I almost drowned. Last year. My foot slipped and suddenly I was in over my head. Water all around me. Blue. Bubbles. I didn't open my mouth. My mom kept asking me later if I felt okay, if I'd swallowed any water, if my throat was alright, if I felt like I was choking. I didn't open my mouth. I didn't choke. I didn't drown.
Everyone seems to have great reflexes. You throw a ball and they catch it. Keys, pens, books, you name it. D tossed an adapter at me the other day. I shook my head at him afterward and said "don't you know me at all?!" and picked it up off the floor. The doctor once tapped my knee. Not even the slightest hint of a twitch did I make.
I step off the street without noticing a bus barreling at me. I don't squeal and step back. My foot keeps moving forward, my brain says "oh no..." my eyes fixate on the bus. The bus stops. I set my foot on the ground and move on. My heart beats a little faster, but that is all.
My grandfather died. I heard my grand uncle on the phone. "Appa died" I said to my sister. I picked out the clothes my grandma said he should be cremated in, packed them into a bag to take to the hospital. I held my sister's hand. "Why are you being so stolid, little one?" I hadn't cried.
I noticed the car veering off to the side and off the road. I uttered one short exclamation of surprise. I climbed out into the ditch. I started taking my stuff out of the car.
"Oh man, how do you get through life without getting hurt all the time?" D asks.
I don't know how I avoid getting hit in the head with a ball or getting run over by a bus. But. I didn't open my mouth. I didn't drown. I made myself useful. I didn't turn into a wreck. I didn't freak out.
And I don't know what that's worth when perhaps buses are coming at me from all sides, but it's got to be worth something.