The Education of Pain by Calvin Davis

frigidaire_fkch17f7hw_3Several days ago, while working in the garage, I fell.  On the way down, I grabbed the handle of our upright freezer, causing an avalanche of frozen meats and vegetables to cover  me.  An odd combination, my back and head hitting the hard, hot cement floor while turkey breasts, steaks, various vegetables and ice cream covered  my chest, abdomen and legs.


Even if I could have been able to push off the food, my back hurt too much to stand. This is a terrible position for a man and his infamous male pride to find himself in. Men are action figures, you see. A fact engineered into their DNA. They are constantly asking themselves how to solve this problem or that one. “How do I do it?” But being unable to help, I couldn’t do a thing. The pain was excruciating.

My wife came running, full of concern and trying her best to help me stand. She quickly tossed food back into the freezer and wrapped her arms under mine. No luck. I couldn’t stand. She dragged me from the garage into the house onto the hardwood floors.

She was finally able to help me get to my feet. Upright, I was a much wiser man than before I fell. Having experienced the lowest pits of pain, I became closer to those who’d felt real pain on the battlefields of war. Extreme levels of agony one can only begin to imagine as these young soldiers cry for their mothers with their last breaths.

I had known nothing of this level until my fall the other day and the subsequent days when I couldn’t walk. Maybe we all need an incident like mine from time-to-time to awaken us to our microscopic world of complacency and detachment from those who surround us, that we see, but do not see–or feel.

Understand, I hope you don’t you don’t fall, as I did; on the other hand, maybe I should.

Calvin Davis is also the author of The Phantom Lady of Paris.



Filed under writing

2 responses to “The Education of Pain by Calvin Davis

  1. Were the turkey breasts okay? And how are you?

    We have two steps in our garage, right next to our freezer. I find myself looking at them now and fearing to fall. Maybe I’d rather learn my lesson second hand.

  2. So sorry to read of your fall, Calvin. Ouch! It’s interesting how we learn about sympathy and empathy. I’ve become more so after some of my experiences. Heal quickly!

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