When I was 18 years old, I lived in our cabin for three months by myself. In the middle of the night two days after my birthday in July a storm picked up and I could hear things banging around on my deck, which had recently been coated in finish.
I went outside to grab the decorative lanterns and vases so they wouldn’t get smashed in the wind. Rain water had collected on the deck. The wood panels would usually absorb the moisture but with the newly done finish, it just settled on top.
Because I lived alone I don’t know how long I was out for. But eventually I woke up and realized that I was laying, soaked in the rain, and my neck was tilted, my temple settled on the step above me. I don’t remember how but somehow I made it to bed.
The next day I threw up and passed out in my bathroom. I called my friend who was staying across the street at her family cabin for her time off from teaching for the summer. She and her mom drove me to the nearest hospital where I couldn’t tell the doctor my middle name or what month it was. My friend whispered to me that my birthday had been two days ago. I guessed September.
I was told to take two weeks off work. When I returned it took a while for my memory to come back. I couldn’t remember what side dishes we had to offer or what a club house sandwich was. People looked at me funny and I found myself constantly explaining, I gave myself a bad concussion.
I know it’s a dumb, useless story. And if you stuck through it, I commend you. But every summer since then, I find that story being told around the campfire and I watch people’s faces fall as they tell me, “you’re really lucky.” And I’m reminded that yes, yes I am lucky.
I came across this picture, taken 6 days after it happened, while I was trying and failing to sleep so I thought I’d bore someone with my story. Here it is. Here’s your reminder to be careful.