I was in a hurry.
One of the real estate agents I’d been trying to work with needed some work done at the last minute. Tourons were comin’ in and they’d be flowing until Labor Day and the owners wanted a couple of things before the herd arrived.
I was working replacing the rotted trim on a bay front window on an eight foot ladder and as I was coming down I hurried and forgot that there’s one more step on an eight footer than a six footer.
I stepped off, stumbling the additional foot or so and fell backwards hitting the newel post for the stairs heading down off the deck and onto the concrete.
A couple a inches to the right and I’d a gone down the fifteen foot flight of stairs backwards making for a really sucky day. But I didn’t and it wasn’t and as I stood there sweating and rubbing the small of my back I got to thinking about the almost’s of my life.
There was the weekend shark fishing trip that I climbed drunk up the outside of the bridge in the middle of the night in the middle of the ocean looking for a place to sleep at the helm and almost slipped into the water while everybody else was asleep.
There were the weeks me and my crew had to ride up on the roof of an exterior construction elevator each day ’cause the union fuck head wouldn’t allow us in the car and I almost fell 32 stories.
There was the whole motorcycle racing thing. Don’t get me started.
I think men are, for the most part, ruthlessly uncaring and unafraid but you know what? Standing there on that deck in the afternoon sun I realized I’d changed.
I’d scared myself in the past but nothing and none of that set me back like that almost fall down the stairs. I stood and looked out at the bay and breathed deep and thanked whatever gods kept me from that backwards plunge.
And I slowed down.