It began to end for her with an empty glass. Just taking it out of the dish washing machine, all warm and sparkling and clean and sleek feeling—so sleek it slipped. As though her fingers had momentarily forgotten the concept of to hold. As though the sleekness was too overwhelming. As though something she couldn’t quite put her finger, or fingers, on occurred.
The glass did not float or acrobatically tumble. It rocketed straight down and exploded on the tiles of the kitchen floor scattering glass particles every which way. Fragments shot passed her feet, rolled toward the dishwasher, under the refrigerator, bits bounced up against the nearest wall, a major glittering mess from such a insignificant mishap.
Next her bottle of pills slipped. Medicine spilled everywhere. She would find hidden oval-shaped pills for days to come in the most unexpected places, usually where dust gathered. She tried to put her arm in one sleeve of a favorite blouse but missed and let go, thinking her arm was in there, and the blouse ballooned and floated, as the glass had not, to the ground, a brief odd-shaped parachute. She leaned over with a grunt to pick up the blouse and she dropped the two earrings she had been holding in her other hand. She watched both land, each one beside her feet, one left, one right.
Recently her husband had fallen out of love with her and dropped her for someone he himself had fallen for, her daughter had dropped out of university and was dropping out generally, and by the end of the week the family cat had dropped dead. Her eye-drops had gone missing. The bottom had fallen out of the stock market. There was a drop-off in the outside temperature. Flies were dropping … like flies.
At the one local bookstore that still existed she went to pick up a book on dropping things. She had been told such books were located in the Self-Help section, which she didn’t like the sound of. Yet there she found several books addressing the subject, however the prose of the first pages of each one came off as too cheery, too supportive and encouraging and so positive sounding she resisted. The book told lots of stories from all sorts of different people who dropped things and how they cured, or coped, with this minor adversity. The book was targeted at a general readership of those people who were loosing their grip.
While reading a further five books on dropping things she dropped a scissors that pegged her thigh briefly. Her glasses broke into two pieces and she’d taped them back together, and the neighbor’s tiny dog fell from the nest of her usually secure arms and the doggie never quite trusted her again. Five ink pens at five different times of the day dropped from her fingers, the last three of which she just left lying there on the ground, and she also dropped her guard and bought something over the Internet and she dropped her latest suiter, or would have, if she had had one, but that was just part of her general feeling of ineptitude going a bit too far.
It was when her little finger on her left hand dropped off that she thought that maybe, really, there was something not right to all this. She reached down to pick up her little finger — unlike the cap to the bottle of ketchup, her knitting needles, an electricity bill, a banana peel and some objects she couldn’t quite quantify and finally had just left laying about — yet just as she gripped her fallen little finger, the two fingers gripping the fallen little finger fell, and now she was, at last, deeply alarmed. She got down on her knees to study the situation closer and her right kneecap flopped off. Using her lips, she tried to scoop up one of the three fingers laying on the floor — no longer trusting her fingers to stay put where they belonged — but just as she retrieved one finger in her mouth, her lower lip dropped off.
When her head suddenly wobbled, then went points south and just plain bounced and rolled to a spot near the bedroom door, she let it stay there. Right next to one of those pens. The way her life was going, she figured she wasn’t going to need her head.
Five weeks later lazy neighbors thought something slightly sinister might have occurred inside the eerily quiet house on the street. One called emergency services. Someone from social services dropped by on their way home and knocked on the door, rang the bell, put his face next to a front window, clapping his hands around his face to see in but couldn’t see anyone. He called a real emergency number the following day.
People who dealt with emergencies arrived and forced open the front door. Subsequent television news reports called the discovery inside “The Woman Who Fell Apart”.
“Bits and pieces of a longtime city resident, a female, were found in different areas of the house. Sources close to the investigation stated that fallen objects ranged from loose eyeballs to whole toe nails. Foul play has not been ruled out. There are currently no leads,” reported the television news reader. Within twenty-four hours, this local news event failed to pick up national coverage, so the news item on the woman who dropped things was dropped.