It turns out, embarrassing moments do not end in high school. I thought they would; I thought I resolved them away. In an enlightened moment, following a particularly ungraceful one, I resolved not to dwell embarrassing moments hours after they occurred.
The first bell rang, announcing the end of the period. I was heading to my locker, located in the basement. The lunchroom was also in the basement, and students were rushing out en masse. It was bad enough that I was moving against the flow of traffic, my hands fully occupied with books and snacks. (This makes me sound like a nerdy fatty. I can clarify that I was holding my bookbag, a textbook, and a bag of pretzels but go ahead and imagine me loaded up with history books and donuts falling out of my pockets). Then my heel misses the stair on my way down and suddenly the throngs of noisy 15-18 year olds disappear and it’s just me, my inability to grab on to a handrail, and the boy with deer-in-headlights eyes standing directly below me, in the middle of the flight of stairs I was about to descend untraditionally, with elbows and knees. Whether he meant to or not, he broke my fall. Luckily, he didn’t fall himself, and the crowds slowed for just a moment before continuing to race against the second bell. I saw myself plummeting in slow motion, imagining ahead of time exactly what would happen as my fingertips tingled with the loss of balance.
But it just wasn’t that mortifying.
So, when I stumbled backwards off the last step of the physics lecture hall (those long, short steps), ridiculously slowly, onto the hottest guy in the room (and a senior, at that), my normally eager-to-flush-beet-red face smiled it off despite the fact that it seemed like I was slowly, obnoxiously, and with increasing force leaning against him.
Now, it looks like the workplace is the new high school. Will elaborate after I dry off.