Great Falls

Canal Street

Walking on Canal Street with my two sisters and a niece, I slipped on the curb and fell on my face. We’d booked a hotel room downtown to celebrate the niece’s graduation, a welcome reason to eat and drink and shop in the French Quarter.

A sidewalk preacher stopped his sermon: “You need an ambulance?” he asked. “No, no,” I said. “Thank you.” I hadn’t dropped the giant iced tea in my left hand, and a sister pried my fingers loose from the cup. “How do I look?” I asked. “Your nose is bleeding,” she said. Tourists and locals stared. “She’s not drunk,” the other sister said. I walked to our hotel on a cloud of shock. I’d never fallen before. The niece followed, wordless, through the lobby.

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