I know a lot of people who love adventure and thrilling rushes of adrenaline. I am not among them. Jumping out of a plane or bungee-ing off of a bridge doesn’t fill me with fear nearly as much as confusion. I have no idea why anyone would want to do these things. I’ve heard that it makes you feel more alive, which is ironic because I feel most alive when I’m not engaging in activities that are likely to kill me. I’ve always dreamed of hosting one of those Stunts Gone Wrong shows that they play on Spike TV; the ones where they have some super ripped guy watching race car accidents and skateboarding mishaps and masculinely commenting that if that one screw hadn’t come lose that trick would have been amazing. These shows are missing a golden opportunity to have me saying things like, “What the fuck was that guy thinking?” and being constantly incredulous. I would make the brave guys in the flaming cars look so brave (and a tiny bit dumb).
I am uncomfortable with heights. I don’t like roller coasters or waterslides (a weak inner ear and deep fear of drowning, respectively). Biking downhill can only end in tears and I believe eighteen wheelers on the highway will suck you up into them, based on my driver’s ed teacher, Mr. Carman (his real name), saying that to our entire class when I was fourteen. I also believe I could potentially get sucked into and stuck in a storm drain. I may be neurotic, but at least I understand physics.
This terrified comprehension comes from a lifetime of being clumsy. I am always falling, tripping, needing an embarrassingly small amount of stitches, needing tiny surgeries on minor bodily situations, etc. My first week at my new job, I tripped over a carpet and missed pitching face first into a marble table in front of a horrified group of traders. I regularly catch air just walking on the sidewalk. I nearly broke my wrist falling down subway stairs and soberly smash my face into things all the time. What the world at large deems wimpy, seems to me to be evolutionary advancement. I only had three wisdom teeth and I’m drawn to activities that keep me from dying in a way that will encourage awkward but hilarious jokes at my funeral.