Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When the Guy Says, 'Watch Your Head'

"Watch your head," the guy said as we got on the Ferris wheel Sunday at the carnival. They always say that, of course. Turns out there's a reason.

I stepped up and – SMACK – hit my head hard on the cross bar. Saw stars. My hat flew off. I lost a little bit of skin, a patch maybe the size of a quarter, dead center right at the hairline, as if I could afford to lose any there. It bled a little so I performed my personal first aid – put my hat back on.

Today it's two days later and my head feels fine. My neck is a little sore, as if I had jammed it or something. But I'll survive. I can turn my head, it just hurts a little when I do.

The big disappointment is – I have been reading the neurologist Oliver Sacks, his stories about head injuries causing all sorts of interesting mental things – people coming out of a coma or suffering a head injury and suddenly speaking a language they didn't previously know, or with an Irish accent, or suddenly manifesting new musical abilities or memory feats or, you know, cool stuff. There are of course far more stories in Sacks' books about terrible things, but I try not to focus on those.

So today I'm asking, where's the Russian? Where's the sudden ability to play piano, or do complicated lightning math in my head? I'm feeling sort of let down here. I'm the same old boring guy I always was, only with a sore neck. That hardly seems fair.

Oh, but the church carnival we were at had advertised they'd have 3 tons of roast pork on hand – 6,000 pounds! That was no disappointment. Had a pulled pork sandwich that easily had a pound of pork on it. Delicious. Made the head injury worthwhile.

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