I almost died this week.
You’re probably wondering how I can be emotionally recovered enough to be writing about that, just a day or two later. But the truth is, this is not my first near death experience.
I seem to have regular, periodic episodes that allow me to evaluate my life as it flashes before my eyes and see how I’m doing so far.
Some of these episodes may, admittedly, be of my own doing. I seem to have this occasional cerebral hiccup that allows me to believe my skills and abilities are far above where they are in reality. Some are due to the choices of others or the Fates. Either way, they do manage to keep life exciting.
Like the time I was trampled by a horse.
Or the time I was hit by a car.
Or that time I almost rolled backwards over the edge of Pikes Peak. Good times!
Or that one time I tried CrossFit. (Seriously people. Who invented that torture??)
I also know that my frequent traveling increases my potential for danger. While I understand that flying is stastically safer than driving in my car, let’s face it. When you’re hurtling through the air at hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet off the ground, it doesn’t take much to throw things off.
Even with that delicate balance, in all the hundreds of flights I have taken in the past few years, I have never been in danger, and have escaped with nary a scratch (if we don’t count the head injuries from the monstrous backpacks people carry).
I’m afraid I can’t say the same about the airports, however.
Like the time that the escalator handrail decided to eat my sweater, that I happened to be wearing at the time. The handrail tried to pull my sweater back down, as the rest of me continued to follow the step under my feet up.
That could have ended badly.
Or the time that I nearly got crushed by the automatic train door. I barely escaped, but my bag wasn’t so lucky,
The airport was the scene for this week’s near death encounter too.
For any of you unfamiliar with the Denver airport, to get from any of the terminals to the main terminal, you have to take a train. And to get to this train you have to go down a set of escalators.
There is one escalator that takes you halfway down, then you make a U-turn to get on the second escalator that will take you to the bottom.
This means the second escalator is slightly offset and below the top one. This will be important in a second.
I had successfully made it down the first escalator, made my U- turn, and was about halfway down the second, when the incident occurred.
Someone who was still on the top escalator- and who evidently skipped or slept through the day momentum and gravity and falling objects was explained in physics class- either failed to see the need to secure their metal water bottle to their bag or their person, or decided that was a good time to juggle this metal water bottle and missed the grab.
The water bottle took a swan dive over the side of the top escalator and arced through the air to miss my head by inches, and land on the step right behind me on the bottom escalator.
Did I mention this water bottle was metal?
So when it failed to give me a much more serious head injury than any I’ve received from gargantuan backbacks, it nearly succeeded in taking me out with a heart attack at the sound of metal hitting metal right behind me.
At least, had it succeeded in ending my life, I would have been glad I hadn’t seen it coming.
I retrieved the water bottle, and had a very educational lesson on physics ready to deliver to the owner when they retrieved it at the bottom. However, the owner decided they weren’t interested in either the lecture or the water bottle, and never came forward.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to try to make sure I get all I can out of the few lives I have remaining.