I became rather excited when I learned that I was going to have the opportunity to travel to and tour my state’s capitol through a group called the Teenage Republicans. History and politics have always interested me greatly. For the special occasion, I dressed up in a nice sky blue jumper, a delicate navy blue sweater, a crocheted navy hat, and white knee high socks (this fact will become important in a moment). Besides a small shoulder purse, I brought my trusty camera. I didn’t know what wonderful and rich history I would uncover and I was anxious to test my new passion for photography.
When we actually reached the capitol, despite my friend’s mother’s erratic city driving, we were ushered around by a somber, and somewhat boring, new guide.
After viewing a session of the State Senate, we were ushered to the opposite end of the wing, where the House of Representatives meet. I was disappointed to find out that we would not be able to sit in on a session of the House, because they had met before we arrived. But I was soon thankful for that very fact.
We ascended the stairs to the balcony single file. The guide went first, then my friend, next me, then my friend’s mom, with everyone else following behind. And by everyone else, I mean all of the dashing young gentlemen with whom I was only slightly acquainted with.
As we stood in two perpendicular lines, listening to the guide drone on and on, I was taking pictures. I took pictures of everything, not wanting to forget any of it. It was fascinating, captivating.
And then I saw it.
The chair. The magnificent ornate chair where the President of the House sat and reigned over the meetings.
I needed to take a picture of that wonderful work of art.
Problem number one: the chandelier was slightly in the way. Now, what does one do when something is in the way? One steps back.
Problem number two: there was a step behind me.
Problem number three: no one informed me that there was a step behind me.
Yes, I can see it now, all in slow motion. The camera up towards my face, finger pressing down on the button half-way, I shuffled back a step, only to find the total lackage of floor to shuffle backwards on. Feet flying out in front of me, I struggled to keep my camera above my head, with one arm, while the other was engaged in trying to keep my jumper down.
All I could think was, Lord, why did I have to wear knee highs? and Thank God the House isn’t in session…
My hip hit the bench and I landed on my bony rear end with a jolt, whipping my head back harshly. Ignoring the pain, I immediately jumped back up to my feet. The vast room was uncomfortably quiet. “Oh, um, I’m OK…see, uh, that’s a daily occurrence for me!” My loud words echoed throughout the room.
Beside me, my friend was trying oh-so unsuccessfully to keep from letting out a side-splitting laugh. My friend’s mom was very concerned. “Kayla, are you sure you’re alright?”
You mean, besides my wounded pride? “Yes…fine…”
The guide had frozen and ceased speaking when I fell. He looked at me with a stupefied expression on his face that seemed to say, Darn you girl. Now I lost my place in my little prepared speech…
It was then, that Carl, another teenager in our group, spoke up. “Um, sir…” struggling to keep his smile hidden behind his hand. “Sir, could you tell me who that statue is of? That one other there…?”
Dear, sweet Carl. God bless him for brining the guide back to the present. I would have ran over and kissed the boy, but I was too busy pleading with God too open up the balcony and let it swallow me whole.
Yes, indeed. Art has always been my downfall.
(Ending Note: This is a true story. But my name has been changed to protect my identity.)
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