“If Adventure has a Name…”
Impulsive actions make great movie scenes. But in real life they can get you killed. Or worse: in trouble with Mom and Dad.
I mentioned previously that I was clumsy. I’ve come to the conclusion that my clumsiness is rooted in impulsive actions taken while I am, 1) moving in one direction and, 2) looking in another. There’s never been a time when this wasn’t so; I was moving in one direction and looking in another when I exited the womb.
All of the events that happened in Downey, California, occurred before I was 7, because that was when we moved away. So, although the exact date I climbed The Great China Cabinet is unknown, it was definitely during the classical period known as The Downiad.
I decided to scale it at around 4 a.m. (Mom and Dad were still inexplicably asleep.) It was a mysteriously dark summer morning, perfect for adventure. After much deliberation, roughly 1/3rd of a second, I began my ascent. I opened the bottom drawers, et voilá, two perfect steps appeared! Soon my feet reached a precipice, above which lay the legendary shelf-lands.
I opened the oaken doors, careful not to lean too far back. The climbing was easy at first: the porcelain serving dishes and crystal goblets watched placidly as I glided past them on my epic journey upward. But soon the cliff began to rattle. I tightened my grip. The rattling ceased. But then something occurred that I was powerless to stop: an avalanche! The entire mountain lurched forward. And then, in one breathless moment The Great China Cabinet that had stood for millennia crashed to the valley of Living Room far below!
Why wasn’t I killed? Somehow those open doors and out-slid drawers created a hollow just big enough for a skinny sherpa-boy.
Mom and Dad, who weren’t awake when my adventure began, were now suddenly present. They were terrified that I’d been killed. Or that I hadn’t and they’d have to do it themselves.
Miraculously, I survived without a graze! The porcelain didn’t.
How is this a scar story? I felt so bad about destroying Mom and Dad’s china that a week later I decided to make it up to them by fixing them breakfast in bed. At 4 a.m.
Who knew those old glass milk bottles were so heavy, or so slippery when you lifted them off high refrigerator shelves with one hand, while fishing for strawberry jam with the other, and looking over your shoulder? Or that they hurt so bad when they detonated on your foot, producing torrents of pink milk?
I still have an elegant half moon scar on my left foot to match the one on my right. And every time I look at it, it reminds me of the moon on that fateful morning, the morning I climbed…
The Great China Cabinet!
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