As the cement rushed towards my head, only one thought flashed across my mind. This thought, the culmination of all my years of evolution, of everything I've learned in my less than quarter of a century. It was a simple thought too, primal in nature, survival-of-the-fittest-fight-or-flight instincts kicking in. It was "Oh God, please don't let my iPhone break." So as I tumbled mercilessly to the earth, not even a long-sleeve shirt to cushion my fall, my immediate thought was not to protect myself, my face, my hands. It was to protect the lights and clockwork in my hands, the object that distracted me enough to let me trip in the first place.
My hands, my right elbow, my right calf still burn with the fire pavement provides to bare skin. A cement exfoliant. A sandpaper hug from gravity. The iPhone's fine though. Don't worry. I'm still bleeding and picking pebbles from underneath my skin, but I can still text.
I'm confident that, if I could do it all again (which I doubt anyone's ever wished about something so graceless), I'd do it the exact same way. I've learned something in my short time on this far too gravitied world. It's been a hard lesson and it seems sometimes that life goes out of its way to bash it through my skull, but I've caught onto the basic idea by now.
And that's not even to tell the whole story. I've been through more than I'm due at my age, experienced more before I even left high school than I was owed. I live to tell about it by what I can only imagine is pure miracle. I knew I would survive the fall. I knew the bleeding would stop and the sting would secede and things would return to normal, or a new normal. My healing factor might not be superhuman, but it moves along. So would I.
Phones don't fare as well in fist fights with gravity.
I am the fallen. My feet are unsteady. My hands, my arms, my heart is bruised. But I will not stay down. I will not allow myself the sweet present relief of losing, of quitting. I can get up. I will get up. I must get up. There is nothing more than this on a daily, hourly, second-by-second, inch-by-inch basis. We are this. The ones who always fall and always must choose to rise again.
We pick the gravel out of our flesh, we bleed when we must, but we always get back up.
We're too durable for anything else.