I’m okay, by the way.
I’m on campus going to my COVID test. The sun is out. I’m feeling good.
There is no ice, just a flat, paved walkway, but all of a sudden, my ankles start to shake, and like the last bowling pin swaying at the end of the lane, I fall to the ground.
The fall itself is nothing out of the ordinary. I am the single clumsiest human surely in New York, perhaps the globe, and my ankles and entire body have been waging their war against me for as long as I could walk. So when I find myself on the ground, I do what I always have: check to see if anyone saw me because the worst part of the fall is not the damage to my body, but my pride. As I am surveying the coast, I think I’m good, but then I see a figure come into view. It’s clear this person saw the whole thing go down, which is embarrassing, but I’ll get over it. I think nothing of this person at first, I see only a pleasant woman checking to see if I am okay.
Then I see her coat. A stylish pink coat, a coat I know I have seen before, but cannot place where. As I’m getting up, I try desperately to figure out who this woman is. Where have I seen this coat?
I know where I’ve seen this coat before. That coat belongs to none other than President Sian Leah Beilock. I realize that my first ever interaction with the President of Barnard College is after I completely ate shit.
At this point, I don’t really know what’s happening. I’m just trying to get out of there as soon as I can. She says something comforting, like she’s fallen in this spot before too. She wishes me a good rest of my day, and I leave as quickly as I can, but not too quickly. I can’t fall again.
My test goes well, negative by the way, but the fall stays with me while I’m shoving a q-tip up my nose.
As I am leaving campus after my test, I see that pink coat again in the corner of my eye. She is looking in the other direction, so before she can turn around and recognize me, I run as fast as I can. But again, not too fast. Bad things happen if I get confident and go too fast.
Luckily, there was very little identifiable information on me. Thank you masks. Thank you big winter coat. Even now, as I am writing this… my identity will remain a secret.
Image via Bwog Archives