#48 – Head Case – Jennifer Ansted

I walked out of class to take a break from listening to the commentary of a particularly verbose girl.  I figured while I was out, I’d pop into the restroom and take care of business.  No sooner had I walked through the swinging door than verbose girl walked in behind me.  Great minds.

I was forced to hide in a bathroom stall, wasting toilet paper and playing Words with Friends on my phone until she was gone.  The coast was, at last, clear and I had some crumpled toilet paper in my hand.  I stood up, wheeled around to the mini trash can and CLANG!  The corner of a metal shelf jutting out of the wall made contact with my forehead.  I stumbled to the mirror and found that the lump forming was only the size of a quarter so I gave myself a moment to recover, and went back to class.

An hour later, I was in another class taking a comprehensive exam on power tools.  I wearily rested my chin in the crook of my left arm and continued writing with my right hand.  Suddenly, SLAM!  In front of me, my friend was stretching her back by bending her elbows and swinging her torso back and forth in her desk.  Somehow her elbow made contact with the top of my head, causing my teeth to snap together with great force.  I smiled and finished my exam, tenderly rubbing my crown and massaging my jaw when I was out of the room.

I had an appointment on campus a few hours later so I walked home and came back in my car.  After perusing many books on mechanical engineering outside his office (The Complete Guide to Industrial Mixing is a real page turner), I finally got to meet with my professor.  After a good meeting, I headed toward my Honda in the dimly lit parking lot.

Whenever I approach my car in the dark, I get concerned about a number of factors.  There may be a man under my car, waiting to grab my legs.  There may be a man in the back seat of my car with a knife or a crossbow.  I might have lost my keys and will be standing outside my car in a dark parking lot giving any number of assailants time to move in.

Luckily I found my keys, got the door open, and in an attempt to get in the car as quickly as possible (to avoid having my legs grabbed by a ruffian), I performed a duck and jump, throwing all my momentum toward the car.  Although I have expertly performed this move in a number of situations, I failed to stoop my head low enough and it slammed against the metal door frame, THWACK!

After closing the door, locking it, and checking the floor behind me for murderers with plastic bags on their heads, I ascertained the damage.  One quarter sized lump on my upper left forehead.  One nickel-sized lump on the crown of my head.  One corndog sized lump above my right ear.

I was afraid I might die in my sleep that night.  I made contingency plans by writing a will in my owl notebook.  When I opened my eyes the next morning, I was extremely grateful and I had a realization.

Sometimes life smacks you in the head.  Sometimes you smack yourself in the head.  Sometimes the people you love smack you in the head.  Like going to the dentist or losing your car keys, this is inevitable and occasionally meaningful.

~ Jennifer Ansted, Evington, Virginia

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