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Adams: Leave the light on for me

Posted: October 11, 2017 - 1:16am

Last night, our relationship came to a head. I wasn't five minutes behind my husband going upstairs, but, by the time I got there, he was ensconced in the bed, under the covers, with all the lights off. Ignoring his harrumphing and pillow slapping, I clicked on the switch and headed to the bathroom, using the ambient glow from the bedroom to put on my pajamas and brush my teeth.

No aspiring Tom Bodett, my one-and-only didn't leave the light on for me. He cussed and clicked it off. As I turned from the sink toward the door, dense darkness fell.

My right foot stepped on an unseen shoe. Before I could swing my left foot forward and plant it firmly, my torso wheeled and wobbled, pitching me sideways, causing my left foot to rise higher and higher. I struggled to regain my balance, fighting through the contortions of my upper body. My arms waved in opposing motions, reaching for stability in the inky atmosphere.

In the midst of this emergency, my brain quipped, I'm going to kill whoever left that shoe in the floor, but didn't dwell on it long because downward descent had begun, and I immediately knew on whom to blame my predicament. And he was in the bed calling, "Lucy? Lucy? Are you okay?"

No time to answer. My hands went from scraping the air to breaking my fall. Grabbing and grappling, I sent the toilet paper stand crashing, prompting my man to check again, from between the sheets, "What's happening?"

The fingers on my left hand finally grasped the wicker side table. My right hand, however, still plunged into empty space, abruptly sliding down something wet and cold, fingers working to take hold of safety but only massaging a smooth, slick surface. A hard edge caught my elbow. Gravity yanked me onto the trashcan as my hand scrambled in the dark for a grip, until it touched water.

Three seconds into my return to the bedroom, I lay on my back on the cold tile floor, a wrought iron toilet paper stand poking my spine. Trash littered beneath me provided a meager cushion. My hip rested on the battered waste basket, and my arm dangled in the toilet.

And my husband bravely yelled from the bed, "Are you hurt? Answer me!"

Hurt?! I've told that man for umpteen years to close the toilet lid when he flushes. And there I was, sprawled on the bathroom floor like an old lady with a broken hip (which I hadn't yet ruled out), thinking I was going to have to tuck some dirty underwear under my head for a pillow and wait for the children to find me in the morning.

Regaining my wits, I removed my dripping fingertips from the commode, dragged myself to the sink, weakly pulled up, and scrubbed like a surgeon. Still the man demanded a report.

"Could you just shut up?" I barked.

I crept to the bathroom light switch. I wanted evidence of guilt. I was a victim searching for someone to blame. The overhead light, however, revealed the painful truth: the criminal tennis shoe was mine.

My groom started again, from the bed, "Are you okay?"

I'd been to the bottom of the toilet bowl and back, but I wasn't broken, and I didn't have to spend the night with his smelly drawers shoved under my cheek; yes, I was okay.

I climbed under the covers and reached out to assure him I was still whole. "Which arm was it?" he asked.

An evil giggle gurgled in my throat. This morning, he closed the toilet lid.

(Lucy Adams the author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny and other books. She lives in Thomson, GA. Email Lucy at lucyadams.writer@gmail.com.)

 

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