Having only one eye that functions as it should has a whole host of consequences. My sense of smell is quite a bit keener than average, my verbal capacities are very well-developed, and my intuitive reasoning manages to surprise even me sometimes. It also means I have no depth perception, my balance is seriously compromised, and my spatial reasoning suffers considerably.  Ah, the give and oh, the take.

Anyone who has spent any time around me knows that I am accident prone, I bruise easily, and I fall down. A lot. Not just a lot for an adult, a lot for a drunken toddler. I trip, I misstep, my feet disappear from beneath me and I topple. Usually this happens when I am in the midst of doing something fun. This is not meant to read as a euphemism for “when I am drinking” though it certainly has gone that way, it is simply to point out that somehow, when I am having the most fun, it is also the most likely moment for me to hurt myself. This has become so true that I now have a handy and glib little phrase to trot out when it happens: If I didn’t get hurt, how would I know if I had fun?

One Thanksgiving weekend, some years ago, I was having SO MUCH FUN! A group of the usual suspects had gone to Bend for the annual Deep Fried Turkey and Drinking Derby and we’d gotten a truly lovely house for the lot of us. This was open beam construction, grand kitchen, pool table having lovely. Double doors in the main entry and an apartment over the garage for those who needed extra privacy. Also in the garage was a ping pong table. The inevitable game of Beer Pong ensued, and though I did not play (see above re: lack of depth perception, spatial reasoning) I was enjoying the spectacle considerably. At this point, tipsy and giddy, I realized there was something in the house I wanted at that very moment. At present, I cannot recall what that was, but why I can’t may become clear quite soon. As I raced back toward the house, as fast as my bare feet would carry me, I rounded a corner and sped toward the open of the two double doors. Much to the chagrin of my face, which struck it first at full tilt,  it turned out not to be an open door so much as a plate glass window. My friend Jason, who witnessed this impact from the inside of the door, said as I hit the window and then slid slowly toward the floor it was like watching a cartoon in real life and that he was deeply conflicted between genuine concern and hysterical laughter. The former overwhelmed the latter, and he came outside and picked me up with considerable tenderness and very minimal audible laughter. This is evidence that despite all other facts about him, he is probably a saint.

I managed to give myself a concussion, and a nasty scar on the bridge of my nose where my glasses slammed into my face with all my weight and speed behind the impact. I had a monster headache, was nauseated, and cried for about 4 hours off and on; partly in pain, partly in humiliation, and partly in annoyance that in my concussed absence, some other girl was downstairs singing opera at the crowd and I was not fit to go down there and show her who was boss of that skill. (Hint: Not Her)

On fun occasions I have sustained injuries of smaller scope in both hilarity and severity:

Sunriver August ’08: Faulty sprinkler valve cover collapsed on me during a Frisbee game, sunk to my knee on the run. Scrapes.

Reno Roadtrip August ’08: Giant cinder landed on hand. Burn

Indian Head Beach October ’08: Bashed self in the face with a surfboard on errant wave: Fat lip.

Opal Creek July ’10: Slip and fall during descent to creek for kayaking trip. Broken hand

Clackamas River August ’10: Clotheslined by flotilla. Rope burn.


And I could go on, but there are too many to recount.

This last weekend I had more fun than I have had in recent memory, and so, naturally, I also hurt myself. I had, in fact, JUST gotten done telling my hiking companion

“Wow, it’s so great! I haven’t even fallen down!”

Which was clearly a cue for the Universe to Smite Me for my cheek, in this case on my cheek. Accordingly, I slipped as I was clambering over a rock and landed with all due force on my rear end. Hard. My hiking companion was compassionate and picked me up and brushed me off with great facility. He seemed distressed, but I knew that it was evidence of just how much fun I was having.