“I fell. My chair wasn’t positioned correctly and one leg went off the patio into the grass. I’m stuck on the floor still in my chair, I don’t know how to move to get up. Many years ago I’d have jumped up quickly hoping no one had noticed. I might even have laughed about it with my friends and they’d have cracked jokes about how clumsy I was. Today isn’t like that. Today I’m stuck where I am and I can’t move. The girl I’m with isn’t strong enough to help me alone; she makes sure I’m not hurt while looking around and thinking about what to do.
A woman sees me and heads over, her children strapped in a pushchair are content with ice cream and sleep. She is a similar build to my companion but together they can probably help me. They move the chair from under me and each place a hand under my arms to help me to my feet. I’m unsteady and nervous. What if I fall again? I daren’t hold on to the chair or table. Slowly they guide me to a chair and reassure me that I can sit. I imagine I feel heavy in their arms. Years ago I could have picked them both up at the same time. I wonder if they can see how I used to be strong. I’m trembling but I start to calm down as I feel the chair beneath me. Finally, I’m sitting again and my coffee arrives. The lady asks if I’m ok then walks back to her children. I breathe a long sigh.”
Sometimes I like to pretend I’m someone else and wonder about how they think. Usually I do this because I’m a worrier and I hate to think I might have upset somebody or have done something they’ve not liked. Occasionally, I imagine I’m the person I’ve just passed in the street – sometimes I imagine their whole life. Today, after I helped an elderly gentleman up into a chair I imagined I was him & wondered what he would have thought of the situation he found himself in.
I do that a lot when I think of her too. What would she make of this & that? How would she respond when I tell her X or Y? I guess that’s fairly common when we think of the dead but perhaps we should do it more with the living too. It certainly helps to gain a new perspective.