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July 20, 2017

When I heard the faint snap, I knew my ankle was done for. It was an instant realization, one that felt so familiar. This was going to be the third sprain in two years, which made me believe that I had a curse looming over me or I was short on karma points due to my past wrongdoings.  

I had gone up to rebound the ball and when coming down, my right foot landed awkwardly on someone else’s, turning my already vulnerable ankle. I laid on the court for a few seconds to catch my breath while accepting my dreaded fate. From experience, I knew the real pain would come tomorrow morning, but the sharp sting in my foot brought back memories.


December 31, 2016

I hadn’t worn a suit in a while, so it felt good to look dapper for a night. It rained earlier that day, so the streets of Downtown LA were a bit damp, which made the walk to the Ace Hotel a slippery stroll, especially in dress shoes.

New Year’s is my favorite holiday because it represents a figurative fresh start. When the clock strikes midnight, I gain a sense of optimism and excitement for days ahead, however, 2016’s celebration didn’t seem to carry the anticipation as pasts. The transition back to West Coast living had been unexpectedly difficult. The new job was intense, as I was trying to figure out what the hell I was doing, and my social life was struggling to gain traction after leaving my close relationships back in New York. A part of me actually wanted to back East. Even if it meant freezing my ass off in harsh winter conditions, I would get to toast up with my closest cohorts. Fortunately, my buddy Will from NYC was in town for NYE, so there was a familiar face to celebrate with.

After arriving at the decadent theater at the Ace Hotel, I linked up with Will and his friends and proceed to the libations. One drink. I used to be that guy who knew everyone at the function, being able to effortlessly work the room with small talk, jokes, and introductions, but now I felt like a total stranger. Two drinks. What happened to all the people I used to know in LA? Four years is a long time to be away and I’m not the best at maintaining relationships, but people also change over time. Three drinks. How am I going to be great in 2017? I usually have some goals in mind, but I didn’t have anything clear on the horizon.

I eventually reached a comfortable stage and I went to explore opulent venue. I descended the large set of marble steps leading to the main room, and on the very last step, I clumsily lost my footing and slipped. Damn tractionless dress shoes. As I tried to keep my balance, I heard a faint snap. I had a strong feeling on what just occurred. It wasn’t even midnight yet. What a way to bring in the New Year.


May 13, 2016

I thought she was super cute and cool, so I was glad she showed up to the party. A bunch of us were hitting up an event at the Samsung store in the Meatpacking District, and I invited her to come out. We had met earlier that week ago at a bar through mutual friends, and I was able to snag her number while keeping her company until her Uber came.

When it came to girls, I typically didn’t pursue very hard and my nonchalant demeanor can make things more complicated than it should be, especially when it came to deciphering my intentions. Maybe I was just jaded by the frivolous game that is the New York City dating scene. Or maybe it’s was due to my own pickiness which could be a front for my hesitation to commit. But she was intriguing and I wanted to get to know her better.

I greeted her with a hug and we proceeded to grab complimentary vodka mixed drinks while introducing her to the rest of the crew. Cazzette was DJing and his up-tempo electronic set amped up the turnt levels, encouraging everyone to test the limits of the open bar. When the free drinks dried up, we maneuvered the group of 12-15 people to next venue, Brass Monkey, where nothing good could ever come about. 

I was at the bar ordering drinks I shouldn’t be ordering when another friend came up to me. She and I weren’t in the best mindset to have a coherent conversion, but we somehow ended up talking about how we actually matched on a dating app way before becoming friends through mutual acquaintances and how we should’ve followed through on a  date. For some reason, this interaction was just a blur. I ultimately turned my attention back to my friend who I invited. I descended the stairs to get down to the main floor and right on the very last step, I lost my footing. My buddy Pan was standing next to the staircase and he said that I had minor fall and the bouncer next to us just gave me a look of disdain rather than helping me up. I hit a new low if I was considered another Brass Monkey hooligan. I found her and the rest of the group at a table nearby, and nobody seemed to have seen me fall other than Pan. She curiously asked what was going on with me and my other friend at the bar. In my then current state, I couldn’t quite digest the question and the increasing soreness in my foot was getting distracting. We ultimately took the party back to Miss Lily’s in the East Village, where dancing to dancehall riddims filled the rest of the night. 

The next morning, I woke with a throbbing pain in my ankle and I was shocked to see how much it swelled up, looking like my foot had gained 10 pounds. I supposed dancing on an injured ankle isn’t the smartest move, but not many good decisions were made the previous night. And for a moment, I actually forgot about my fall at Brass Monkey. I let out a disappointed sigh and turned over to her and asked if she wanted to grab some coffee before she went home.

Present Day

Luckily this recent ankle sprain wasn’t as severe as the last two, having healed pretty quickly in a few a days. Injuries suck, but you gain an interesting story to tell.

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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.

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