There was a minor incident last fall involving my probably haunted porcelain figurines.
So what happened: I was figuring out what I wanted for dinner during the coming week and grabbed a cookbook off the shelf. Apparently the weight of that book was keeping all my recipe books upright. The right bookend topple over, sending books of crock-pot and five-ingredient recipes tumbling. One of them slammed into Phillip’s shoulder.
I watched–paralyzed–as he fell headfirst into the printer’s paper tray before landing face-first on the carpet. He lay there moaning for what felt like an hour, but was probably closer to then seconds, until I unstuck my feet from the floor and approached him.
Every possible, worst-case-scenario flashed through my mind. I pictured a fissure running from his neck all the way down to his thigh or his face crumbling outward the moment I picked him up or one of his arms being left on the floor (which shows how irrationally I was thinking because his arms are fused to his body).
He cussed me out as I picked him up.
“What wrong with you, woman? You nearly broke my face.”
I tuned him out while inspecting every inch of his blue and gray clothes for the smallest cracks. And I found none.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” he demanded
Relief flooded my voice when I finally answered.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean for that to happen. But at least you’re okay.”
“I am not okay,” he fumed. “I saw my life flash before my eyes, and I think I may have a concussion.”
I wanted so badly to say you don’t have a brain, so you can’t have a concussion, but I bit my tongue. I carefully placed him back on the shelf before weighing down the sides of the license plate bookends so that they didn’t topple over again. Phillip muttered angrily the whole time.
When I stepped back and took a look at the shelf as a whole, things didn’t look quite right.
Nothing was out of place. The cookbooks leaned left and right between the license plates; Phillip stood facing the front door; and Miss Georgia looked slightly to the right and into the living room.
No, Miss Georgia didn’t quite look right. She had a large white patch on her right side that wasn’t there before. It took a second before my brain got traction and put two-and-two together.
Her right arm lay on the printer table, between a Saint Bernard figure and a unicorn. It was a mostly clean break other than the jagged edge where the forearm had separated from the inner part of her elbow.
“Miss Georgia,” I said. “Are you okay?”
“I’m quite all right,” she said. “All I need is a bit of glue and time for it to set. Then I’ll be as good as new.”
“Are… are you sure?”
“Vocation-related… weren’t you a governess, Miss Georgia?”
“Quite sure. No need to worry about me, dear. I’ve spent my fair share of time recovering from vocation-related injuries.”
She offered a serene smile. “That was one of my professions before I retired.”
The subdued yet steely look in her eyes said that anymore questions would be brushed off with polite but firm avoidance.
So instead I dug through my tool bag until I found the heavy-duty-not-quite-Gorilla-glue. Miss Georgia remained pleasant through the whole procedure.
The same couldn’t be said for Phillip; he wouldn’t stop whining. More than six months later, he still glares at me when he thinks my back is turned. It’s far easier to give that to him than the alternative. Especially now that I have a stuffed koala in the house.