Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Floors. I love floors. I never used to think about what a floor really meant but now it is one of the first things I notice when I enter a new environment. Since Ezra (the wheelchair) has entered my life my entire "floor experience" has undergone a drastic transformation. A new level of a appreciation has been reached.

My family would be quick to point out that I seem to devote a lot of time in discovering how to get as far away from the floor or ground as possible. I just love heights. I love that swoosh in your stomach as you look off the roof, a roller coaster or off a cliff. The swoosh that reminds you that you are mortal and just one small step, one misplaced hand, on moment of questionable balance could result in....catastrophic injury or death. But, with that being said, I have to say that I think the ground (an by extension floors) are often overlooked.

My appreciation for floors is relatively new. I started walking with a cane because my balance is a tad unpredictable. And occasionally my legs decide they don't want to go where I want them to. Or sometimes they decide that massive muscle cramps are in order and sometimes they just say "bugger off...we've been hauling around your stupid trunk, arms and head for long enough" and they slowly crumple. This had caused numerous falls, swoons, and other rather alarming and embarrassing moments while out in public . You'd think that they would at least show enough respect for my tender feeling to only act up in private but alas...my legs are natural entertainers.

I have mastered the graceful fall. I feel my balance going and do a mental check on whether or not there is any way to recover. If there isn't I let myself down slowly and just end up sitting on the floor. I usually manage to fell in such a way that I don't hit my head against anything. I really prefer the stealthy fall that doesn't make everyone around me go into cardiac arrest. Also it means I end up with fewer bruises, aches and pains. And you know what is always there to catch me? The floor. Always. It doesn't matter if I was sitting on a chair, attempting a pirouette, balancing on a desk chair, hopping on one foot, or tripping over the cat (I know most of therse things are stupid things to be doing...but it happens), the floor always catches me. Sometimes gently...sometimes roughly. And for that I am so incredibly grateful.

Recently our relationship has changed drastically. No longer is it a one way affair that consists of me lying with my cheek pressed against the carpet crooning "Lean on me, when you're not strong, And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on." Ezra has evened the playing field. Now I look at the floor as something more than a ever present landing pad. Now I roll into a room and evaluate its surface. Smooth tile is the best. Low pile carpet is ok but offers a little too much resistance. Medium pile carpet is like walking across a rain drenched lawn and shag carpet is like quick sand.

I like going to malls, grocery stores and out in public now. Those smooth floors just designed to increase your speed. Going down ramps, cornering and trying to estimate the best way to get through narrow spaces. Dodging pyramids of canned peaches and careful displays of glass bowls. This brings great joy to my life. I am no longer limping behind the shopping cart occasionally sinking to the floor in dignified manner. Instead I am a threat to little old ladies and towers of produce. And beneath my wheels I can hear the floor sing.

Thus ends my tribute to floors.


Katja said...

And in a wheelchair you always know which direction the floor is crooked in.

Shauna said...

I just discovered your blog. Love it and your sense of humour. May I link to you on mine?

ms bond said...

Katja- how right you are. First time I took Ezra out and about I was sure I had an alignment issue. But now I should be hired on to do insoections of newly constructed floors...who needs a carpenter's level?
Shauna- Wow...I'd be honoured.