Waking up on the side of the road can change your world.

Wow! There’s flashing lights, police directing traffic, everything. I wonder what’s going on. One look at my wrist answers that question, giving new meaning to the term ‘limp wrist’. Now I remember. I look at my body. Everything seems intact, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. It all happened so fast that there wasn’t much I could do to prevent it, but every time I play it back in my mind, it’s in slow motion, up to the moment where I hit the pavement and black out. I saw them there on the side of the road, the thirteen-year-old kid riding a motorcycle with his three-year-old sister on back, just diddling around as though the major highway through the center of their town didn’t even exist. Then they cut right in front of me, why I don’t know; I guess to get to the other side. There wasn’t even time to beep the horn; I just went into a hard swerve to avoid them, thinking that any second they’ll see me and slam on brakes. They didn’t. I almost got past, but not quite. The wheels touched, plopping them to the pavement at ten miles per hour, and slinging my Honda 750 bike approximately sixty yards on a sixty-mile-per-hour Frisbee throw. I went forty yards myself in another direction, ending up in somebody’s front yard. Fortunately the gate was open.

Little by little the village people returned my wallet, my cell phone, everything except my father’s Rolex. This is definitely a Miller moment. I wish I had a cold one right now; I guess I could use a new pelvis, too, but a cell phone will have to do. This might be a good time to call Mom. Thank God for technology. In the operating room six hours later, they pop the Big Question: will that be Visa or Mastercard? The wrist needs re-operating, but I still can’t find the definition of ‘elective surgery’ in my dictionary. The bed-rest left me with a case of nerve damage in the foot that was in traction. Other than that, all’s well that end’s well. Still any way I re-play the tape, the verdict is always the same: I probably couldn’t have pulled out of that swerve even if our wheels hadn’t touched. Without even thinking about it, I died so those kids could live. This is the afterlife. You can never appreciate consciousness so much as when you lose it.

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