One summer during college I interned on the Hill for a member of Congress. One of the main duties as a congressional intern is to give tours of the Capitol and the House Chambers. I was often giving tours 3-4 times a day. I had to buy grandma Aerosoles shoes due to the amount of walking I was doing, I’m sure I put in a few miles everyday. I knew that tour like the back of my hand, all the secret tunnels underneath the Capitol… I can still spit out random facts about the Capitol on command… “Here is where there have been sightings of the mysterious ghost cat that roams the hallways of the Capitol…”
One fateful day I was leading my tour group out of the house chambers. Our next step was to go down the stairs to get back to the tunnel which lead back to the Congressman’s office. Now this is no ordinary stairwell… these stairs are original to the Capitol (read: a few hundred years old). Think of the marble steps at a palace: grand, huge, overscale. The marble was so worn from decades and decades of people walking on them that they were worn in the middle and sloped thus making them a little precarious to walk on.
There are thousands of people who come to visit the Capitol everyday, that particular day there were hundreds of 8th graders visiting… serioulsy hundreds lined up against the wall of the stairs all the way down and then down around the hall waiting to go up into the House Chamber. I was trying to look like a super fine Congressional intern in front of the masses of pubescent 8th grade boys when suddenly, I’m not sure how but I lost my footing at the top of the steps. My feet came out from under me, my butt hit the top stair and I bumped and slid down every stair from the top of that grand staircase all the way to the bottom. My cell phone and ID had flown out of my hands at the top of the stairs and my phone came apart to a few different pieces at the landing. I landed on my butt, skirt flown up at the landing some 25 steps down in front of about 200 laughing 8th graders. I could see them all pointing and laughing as what seemed to be me in slow motion bumping down step by step till I reached the bottom. My tour group I was leading rushed to help me. I pulled my skirt down, gathered my phone and finished off my tour acting as if I was totally fine. They were very concerned and I really should have gone to lay down in the nurse’s office because I kind of blacked out a bit when I hit the bottom.
That night I had a black and blue bruise on my right hip/ rear the size of a cantoloupe… I took a picture of it at one point because I never ever bruise so this was quite strange for me to have a bruise, let along one so huge and dark.
I’m pretty sure it was this event that triggered my affinity to falling down, wiping out and losing my balance. Ever since then gravity has not been good to me.