It was 6 years ago that I was hit by a car. Remarkably, I came away with only a compound fracture in my leg, a chunk of scalp missing from my head, and slight scrape on the ass from when I landed after getting tossed through the air. It’s small details that stand out most. I remember jumping just before the impact (which quite possibly saved my leg, as the impact hit mid-calf instead of at the knee). I remember the hard punch of the windshield against my head. I remember the feeling of falling after I got launched into the air. I remember rolling over to get up, and my leg flopping to the left at a 90 degree angle. I remember the EMT telling me that, “For a skinny guy, you fucked that car up.” It took two years to walk without a cane, and about four and a half before I could run. I still walk with a limp (it gets better or worse depending on weather and activity) and I am definitely not a graceful runner by any stretch, but I can move when I need to. The one constant since then is the pain. There is not a second that goes by that some part of my lower left leg doesn’t hurt. I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s still always there. I don’t honestly remember what it feels like to not have pain in my leg. I still have moments where I’m drifting off to sleep and I feel the weightless sensation of falling before the pavement rushes up to meet me. But still, I consider myself extremely lucky. Maybe I don’t jump, or maybe I land on my head or my neck instead of my ass. A few inches here, a few inches there, and I’m not writing this. As a general rule, I try not to think about these things. Partly because it doesn’t do any good, but also because there’s a million what-ifs here. Sure another inch in one direction and I’d be dead, but another inch in the other, and maybe the car misses me completely. Like the man said, life’s a game of inches. I’m looking outside as I’m writing this, watching the weather turn cloudy. It’s warm and likely to be rainy tomorrow. Just like it was six years ago. I can feel the screws in my knee and ankle a bit more when the weather turns like this. Still, living with pain is a hell of a lot better than the alternative. Going to try and keep the navel-gazing to a minimum here. New short story is up next week, hopefully it’s one y’all like.