Before acquiring a forearm crutch, I used to breeze through doorways. Opening and closing them without giving them even a second thought. It actually surprises me sometimes just how difficult it is to juggle one’s purse or shoulder bad, trusty Aid, and a non-automatic door. There are almost no automatic doors in Moscow. And it also seems that the buildings and entrances that see a lot of traffic (i.e. the Big Library Named for a Famous Revolutionary, almost every station in the otherwise glorious Moscow Metro) have either: impossibly heavy doors from the Stalin’s era, which were meant to reflect power and security or doors whose hinges have no safety stop mechanism. They just swing wildly back and forth on the whims of those who pass through them at a breakneck urban pace or on the whims of the wind. Making it through these doors with only one free hand is always challenging, and can be downright dangerous. Most of the time, someone kind will come along and lend a necessary hand. But when that doesn’t happen? The result is either A.) absurd or B.) painful. For example, today I literally got sandwiched between a giant Big LIbrary door and its frame. I stood there oddly angled, trying to plot an escape (crutch out first. no. press with upper arm. no. Ah! Lean whole body into door and do a kind of twist and swing motion to get out. YES! Fortunately, I pulled it off with only a little wobbling. I didn’t actually fall, which would have only added to the general embarrassment of being trapped in Big Library’s front door. And then. Then then then. I went into the metro. And was promptly nearly whacked by one of the entrance’s high speed swinging doors, which the person in front of me had let go with a certain amount of careless unnecessary force. Missed the head. Whacked the knee. It could have been worse.
Bruised and frustrated. That was that.