“Tripping Through” by Michelle Morgan
How can one person attract so much disaster?
Quirky, clumsy, and eager-to-please Karly has more than her fair share of bad luck.
We first meet our 29-year-old accountant in her loud (the fire alarm is going off) and smoky (she’s trying to bake) kitchen. During the chaos, Karly is dumped because of misunderstandings over a divorce lawyer she didn’t hire and an affair she didn’t have. This comes just weeks after performing a very efficient audit on a company…that wasn’t actually a client.
Single and unemployed, Karly continues tripping through life, both metaphorically and physically. She thinks her luck may be turning when she meets the perfect man but in true-to-Karly form, manages to scare him off. And he isn’t just “not returning her phone calls” scared but more “sprinting away across the parking lot screaming like a banshee” scared.
Just as she thinks it can’t get any worse, it inevitably does. Is Karly destined to lead a life of loneliness and poverty or does fate have something else in mind?
A tall man walked in and was standing there, watching me talk to the receptionist. He wasn’t model, chiselled face, fantasy cabana boy gorgeous, but the quiet kind of attractive you’d notice if you took the time to look past the somewhat old fashioned blue sweater and grandfather type reading glasses on a mid thirties face. The fact that I could make out at least three pens stuck in his chest pocket underneath his sweater made him more endearing. It sounds corny but I honestly thought we had one of those movie of the week, boy sees girl for the first time and birds chirp in the background moments. I got the most incredible feeling from him, like he was totally mesmerized and wanted to know all about me. It took my breath away. Until I noticed the receptionist staring down at my messenger bag. I looked down at it. No, there wasn’t anything unusual about my satchel. Oh. Well, except for the fact that the left side of my skirt had ridden up in between it and my hip and half my underwear was on display. Oh God. I quickly rearranged my clothing back to where it was supposed to be.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Weiss,” the man said once I’d sorted myself out.
I felt like such an idiot as he led me to a small office while making small talk. Sure I’d gotten the feeling that he was looking at me. Half my skirt had been hiked up the side of my body. And of course I’d gotten the feeling he was interested in me. He was, but just as a subject for his klutziness study.
“So, Karly, I’m doing a study on how certain people attract particular situations with the overall goal being to determine any common denominators. It’s my theory that certain people have a higher statistical average of physical disaster.”
“Well, I’m definitely your girl. I mean, I’m not your girl. Not that I wouldn’t want to be. I’m sure you’d be an amazing boyfriend. Not that I really know you. Yet. I mean, not that I’m looking. But if I was, I’m sure you’d be-” God, what was wrong with me? I remembered Nik’s advice when I started to babble: take a deep breath and get to the point. “I fall down a lot.”
“Uh, okay. Well, that’s great. I mean, that’s not great for you, but for me. I mean, it’s not great for me because I want you to fall down, but if you have to anyway, I’m glad that you’re here. I mean-”
He stopped talking, looking confused at what was coming out of his own mouth, as I had been earlier. We looked at each other, shocked, for a second. And then cracked up.
“Why don’t we rewind that bit,” he said with a smile on his face. Oh my God. He did the rewind thing. Just like I did.
“So,” he continued, “as part of the study I’d ask you to keep a journal and submit it for my review. I have a sample that you can pick up from the receptionist on the way out, if you’re still interested.” He smiled his dazzling smile that would have had me donating my organs if he’d asked, even the ones I was still using.
“We’ll also meet every two weeks as a group,” he went on. “I’m hoping to provide some insight on why these things happen more frequently to certain people and maybe even discover how to minimize accidents.”
He continued and I nodded my understanding while subtly checking out his athletic build underneath his loose fitting sweater and well-ironed khakis. He had long legs. They looked strong. I wondered if they were hairy. Gosh, what was wrong with me? I wasn’t normally like this. Less than a month of single-dom and here I was practically undressing this stranger with my eyes. Or at least picturing him in shorts. In his cramped office, our chairs were only two feet away from each other. We were so close. I could reach right out and touch his thigh if I wanted to. Hold on, was that a stain on the knee of his pants? And in his, uh, winkle zone? Could he also be a Strangeness Attracter? He stopped mid sentence and gave me an alarmed look when he caught me staring at his crotch.
“Oh. Um. Your knee?” I stuttered. “I was looking at your knee. I mean, not your actual knee because it’s hidden under your pants. Not hidden. I just mean your pants are there. As they should be. I mean…there’s a stain. That I was looking at. On er…your knee and maybe other places?”
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Michelle Morgan was born in Vancouver, Canada. She has years of experience falling down for no reason and may have left a wrap-around skirt or two caught in a date’s car door. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband, Peter, and their three children, Kiara, Leilani and Kai. Oh – and a three year old goldfish named Angel, who her kids haven’t noticed looks different every time they come back from visiting Nana and Grandpa in the summer.
Michelle is passionate about theatre – watching, writing for, and acting in. Although she enjoys it all, she favours comedy. She is a black belt in karate, a classical pianist, and is addicted to pilates and pad thai.
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