There may be no way to come back from this.
An event to which its predecessor has faded from memory, vanished and disappeared.
A time so long ago. A land before time. Perhaps even a time before land. Or a time before time.
This was an event upon which the fragility of my male ego has been exposed, a house of cards that has come crashing down, falling into the abyss below.
I am a broken man.
Broken into a million pieces.
A million and one serpentine slashes slithering along the contours of my blighted being, cascading down my countenance, etched ever-present and evermore.
It has taken me days to write this.
Days for the searing trauma to settle.
Days for me to put down the words I now share with you, as painful as they are.
These words need to see light of day. To normalize the events.
To grasp as the last vestiges of my manliness as they seep out of me.
It was Friday.
And I had a task. A primordial task. Once that has stretched along with the sinew of time.
A task of sustenance.
Hunting and gathering.
And after my successful foray into the wilderness, it was upon my return that these events came to be.
It was during my return, where grave tragedy struck.
Where the undoing occurred.
Hoisting my gatherings, 6 bags in each hand, carton of 36 large eggs precariously perched with other breakables, the weight distribution calculated to the closest Newton, precision balanced like Nesmuk’s Jahrhundert Messer, I made the journey from car to front door.
With each step, sure and confident, the ground littered with potential slip and falls everywhere, lawsuits just waiting to be borne, I moved closer to my destination, closer to home.
The weather being what it has been, the ground abounded with danger. Icy patches. Loose gravel carelessly strewn about by the irresponsible condo developer next door. Detritus and litter strewn about from recycling day in a wind storm.
And another step.
My shoulder on one side dipping and weaving to maintain balance. A shadow boxer without an opponent. A tightrope walker on terra firma. Then the other side. Finding footing. Finding balance.
I can feel the tension in my knuckles, the cutting bite of the bag handles as they edge their way against the soft, supple flesh of my palms.
I feel the tension within those bags, their skin stretching and creaking under the strain of their copious loads inside.
Another step. And then another. The nearer my destination, the more I feel I’m slip sliding away.
Only a few more before I’ve safely made it home.
I hear a rip.
I freeze in place, only a few feet away.
It’s the bag with the 3 dozen eggs.
As luck would have it, my most precious cargo, the most delicate of fare…
The earth defiling plastic from which it’s composed is deteriorating right before my eyes.
The handles now inches and inches longer. Growing and showing its weakness.
But I’m so close.
Two more steps and I won’t have to put the dozen bags down…the dozen bags which I carefully looped in various ways to make the trip.
Having planned ahead, my keys were placed in my hands so there would be no need to stop the onward march, so there would be no need to unload before the time was right.
Another rip as I’m turning the door handle. I feel the vibrations of the tear shuddering through my body.
Calculating the risk, I knew a fall from that distance would be instant devastation.
A mess of epic proportions.
The door gave and I was inside.
Relief washed over me. Immediate. Complete.
The eggs were safe as I slowly lowered them, carefully placed against the ground, no longer at risk of fall from height.
As I returned to the car to pick up the 36 pack of toilet paper, I couldn’t help but replay the tragedy I had just averted, I couldn’t help but internally congratulate myself for a job well done.
That is, until I was back inside.
And with those cutting words she crushed my world.
And I became an abject failure.
“So it took you two trips to bring everything in, eh?”