior!)
Written as a retrospective some 22 years past my high-school graduation, in September of 1987, with a minor edit in June of 2010.
© 2010 Liz Elias