I freaked myself out.
My last post has plagued me since I published it. It hovers overhead like a cloud filled with thunder claps. It haunts me, taunts me, threatens to overcome me, and I have given in to the fear.
In high school I learned an important lesson. Beware what you say in jest. As sure as thunder follows lightening, it will boomerang back to you.
It happened to me. Flirting with a cute guy--Pat, the brother of one of my best friends, no less--I scored an invitation to his senior prom, still three months away. I accepted, of course, flattered he asked.
But then the unthinkable happened. A week or two later, a boy to whom I'd been attracted for a year acknowledged my existence. What joy. A blazing shaft of happiness lit my world. He showed up at my school (he had graduated the year before) and we talked. We phoned. We sent notes. A couple weeks went by and the infatuation grew. He asked me out. I accepted. We set it up for the following week.
My friend reminded me of her brother. His prom was in six weeks. He'd already bought the tickets. I no longer wanted to go and in my diary that night I whined and complained, but I knew I could not disappoint my friend's brother. I had to go. "Maybe I'll break a leg," I wrote in jest, figuring that would be the only way I could get out of going. It wasn't as if I didn't like Pat. He was a sweet, nice boy, but when a sixteen-year-old is in the throes of new love, she wants to spend every waking moment with the heartthrob.
The day before my date with the heartthrob, I broke my foot.
It is more than the Circumtheory of Revolution (what goes around, comes around), it is irony at its best. And it is warning. I hobbled on crutches and cast to my date with cutie-patootti, but the cast came off a week before Pat's prom and I was in tip-top shape for it. Pat must have known about the other boy, but he was a gentleman. We contented ourselves with just being friends and having a good time. (At least that is my version. I have no idea if he has a different version.)
So this long-ago incident has weighed heavy on my mind for the last couple days. In my last entry I said I wouldn't help someone drowning in a river. It was written in jest. That means I was joking. It was a sham, a farce, not to be taken seriously. Of course I'd stop, dang it. And I'd do everything I could to help. But now I keep thinking of the "Maybe I'll break a foot," entry in my high school diary and within a week my foot broke.
I've put a blanket and a coil of rope in my trunk. If I see someone in the river I'm throwing a line. When I haul them in, I'm wrapping them up in the blanket and driving them to the nearest hospital.
Do you hear that, fates? I WILL stop. I WILL help. And I'll help the old, crippled blind woman cross the dang street too. Okay?
Now leave me alone. And get a sense of humor, will you? Sheeeez.