breathing deeply, walking backwards – blink 182, Roller Coaster
It scares me, walking backwards. When I was a little boy I used to walk with my eyes closed all the time. I would press my back against a wall and stretch my arms and close my eyes and creep along, always excited to find a new room or a door or a light-switch … I never do that now.
My mom was vacuuming once. My little sister was two, I think. So I must have been four. Mom is vacuuming and getting ready to boil some water, probably to make spaghetti. Jenny (my little sister) is just tall enough to reach over the edge of the stove and put her tiny hand on the burner. She starts screaming in pain, of course. My mom, vacuuming, doesn’t notice that I’m walking along the wall with my eyes closed. As I fall down the stairs to the basement – KlunK – tHUnk – she closes the door on me while she’s rushing into the kitchen.
Picture me, coming to the open spot in the wall, realizing that I’m about to fall down the stairs, yelling as I am three or four steps falling backwards – eyes open now! – and seeing my mom slam the door on me while she’s yelling at my screaming sister and the vacuum is … er … vacuuming. There are some things that you never forget.
I was unharmed in the fall. Jenny’s hand wasn’t badly burned. My mom felt terrible. I hardly ever walk with my eyes closed now.