I was an 18-year-old punk with a monumental chip on my shoulder. You know, the kind of kid certain of his indestructability, sure of his immunity from the dangers of self-destructive behavior.
At 2:00 a.m. on a random Wednesday morning in June 1994, after a long day and night of double-ended candle-burning, I set out for home in my Plymouth Horizon. At the time, my car was bedecked with stickers loudly displaying the names of late-60s rock bands. No shoes, no seatbelt, no problem.
Not even halfway home, I was awakened by the sound of rumble strips, just in time to fully experience my car leaving the road and careening over an embankment. After rolling down the hill, the vehicle settled on its wheels and I, surprisingly, landed in the driver’s seat. But all was not well.
Broken glass. My right leg was visibly fractured. I had hit the passenger seat so hard that it was dislodged from its mooring. Blood dripped on my white T-shirt.