In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Niagara Falls: Ten for Today

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I fell down to the floor, no hands to break my fall. The floor met my right shoulder hard. And maybe holding my head up to avoid the wood prevented further harm than the headache and haze I ended up with from having my brain jostled. I felt the mush of that organ slam squishy splat against the right side of my skull. Nauseating.
 
I planned to finish up a piece due for tomorrow. I taught my class this morning and two more classes for someone else. Seemed like the only way I’d get motivated to put in another two hours of brain work was with a little incentive. So I planned to get out of the house. But which would it be caffeine or alcohol on this late Thursday afternoon before a long weekend?
 
And just at the verge of a decision, rounding the corner of the bed, coat flung over my shoulder and trailing behind trying to catch up to my fleeing body, purse in tow, boom! Down. The slight bell of my pant leg caught on the wheel of the bed frame, somehow. Something sticking out of the wheel to brake the frame still, a lever. It caught, and my recognition of that fact registered a half second too late to stop the forward trajectory of my intentioned body.
 
Before I realized what happened I was flat on the floor, the Husky pup immediately at my upturned face to sniff out the trouble. The shock. The confusion. I lay there unwilling to get up until a vision of my prone body lying on the floor for hours before someone found me flashed before my eyes. I eased myself to sitting.
 
I sat up and turned to the dog who gazed at me eye to eye now. Her eyes asked, “What’s all this about?” Just as my eyes wondered into hers, “Can you believe this?” We sat puzzled that way, each in our own assessing postures posed for no one, unwilling to further go.

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