On the last night of my recent tour for "One Hand Jerking: Reports From an Investigative Satirist," I was on my way to to the Capitola Book Cafe in Central California when I tripped and my head struck the curb, resulting in a deep gash diagonally across my brow. Paramedics bandaged me, checked my vital signs, ascertained that I didn't have a concussion, and said that I would need stitches. My friend said that he'd drive me to the hospital, but I insisted on going to the bookstore first. There had been much publicity for my appearance and, enabled by endorphins, I could meet that responsibility.
We got there at 7:30, exactly when my reading was scheduled. There was a standing-room-only crowd. This would turn out to be a totally bizarre experience--simultaneously hysterical and grotesque--making this large group of strangers laugh while I was bleeding profusely. I managed to keep the audience in stitches, then later went off to the Emergency Room and got seven literal stitches of my own. Had my fall been slightly different, I could have been blinded in one eye, or had a bunch of teeth smashed out, or maybe died in an instant of fragility.
I feel extremely lucky. I'm unspeakably grateful to the deity I don't believe in. And so my one and only resolution--which hasn't been waiting until 2006 to be activated--is simply this: "Watch your step." It's my new mantra.