So last Sunday, I moved into my lovely new apartment on campus. We have a great view of Cayuga Lake out the living room window (and also my bedroom window), and there's lots of space and a full-sized fridge and more drawers than I know what to do with, which is unusual but cool.
There is also a spiral staircase leading from the kitchen/living room area to the bedrooms-and-bathroom area.
Said spiral staircase looks like this:
This spiral staircase is made out of black-painted metal, which has those little cross shaped things imprinted into it, supposedly to give some measure of traction, although really it doesn't work particularly well. Why a college would put such a thing into apartments lived in mostly by people who are now old enough to legally purchase alcohol is beyond me. Basically, this thing is the Spiral Staircase of Death.
And yes. That's right. I fell down it.
I live with three other girls: Lisa, Sarah, and Other Caitlin (so called because, well, I'm Caitlin too, although she also answers to Molly Weasley). Lisa, Sarah, and I were sitting downstairs doing homework or puttering about the internet or some such thing, when Other Caitlin came halfway down the stairs and asked where might be the best place to find some new nail clippers at 7 or 8 in the evening. I replied "my desk..." which sparked a conversation about whether or not that was weird, which maybe it should be but really I didn't care very much (it wasn't as though she had just been gardening or making mud pies or something). So Other Caitlin thanked me profusely and went into my room to find the nail clippers. Twelve seconds later, she called down the stairs "where do I find them again?" whereupon I went up the stairs, grabbed my nail kit from my desk, opened it, and handed her my nail clippers. And then I went to go back down the stairs.
What I was wearing plays a small part in this story: I had on a tank top, a skirt, and socks. The socks were because I was inside and my feet get cold, and when they get cold they get sweaty and gross and so do my hands for some reason, but anyway, I had socks on. The Spiral Staircase of Death, as previously mentioned, has little to no traction, and I was hurrying down the stairs. I think I was even holding on to the railing, actually. I was on the second or third step up from the bottom, when I registered two things in very quick succession.
The first was: Oh snap, I'm slipping!
The second was: OH SNAP GROUND.
I threw my hands out and then I was on the ground, sort of kneeling weirdly in front of the staircase. I sat there a bit stunned for a second.
Then all hell broke loose.
Sarah shouted "oh no!" from across the room. Lisa, who was sitting in the armchair directly next to the stairs, looked up from her reading and frantically asked if I was all right. I said I was fine, shifting carefully so I could look at my knees, which were quite red. Sarah then told me that I'd fallen incredibly gracefully, like a ballerina dying onstage (so, thanks, I think?). The rug burn on my knees was getting redder by the second, which was a bit concerning, and Lisa said something to that effect, and I protested that I was fine. Other Caitlin, however, shouted from upstairs "OH MY GOD IS SHE BLEEDING?!?" and came running downstairs to see. I kept protesting that I was fine, and Lisa and Caitlin began (intentionally) overreacting. I was still sitting at the foot of the staircase, so I said that I'd relocate to the couch five feet away, and Lisa shouted at me to stay put and that I should elevate my legs before they fell off (even stuffing a pillow under my knees). I was given some ice. Other Caitlin and Lisa then hurried up the stairs (over me) to get polysporin and band-aids, which was when I ninja-ed my way over to the couch, where Sarah was sitting, really just being amused by the whole thing.
Lisa and Other Caitlin came back with their medical supplies. I was expecting to get yelled at for getting up and moving to the couch, but I didn't, fortunately. Lisa then proceeded to open her polysporin; when I held out my hand for some she said "I'm not putting it on your hand, I'm putting it on your knee!" whereupon I grabbed it from her and did it myself, thanks very much. I was unable to escape Lisa and Caitlin putting the band-aids on my knees, however, which tickled a LOT. Other Caitlin then handed me a piece of chocolate, because apparently falling down the stairs and coming close to dementors have the same remedy (hey, I wasn't going to say no to that one!).
This entire time, their incredibly comic and extreme overreaction had me laughing hysterically, so much so that when Lisa made a joke about me asphyxiating from falling down I said it'd be more probable that I'd do that from laughing too much. I'm not sure if I've done this episode justice writing about it - it was a complete flurry of running up and down stairs and shouting and general ridiculousness. Kind of like one of those goofy chase scenes where everyone is running frantically in and out of a set number of doors.
I suppose, then, that the moral of this story is twofold: one, be incredibly careful when wearing socks on metal staircases. And two, if you have to fall, do it gracefully, and make sure you've got some awesome friends around to cheer you up after you hit the ground.