Age 5: Apparently, my stupid ass decided to ride a clothes basket down the stairs. As the story goes (I don't remember it, I just hear it all the time from family members), I crashed in a lucky spot: about 3 inches from getting impaled by a ceramic cupid statue that sits beside my grandma's coffee table. I had the scar beside my eye until…well I still have it. It's a scar.

Age 8: One of my earliest memories was receiving a chemistry set for my birthday. It wasn't anything fancy; there were maybe 10 actual compounds that could hurt me if I combined them properly. Turns out, I ended up mixing a liquid compound with bleach that, without even having need for heat, becomes what most people know as “Mustard gas.” My sister was able to convince me to leave the garage before anything bad happened…but I'm pretty sure that this experience explains why I twitch in my sleep…heh.

Age 12: I had this wicked awesome electric blanket. Well, one day, I decided to remove the cord from it and experiment. One end of the cord was plugged into the outlet, the other was open and had two little holes. I grabbed a coathanger, bent it up a little bit and stuck it in one of those holes. Within a fraction of a second (because, duh, electricity moves fast), I was being electrocuted. My mom had to hit me with a broom to stop it. As you can tell, I was a difficult kid. I'm sure that goddamned broom was a bit of therapy for my momma.

Age 14: My best friend at the time, Andy, and I were looking around in the woods for a premium spot to build a fort. This was during hunting season and I was wearing a brown t-shirt. Add two and two together there.
I wasn't shot, but I was shot at by this drunk redneck fuck who didn't even apologize when he found out that it was a pubescent and not his prized 10 point.

Age 16: I pulled out in front of a MAC Truck on the highway. It didn't hit me but my momma still swears that this was a near-death experience.

Age 17: I was working at Ruby Tuesday's as a salad bar attendant late into the night. This particular night, I got off work at 3 A.M., and started driving my 90s Buick Century home. On the way, I popped in a Nappy Roots CD into the player, lit a cigarette, recoiled back in my seat–DEER!. I hit the motherfucker going at least 50. It rolled up the hood and off the windshield. I was all shook up (uh-huh), so I got out the car and came to find that the deer wasn't dead. It was pissed the fuck off. It's guts were hangin out all over the place. I decided to end its life to spare it the pain. Grabbed a buck knife from the back seat, came outside and slit its throat. Probably my most hardcore moment, if only because I did it with reckless abandon.

Age 20: I actually wrote about this before here, but late one night in December, I was drunk and in my apartment building's hallway when two large black men approached me, asked for a cigarette and proceeded to hit me in the face with a bottle of Jack Daniels. They stole my wallet, broke two ribs and permanently scarred me from bumming out cigarettes. Funny enough, I still like blackies in general.

Age 20: In Morgantown, there's a place all the cool kids go called Blue Hole. It's an awesome spot out in the middle of nowhere that has this rusty bridge that's about 80 feet above a pretty deep river. Along the river are these huge rocks that people jump off of; but sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes you get really drunk and decide that you want to jump from the bridge. Well, I tottled up to this bridge where these old dudes were tellin' me that I shouldn't do it. I told them to fuck off and hopped the railing. I dangled from the bridge for a moment, and realized that I had made a bad choice. Alas, I was too drunk (and most of all proud) to try to pull myself up. I let go and started falling. Mid-way through the air, for some reason, my body started leaning back. By the time I hit the water, I was nearly upside-down.

It hurt like fuckin hell.

So what have I learned from all this?

One thing, mainly.

And that one thing is…

Death can't catch me. It ain't my time to die just yet. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, but life is stronger than you'd think.