Of all the things I ever imagined doing by accident, I never gave even a thought to inadvertently stepping on someone’s face. Okay, I guess it’s possible to knick a few heads here and there in the dark while camping or something, but I never could have predicted this event at a beach at a time with ample daylight.
As you might guess, this story ends with me trodding* on a human face. at the beach. during the day. Let’s set the scene a little. I was at the beach with a friend, soaking up the rays of sun in the last few days before school started. This beach was nothing exceptional, barring one thing: the waves were HUGE. As a relatively infrequent beachgoer, I can say that these were the largest waves I have ever seen. I was ready to run screaming into them like an idiot, but then I found out that my friend had brought along a ball and a set of mitts for playing catch. HOWEVER. These were not just any mitts—they were those awesome velcro plates that catch the ball for you, and are meant for children. They also happen to be perfect for hopeless athletes like me. So, eager as I was to go for a swim, I postponed it in favor of playing a game of catch (as opposed to my normal game of “drop”). Naturally, we played close to the edge of the water…enough to get our feet wet, and close enough that losing the ball to the ferocious ocean was a distinct possibility. Really keeps the adrenaline pumping. So we threw and caught that ball like it was our job. Diving, and twisting, and jumping, and just generally making fools out of ourselves. In the event of a missed toss, we were usually able to snatch the ball out of the water before it was pulled too far out. One time though, I missed the ball completely, and not having the slightest hint of landing location, I began to hunt around the shore. All of a sudden, a wave broke on the beach, revealing a person crawling out of the water. HE CAME FROM NOWHERE. Picture this. Empty beach. Wave 10 feet away. Wave hits. Suddenly boy appears. Not only that, he was holding the lost velcro ball. Bet you thought I was going to step on his face. Nope. Not this guy. I just laughed my head off. But, this allowed me to become familiar with the perils of randomly appearing people, and you would think that I would have been on my guard. Nope again.
It was later, after we had played in the huge waves for a while. I had just received more than my daily value of sodium via my nasal cavity, and hurried to get to the shore so that I might ride out the pain while lying on the beach instead of being pummeled by more liquid salt. I was merely steps from the edge of the water, when I felt something squashy under my foot. It was a texture unlike any other that had ever touched the underside of my feet. Yes, this was the face. In only one or two feet of water, a head (connected to a body) had appeared, and had been positioned directly under my hasty feet. Of course, I did not realize it was a human until the wave had receded, seconds after my offense had occurred. Before I could start spewing apologies to this man lying in the sand, the man said “Sorry!” cheerfully, and disappeared again in the waves. He apologized to ME. After I planted a FOOT on his face. What.
*Microsoft Word tells me that “trodding” is not a word. If I can “trod” on a face, why can’t I frequently be “trodding” on faces? The English language is confusing…I’m going to stick with “trodding,” because I believe it has a nice ring to it.