Land Mines in Baltimore

Once again a casualty of one of Baltimore’s many IEDs, Intentionally Embedded Devices, I’m regarding my swollen left knee as I lay with it elevated and iced, and recall the raised water main cover that got me this time.

Craftily planted near the end of a street with a stop sign, and in the crossing path of pedestrians, it lurks mostly hidden by cars which line up over it as they await their turn to pull out onto W. Mount Royal Ave.

Thus, if you’re unfortunate enough to arrive at the curb when a car is in position, you have no reason to suspect there’s anything there but flat pavement, which you’re going to hustle across because there are lots of impatient drivers who seem willing to run you down.

Toting a couple of grocery bags, I saw my break and strode quickly out, timing it as the car at the stop sign was moving away. Bam! Down on my left knee hard, benighted by Baltimore once again for doing battle with it’s terrain. Abrasions on my palms, groceries in the street.

The last time, the IED was a loose brick on the Bolton Hill side of the street. It was a hot sunny morning and I decided to go for the shade. Boy, was it ever shady. On the quaint old sidewalk a perfect brick lay positioned, level with all the rest. The one just past it had a chunk taken out of it, so you can be sure I wasn’t going to step on that one.

The ball of my left foot planted on the perfect brick, which rocked forward into the open space created by the missing chunk and launched me like a baseball player sliding headfirst into first base.
Torn pants, abraded and bleeding palms, but a survivor.

Thinking back to a Sunday matinée at the BSO, and watching many older people limping in on canes, stumping in on walkers, and rolling in on wheelchairs, I wonder how many of them are just succumbing to old age and how many are victims of Baltimore’s land mines.

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