Each year, the nearby Catholic church puts on an "Oktoberfest in July" festival with all the requisites: games, Chinese auction, polka band, beer, gambling, rides, and food - lots of food - which is really the only reason Mike and I ever go, aside from the people watching.
I had had the schnitzel the evening before and so decided last night that I'd have a salad for supper and a corndog for a late night snack. We ventured down around 9pm, when the festival was in full swing. It was a warm summer night, the band was playing, the rides were all lit up and spinning, people were dancing, carnies were giving away prizes, kids were sticky with cotton candy - needless to say, the place was packed. I was walking through the crowd, smiling and enjoying the quintessential carnival-ness of it all when suddenly, I found myself laying on on my side. Someone had barreled into me, knocking me down to the pavement.
Falling is strange sensation. It happens so fast and yet, somehow, it feels as if it's in slow motion, all at the same time. There is time enough for your brain to register what's going on, feel shock, start pumping adrenaline, and utter the expletive of your choice. But there never seems to be enough time to stop it from happening - gravity's got you, you hit the ground, and then what? That's the part that matters.
Me? I was five feet of fury. I quickly rolled over, grabbed onto the forearm of the person who had crashed into me, and used it to pull myself up. Only then did I notice it was a big clumsy kid who had probably just been horsing around with his friends. Still gripping his arm, I leaned closer and growled something like "Be careful!" in his ear before pushing him away and back into the crowd.
I brushed myself off and assessed the damage. My hand hurt and my neck was twingey but I was okay and I still wanted my corndog. By the time I had it in hand, I was laughing - poor kid looked like he was going to wet his pants.