Monday, January 20, 2014


Which tells you something. I fell.

What it tells you, the meaning of it, may require an excursion into applied philosophy.

I said caí because this happened, and it is now over. In fact, it has been over over a month. This is something which happened to me on December 6, my first full day back in Cuenca. I fell. Off a curb. Thunk.

Small potatoes, you may think. Tiny, insignificant horseradish. Minor league poop.

Sure — all of that, I admit. I am here admitting. I have hereby admitted.

Me to world — Hey out there! I fell off a curb! On my first day back in town!

And though I say it loudly, I do not say it proudly. No one should. Least of all me. Because I am so proud of my footwise nimbleness, my shoe-based agility, my knee-enhanced lightsomeness, and my general dancer-like grace. Yep, that's me, Mr Grace, who just fell off a curb, a mere six weeks ago, and is now willing to talk about it.

Mr Grace. I should have business cards printed, maybe. You think? I shall ponder the possibilities and the permutations thereof.

Among other hazards here, too numerous to mention yet too frequent to ignore, curb falling off of is barely a minor sport, yet one I have attempted, albeit inadvertently. It was how I knew I was back. It is one thing that gringos do. It B Us, gringo-wise

The locals? No. Nope. Nada. Nunca. Ni modo. Not hardly.

One day I'll figure this out, if I persist. But it may take years, and the assistance of several of those philosophers. Highly qualified philosophers. And even then some parts of not falling off a curb may still be a bit fuzzy to me.

There are so many things going on within the confines of the average impossibly-constricted Ecuadorian street that curb falling off of is generally lost in the noise, the way the jigs and jags of one jumpy molecule are lost in the background brownian bumping of trillions of its identical buddies. I fall, you fall, we all fall so get over it already.

Yeah, I guess, but it still bugs me.

It was such a minor thing. I just went Bump! and then it was over. Maybe if I'd broken a leg I'd feel better, you know? Have a better-developed sense of accomplishment, or feel more at home somehow, as though I'd survived an initiation. What if another gringo had stopped to take a photo of me to show the folks back home how truly dangerous South America can be.

Or a video. What if they'd made a video? I could have gone viral. That would have been something.

Instead — no one noticed. At all.

It was simply another stumbling gringo idiot.



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