It occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last few birthdays I've had...although this may be a direct result of getting older.
I know there were dinners eaten, and cake, and presents, but after a while things start to run together. I honestly cannot remember what I did last year. If I think hard enough, I remember that last September I was on strike from work and spent my two weeks off cleaning out the basement; sealing and painting the cinder blocks in the laundry room.
This year I planned to do a little better than that.
One thing that's been on my to-do list for a while... Skydiving.
They say that humans are only born with two fears: fear of loud noises and fear of falling.
I'm one of those mental patients who actually want to fall on purpose, preferably from an airplane. For me, I think this is the closest thing you can get to flying, something I've always wanted to do. Down-hill skiing is second, one of the reasons why I've always loved it. It's the fastest you can go without the aid of any power machinery. I've always been something of an adrenaline junkie. And skydiving fits the bill.
I knew there was something not quite right with me when I asked my brother a few years ago, "Do you ever get the urge to jump off stuff?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know, like when you're on the chair lift, going up the mountain?"
"Sometimes you get really high off the ground. Really high. You're just sitting on this little seat in the air. Nothing holding you back."
"Don't you ever have the urge to jump off?"
"Sometimes my legs start twitching. I really want to jump off. Sometimes I have to brace myself. Is it just me?"
He looks at me with a nervous sideways glance, "Umm... I think it's just you."
"Huh...hmmm, I thought other people thought that, too."
"You're a weirdo."
So I've found this skydiving place not too far away from the cities, over in Wisconsin. Of course, researching this online, I find hundreds of skydiving videos...mainly horrible accidents. Videos of people's chutes malfunctioning, videos of people crashing on the ground, someone's limbs getting severed. A video of somebody shattering their pelvis.
I really didn't want to see all that.
But this video takes the cake. I cannot think of worse luck; it's ridiculous. But then again, he had enough luck to survive it.