Reason #438: I tend to exaggerate.
The first time I nearly died, I was probably ten years old. It was a hot summer afternoon. The kind of day you wouldn’t dare step outside for fear your shoes would melt to the pavement. I think.
It might have been a frigid winter’s night, so cold it would freeze a sneeze in mid-air.
Doesn’t matter. Point is, I was ten. Probably.
My parents weren’t home. No doubt taking my sister, the only child they truly loved, to dance class. I didn’t get classes. Or attention. Just scraps of food, tossed into my room every other day or so. Usually leftover peas.
Again, doesn’t matter. Point is, my parents weren’t home.
It was just my brother, a twelve-year-old trouble-making machine, alone with his naïve, innocent little sibling. Me.
I was minding my own business, making papier-mâché figures of Gandhi or writing letters of peaceful protest to evil animal-testing corporations. I don’t remember exactly. But, I was doing God’s work.
Suddenly, and without provocation, my ne’er-do-well brother maliciously and violently attacked me.
Keep in mind, I’m a strong guy. Even then I was the toughest 76-lb string bean this side of fourth grade. But Jeff, he's a beast. At twelve, he carried 180 pounds of sheer muscle with the ease of Hercules delivering helium balloons to a kindergartner’s birthday party.
Still, I could have taken him, if I saw it coming.
There, sitting quietly, quilting an afghan for my mother, I was blind sided with a kidney shot so vicious it would have knocked Rocky 2 all the way to Rocky 4.
My breath was sucked out of me faster than the cream filling from my birthday donut. (My parents didn’t love me enough to buy me treats. All I got was one donut. Per year. On my birthday. And, I don’t even like cream filled donuts.)
Point is, I couldn’t breath. I was dying. Right there. In front of my brother.
What did he do? My only brother? Convinced I was dying?
He ran to the phone and called for help. “Please get here fast. My loving, innocent brother, who I so callously and rebelliously boxed, is desperately attempting to draw what could be his final breath! Please, hurry!”
Except that’s not what he did.
To be clear, I’m not saying he didn’t run. He definitely ran.
It’s just, he ran downstairs. To watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island.
But I’m the one who’s going to hell.
Have a near-death experience of your own involving Bob Denver? Share it in the comments below.