I was walking home.
I was walking up the giant hill leading up to my apartment.
From my school, it's about a seven minute walk leading up to the giant hill leading to the 33 steps headed toward the smaller steep hill which leads to the 78 steps to my apartment. I've walked up and down it hundreds of times, and yes, I've counted.
But I was walking home tonight and I wasn't even a quarter of the way up the big steep hill before I realized something was wrong. Something was very wrong.
My hands were filled with bags. I held two plastic bags, digging into my fingers and laden with some shopping I'd done and some stuff from work. My face was frozen. I longed to bring a mittened hand up to my nose and breathe out, but I couldn't; there were more pressing problems. (The first being I'd left my mittens at home.)
Something was wrong and I could feel my grip on things slipping. With every step, I could feel my reality shifting. The thing I hadn't even bothered to think about all day seemed to be unravelling.
Yet, still, I trudged up. I was almost to the top.
And my mind chanted a mantra: "Almost there. You're almost there. One more step, you're almost there." I tried to ignore what was happening. Things were slipping. Gravity weighed me down. I was becoming undone.
"One more step. Just one more step!"
And then it happened....
My pants fell down.
Crumpled to my ankles.
I dropped my bags, and reached down to hitch my jeans back up while looking all around to see if I was alone.
And I laughed a bit before I heard a sound.
It was the sound of two beers and a bottle of soy sauce escaping their plastic bags and rolling all the way down (and then some) to the bottom of the hill.