Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fortuna Hates Me

The rest of the '56 summer was relatively uneventful. I had what I thought was an odd vision a couple of weeks after my mother made me stop using my left hand. I was looking at a scene outside. A van with some writing on the side was passing by. As I watched, the entire scene appeared to reflect through a vertical line down the middle of my view. The van had been moving to my right. Now it was moving to my left. The writing was reversed and now unreadable. Then, suddenly the writing appeared readable.

The strange thing about this memory is that I have no recollection of the scene returning to normal. I don't remember the reflection being reversed. I only remember becoming used to the new way. Maybe it switched back and I didn't notice. Or maybe it never switched back.

About that time the sling came off and my wrist was healed enough for me to engage in tree climbing. Tree climbing was one of my great loves and I couldn't wait to get back to it.

Across the street from our back door was a clearing with some birch and fir trees. I picked a fir tree to climb and got out on a branch that was about five feet off the ground. I was hanging from it like a sloth and inched my way out the branch.

Don't ever do that. I thought the branch would droop gradually as I moved out. Instead, it dropped suddenly, all at once, when I reached some critical point. It dropped the back of my head onto a waiting rock. My head snapped forward slamming my upper jaw onto my lower, and my two front teeth broke off.

They were baby teeth and I could expect new teeth to grow in. But with all the other crap that had happened it was too much. It was like the time mumps were followed by chicken pox followed by mumps again. I felt like I was specifically being targeted by nature and the gods for attack.

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