Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The One Where Kenny Doesn't Die

Freak accidents. They happen, and people die. It sucks balls, but it happens. Accidents happen, people die. What makes the accidents freakish? I never stopped to wonder this until--well, let's just say I had me one of those. It's something accidental, yet out of the ordinary--not the kind of accident I've ever imagined happening. I imagine car crashes, or slipping in the bathtub, or falling down the stairs.

I don't imagine bits of ceiling falling down and cracking my head open while I'm minding my own business, at work.

Allow me to clarify: my head was not cracked open. I'm as alive and healthy now as I was at 4:14 PM yesterday afternoon, which was right before a big metal vent randomly fell from the ceiling 5 feet from where I sat. It was heavy, and because it was pretty high up, it gathered a fair amount of force when it fell, gouging a line into the wall as it fell onto a bookcase where, but a miracle or, likely just the randomness of life, no one was standing.

Me and my colleagues, we often stand there.

This is what fell.

This is what it fell from, this gappy slot at the top of the picture.

It was loud and startling, but it wasn't unnerving until after I began to think about it that I began to realize how bad it could have been. Yes, it missed me, but is that the same as not being in danger? I was five feet away from a freak accident and a sobering story for friends to tell at parties.

From there, it only got worse--right before I went home, my ankle turned and I nearly did a face-plant in front of the Check-Out desk. By the time I drove home, I was feeling like Kenny--still alive, but glancing uneasily at anything even remotely dodgy or precarious, like the gardener's truck in front of me that had rakes and hoes in the bed, unsecured and poking out every which way. 

Today, I'm still alive--but still a little solemn, thinking about all the ways that our lives can change, even end, because of freak accidents. The things we never see coming.

I bet Kenny would agree.