• hang time •
You know what a “learning experience” is? It’s when you body says to you, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”*
Stepped outside onto the landing wearing duck-boot crocks. The stairs were iced over, and devil may care, I launched myself into the air, with the greatest of ease, just as soon as my crock-fitted foot made contact with the top stair. Yippee. There was definitely hang time, definitely. So long, in fact, was I suspended there, in the crisp, cold, blue mountain air, with my legs flailing above my head, that I had time to think: to fulfill my childhood wish to be an astronaut, executing my first space walk, a hundred miles up, the Earth a blue marble, swirling below me. So long, in fact, that I had time to receive a post card from Chevy Chase, with greetings, that read, “I made a lot of money doing just that sort of thing, for TV. Hang in there, kid. Love your technique.” So long, that I had time to upbraid myself, roundly. “Smooth move Exlax. Now, that’s what I CALL thinking.” So long — long enough, in fact, to think to myself, “Oh, man, that’s gonna hurt. A lot.” It did. A lot. The landing. So, I got one thing right today, at least.
So loud was the crash, on the wooden steps, on my back, and my elbows, and bony butt, that the next door neighbor came outside with a phone-cam, and filmed me. He claimed to have recorded an “orb”, whatever that is, hovering above my head, on the machine. Which is easily explained, since the ghost of Buster Keaton whispered in my ear, just then,”Nicely done, Chaplin.”
I groaned magnificently. I gathered my bones together, and, to the imagined magnanimous thunderous applause of thousands, I took a grandiloquent, sweeping bow, elegantly…and to quote my my favorite Dwarf, declared, “Nobody panic. That was deliberate.”
Now, That’s how I get through my day. How do you do it?
~ Tim Burchfield
*Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt