Walking in Minneapolis
The sidewalks aren’t even normal icy, but a thick, bumpy--surprise!--take your feet out from under you and kill you kind of icy. Every day, I walk on these sidewalks, looking down, stepping carefully, thinking, don’t slip, don’t slip, for the love of god, don’t slip. The anxiety goes beyond the natural instinct to avoid injury or humiliation. I don’t have insurance, and the fear always remains that I might slip and break my arm, which would completely ruin me, take every penny I have and leave me in debt to a hospital for who knows how long. But really, I’m one of the lucky uninsured. I’ve thought this through many times. If I break my arm, I can call my dad and see if he has any doctor friends who would set my broken arm pro bono. I bet he’d be able to find someone, but I’d have to go to Iowa to do it. Since I doubt I could drive five hours with a broken arm, Colin would have to take me, which means we’d have to wait until the weekend when he’s not working to go. With each mindful step, I think about this scenario, the phone call to my dad, the drive home with a broken arm, wondering how I would sleep or deal with the pain until the weekend. Halfway through crossing the street, I realize I hadn’t checked to see if there were any cars coming, and I defiantly think, Let the cars hit me, I don’t even care. Then I remember that getting hit by a car might not kill me, and I take it back. Especially if I’m hurt badly enough to be unconscious and unable to tell them not to call an ambulance. I have to stay alert, stay vigilant, keep walking with trepidation. Don’t slip, don’t slip.