Monkey Business, Part 3
In our last episode, less-than-agile Lorna’s knees slipped while hanging upside-down from the cross-bars due to excessive sweat…
In my mind, I drifted—no wafted—to the ground like a trapeze artist making her final decent, the awe-struck audience silent in amazement at my graceful litheness. In reality, I plummeted like an anchor to the gray cement below. I landed flat on my back.
Skinny 1, 2, and 3 stared at me through the bars for what seemed like a long time. I stared back but could not breathe. I thought I broke the part of my body responsible for keeping me alive. Had the Skeletal Triplets been braver, they might have poked me with a stick to check for reflexes. I expected at least that much from Skinny Michele, my best friend. But they all deserted the crime scene, skedaddling like the greyhounds they were before the police—or worse, the nuns—inevitably found my dead body.
I was alone underneath playground equipment contemplating my death. I knew my mom would not take the news well. I was her only healthy child and I died in a freak money bar accident. Imagine the obituary.
Then my breath came back as a sort of “haugh,” only stunningly loud and drawn out like in the movies. It was dramatic. Too bad the Emaciated Traitors weren’t there to witness the monkey bar miracle.
I was breathing. I was alive. I was in big trouble.
Probably seriously wounded, I had some explaining to do—and the truth seemed like a really bad idea. Mom would ban me from the playground without a bodyguard, and they were hard to come by for common people like us not in the Witness Protection Program. If I died, life would be a lot simpler. I would still be the good little girl heartbreakingly taken before her time in a cement-related tragedy, clouded with mystery—like Marilyn Monroe only way younger, without the sexy body, and with the corpse fully clothed on cement under the monkey bars. Dead, I was a beloved legend kept alive by a scandalous death; alive, I was a liability—someone who must be “managed.” Just like Marilyn.
Since no one came over to examine the body, I had time to contemplate my situation without having to make small talk. I tried moving; everything hurt, but I was eventually able to get up and hobble home.
My left knee was the single most bruised part of my body. It was swelling and looking occupied by aliens. How would I explain this?