Monday, August 14, 2006

Broken Glass and Rainbows

When I was a kid, my parents' house had a sliding glass door leading out onto the enclosed back porch. The door had a storm door, so to get out you had to slide two glass doors out of the way.
One winter when I was 15 or so, I was the only one home, and the dogs wanted out into the backyard. The normal procedure was to take them through the porch. I opened the one sliding door, but for some reason, I neglected to open the second door before trying to pass through it.

I proceeded to walk straight through that door. As the cliché goes, everything slowed down. I had the very clear thought that if I tried to hold up, the sheets of falling glass were going to fall right on me and cut me to shreds. I kept moving forward at a rapid pace.

I was lucky, and almost all of the glass fell behind me. I escaped with one relatively minor cut in my wrist that bled a lot but didn't require stitches.

I couldn't walk back through the glass shards and had to circle the house though the snow in my sock feet. By the time I got around to the front of the house, my parents were pulling into the garage. Of course, I came rushing up with blood running out of my wrist, not having any idea yet if I was badly hurt, babbling about just having walked through the glass door. That shook them up pretty badly, and my father unnecessarily rushed me to the hospital.

In the meantime, my mother, in a state of near panic, got on the telephone and called my brother. She didn't bother to tell him that I wasn't turned into hamburger. It was more along the lines of, "Jesus Christ! Bill just walked through the glass door! Come quick!" (Mom swore like a fisherman's daughter, which she was.) Then she hung up.

Fearing the worst, my brother, ignoring most traffic laws, rushed over. He was seriously upset when he found out that I wasn't dead, and he told my mother off for scaring him like that, but he did have the glass cleaned up before my dad and I got back from the hospital, where they had applied a butterfly bandage.

After they replaced the broken pane, my parents decided that they never wanted something like that to happen again, so they put rainbow decals on the doors right at my eye height.

Almost everyone who came to the house for any length of time asked about those decals and got to hear about my adventure of the plunging shards. I wonder if they were wondering if my parents were showing their support for gay rights.

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