Walking down the street last night, something happened.
The Plain People of Cyberspace: “Come off it! We’ve been loyal to you for years. How dare you fob us off with this walking-down-the-street malarkey? We won’t stand for it.”
No really. I was walking down the street when something happened.
I fell over.
The Plain People of Cyberspace: “Ooh.”
It was a proper one too. No saved-at-the-last-moment staggering half-falls for me. No slippery ice had been involved and there were certainly no fermented beverages sloshing around in my system thankyouverymuch. It was a completely inexplicable one, uncontrollable and unsolicited.
I have been left with a bruised shoulder, a cut knuckle and good old-fashioned scuffed knee.
There are only two periods in your life during which it is unremarkable to fall over: during pensionnerhood and toddlerhood. I am twenty-five.
For this reason, falling over is much like stepping into a time machine. In that semi-second collapse you are at once connected with your three-year-old self and your one-hundred-and-three year-old self. You become your own history and your own destiny.
At once the school nurse is dabbing your knee with the ‘wet paper towel’ cure-all and your wounds are being nanotechnologically healed up by Bones McCoy’s surgical regenerator.
Both time zones potentially involve the weeing of pants so you have to be careful. My advice for other potential time-travellers: 1. Try not to accidentally kill your grandfather before you are born and 2. Try not to wee your pants.
Last night’s time travel incident occurred while walking down Hyndland Road. I remember that my foot tilted slightly so I must’ve become offset by some sort of pot-hole. I’ve walked down the street since though and there are no noticeable craters.
Thankfully the event occurred under cover of darkness and there were only two witnesses: a young couple who walked a good twenty feet ahead of me must have heard me collide undignifed with the ground and say “Fuck”.
“Are you okay?” said the girl one.
I affected nonchalance, dusted myself down and said “Haha. Yes, thank you. Don’t quite know what happened there.”
I wish I had been more dismissive and just said “Yeah, thanks” or else pretended to be a drunk. Ludicrous plausibility over bare-faced impossibility. The invisible man’s first costume, before getting into bandages, was a joke-shop mask.
The other thing about falling over is that it’s a reminder that you’re ultimately at the whim of fate. You can seem utterly sober and in control but at the end of the day fate runs the show. Suddenly you’re falling over in the street or being struck by a car or finding that the god of cancer has cast his random pendulum in the direction of your balls.
When falling, you are definitely at one with God and the Universe and all of their little elves.