Colds, rainy mornings, traffic circles (hee)—these are how the world tells you to slow down a little. Fail to heed those warnings, and, well, you’re no longer in charge.
The summertime cold was, let’s face it, predictable. Two weeks of party prep and visiting family, coinciding with the final throes of Charity Register, ABC event planning and a trip to the dentist, all while hockey season ramps up with two playoff games and four practices in 14 days. I’ve been taking my vitamins and all, but every once in a while, my body decides enough is enough.
And boy was it decisive this time.
OK, here’s the thing: Friday, sick. Slept from 11:30 Thursday night until 1 p.m. Only changed out of my PJs to pick up some Olive Garden takeout.
Saturday, still feeling a little off, but I’d slept for another 10 hours and thought I might have dodged a bullet. So, mistake No. 1, I prepped for a 5 p.m. soccer game—first game of the season for a team that regularly contacts me about playing. (Paranoid/insecure/neurotic inability to say no.) Rainy day, shouldn’t be too hot, no prob, they’ve got subs if I need a break.
They decided to play me in my old position, way in the back of the defense. Sweet, I thought. Through high school and college I mastered the art of playing lazy sweeper. Being out of soccer shape shouldn’t be such a big deal.
OK, short story: I was wrong. Playing in my old position meant trying to play like I did 10 years ago. It also meant an obligation to chase down every long ball and breakaway forward, lungs be damned. I played the full 90 minutes and wandered off the field sopping wet, greeted by my personal cheering section, CCB and the Harribles.
Now, I didn’t really feel bad. I know post-game exhaustion; this was nothing new. I’d changed into dry clothes, I had plenty of water. But half an hour later, sitting at OT with two empty glasses of ice water and some untouched chili fries in front of me, I could feel myself go white.
“Maaaaaaaybe I drank that water a little too quickly,” I thought, and, feeling queasy, I headed to the restroom.
I’m not sure how long I stood there in the stall, looking down at the toilet, but next thing I knew there was a jarring smack on my nose and I was struggling to push the tank off of my face. I managed to stand back up. Cue one moment of pure, panicked disorientation, followed by “Whoooooooaaaaa OK, I’m going to sit down,” followed by crazy sweats. My mind was racing through molasses—trying to get somewhere and get purchase, and just getting stuck on everything. I was dripping. I hunched over, elbows on my knees, and saw a little tiny beetle-like thing crawling on the tile. It jumped about a foot high and landed again with a click. It jumped again. “Ooookaaaay, I need to get out of here.”
My first feeling—and this is horrible, but true—was terror at the idea of making a scene, of having to stumble out of the bathroom into the crowded restaurant, with people standing around me making a fuss. I fainted; how embarrassing. Within a few moments I felt clear-headed enough to walk to the sink and splash water on my face. Dammit, cut my nose. On the lid of a toilet. There’s something to cross off my bucket list. And now, even though I felt suddenly recovered, there’s no denying I totally just came in here and faceplanted. At least I could walk upright.
But when I got back to the table, braced for a scene, firefighter Mr. Harrible seemed assured that everything was OK. And indeed, I devoured those chili fries like nothing had happened. In true Hannah style, I managed to take unassuming independence to a ridiculous extreme: I fainted, off by myself, without causing a fuss. I actually kind of wished someone had seen it. I mean, it was kind of a big deal, but I don’t want to make it a big deal, you know?
Instead, I have to walk around explaining to everyone that I got the scrape on my nose going ass-over-teakettle in a public restroom.