Not the best or most edifying start to my working week. The rain did not help. Nor the bright glare of the low winter sun when I was trying to find a place to park my car in the little town of Leighton Buzzard. I left it in a supermarket car park with a plan to move it later to avoid any penalty charges. I grabbed my brief case and strode up the road towards the clinic. I was a man with a mission – and a brief case. A top psychologist striding forth to lend his wisdom to those struggling with psychological issues.
Without warning, with no clear memory of how I made the rapid transition from walking to not walking, I found myself lying in the road. I had fallen off the kerb and somehow rolled over, getting my coat and trousers wet and dirty. I did not even realise I was walking so close to the kerb. I have often thought of my career ending with a tabloid headline along the lines of “Top Psychologist Falls From Grace”, but falling from the kerb? It lacks a sense of moral outrage Helping others struggling with their psychological issues, while at the same time struggling with his walking skills. Furthermore, I am a recent First Dan in traditional Tang Soo Do – control, grace and balance. And maybe how to fall properly, so not all is lost.
Furtherfurthermore, I have been attending yoga classes for over a year now. Flexibility, poise and balance. Interweaved with breathing. How can I hold my head up in class? I will lie low, in my half-pigeon pose. Half pigeon, half psychologist – a therapist who….
This is not the end of the story. An hour later I had to go back to move my car. Panic. No car keys. I emptied out all the pockets in my coat, jacket and trousers. Nothing. Maybe I left them in the ignition? Or they fell out when I got close and personal with the road? I had images of being stranded in Leighton Buzzard for the rest of my life, miles from home, and accumulating parking fines of £50 a day.
I re-traced my steps. No car keys in the road. Nor on the pavement. And then – I saw them glistening in the gutter, in a little pool of water, looking a bit forlorn (as would you if you were abandoned in a wet gutter in Leighton Buzzard, or even somewhere nicer).
So, unedifying. Unfortunate. Maybe embarassing. But also with a happy ending. I had not lost my keys. And perhaps more importantly, the road was clear of traffic on a bend that is normally very busy. That would have been a different story.