I spend most of my time in harsh scrutiny of the past, and what’s left in the way of minutes and seconds is devoted to the tedious task of predicting the next little calamity I might cause. Clouded eyes rest in the realm of the real as mind drifts off to more utopian alternatives, so it’s hard not to stub the occasional toe.
They said these glasses would fix the “coordination complications,” but I haven’t observed any difference. It could be that I haven’t adjusted just yet. Or it could be the macular degeneration that, if I have it, will probably take my sight in ten years. I’ll have already learned to drive by then and would even be a legal drinker, at least in Canada and Europe. And I wouldn’t like it at all being blind.
Anyway, I was going to tell what Mom did when I kicked over the birthday cake today. Well, she ranted and pointed and couldn’t believe I’d done that sort of thing in the middle of the room, in front of all those potential guests who might’ve actually come to the party if only they weren’t purposely avoiding it. I’d really wanted that brown frosting spider on top (one spindly leg for each cursed year on this planet), but now he was in pieces on the floor. Of course, I couldn’t help remembering my late arachnid friend Moses, who lived in a tree behind the house until he dried up and underwent a careful dissection inside the bug magnifier I’d gotten a year earlier at a similar soiree.
But what I meant to say is that I’m punished now, for who knows how long, locked in my room without dinner or ice cream and bananas, all because I couldn’t fix my footing in time to prevent a pitifully predictable pratfall. Do you think that’s fair? I’d like to see her try the same if I were sick and faint with pneumonia or some kind of feverish vertigo. I do feel something like that coming on. And she should have read my embarrassment from across the couch. The puffy old sack was as bottomless as the bloody marys at her favorite breakfast spot; no heads were blocking her view. (Sometimes I think she lives to prosecute. It’s her rebellion against nature’s freak accidents.)
I know I should not have kicked that tall dessert like I worried I might. What I really should have done, and could have if I’d been able to see what’s in front of me like they’re always imploring, is meet a real friend or two or three last summer at the park. Ravenous guests would have compelled me to take care with my presentation and the placement of the food cart on which my vanilla mountain sat vulnerable and motionless before its sad collapse.
At a sort of bash like that, there’d be separate stations if I had anything to say about it- foods of the finger kind right next to the punch, cake safely obscured by a curtain until the big reveal. Once the song was sung and a balloon playfully popped as punctuation, we’d laugh and dig in without restraint because we all have a few remaining years of relative cuteness. (Mom herself doesn’t eat cake anymore.)
My point, diary, is this: I can’t always help tripping or falling, though I know I should know better by now. This is no pair of magic goggles, so I still ought to pay some mind. But no other day except this one could have happened today, and time doesn’t stop itself, not even for a miracle mutant child.
Until next time,