Getting Outside Saturday: One-Arm, One-Ball, No-Brain

categories: Cocktail Hour


             What a strange week. The theme has been one. As in one-armed and one-balled.  

            On the same week that I published a post about the one-armed explorer and Western visionary John Wesley Powell, I have been rendered temporarily one-armed myself, for all practical purposes, by a biking accident falling off this bridge:

            And while I ended up taking drugs (Oxycodone) because of biking, I spent three of my more coherent hours of the last 48 watching my fellow testicular cancer survivor talk to Oprah about drugs and bikes. I will admit that I was one of the suckers who saw in his life an inspirational story, not a great lie created and sustained by a bullying, lying sociopath. (More on this soon as I digest it.  For now see The Last Testicular Hero and The Meaning of Lance [the latter essay is pretty embarrassing now]) 

            Last night I woke up around three and sat straight up and yelled “You idiot!” It wasn’t Lance I was addressing but the impulsive, immature 51-year old writer who decided on Thursday, flush with exercise and the full sunshine of a 75 degree winter day, to cross the rickety wooden bridge he never crosses. Halfway across I remembered why, and lost my nerve. I tried to get my feet down but my bike shoes just skittered across the wooden planks. I had enough time, as I arced toward the ground to think “I’m probably going to die now” and the hit I took on my head when landing did nothing to alter that opinion as I waited for the darkness. Really. It felt like someone had taken a full swing with a baseball bat at my head. Thank god for helmets. The darkness did not come, to my true surprise. Usually I never see anyone in those woods but that day a student, a biology major named Clay, happened to be wandering through and helped me get the bike out to the road and hung with me as we waited for the ambulance. 

            I thought I was past shit like this. Apparently not. I have no neat wisdom to pass out to wrap this up, and after all who wants wisdom dispensed from a 51 year old who acts 25? I’ve got books to write, a daughter to father, a wife to love. Idiot indeed.  I feel like crap and I deserve to. How’s that for a moral?

         On the plus side, at least I didn’t recently flip over an ATV. Oh, wait…..


 P.S. Worried about my noggin and shoulder, I was happily surprised that my legs went unscratched.  At least I thought so until last night’s shower….




  1. Vasilios writes:

    I’m not quite sure… Everyone forgets to account for all the feelings of the present moment. You made a quick decision to cross based on your mood and the environment that second. It’s only stupid now looking back. It wasn’t then. Back then, you were just doing what you’re expected to do: living in the then.

    It’s not all bad news when you act 25 at 51.

    My current age is not important.

  2. Rahul Dave writes:

    Heal soon, Dave!

    Lance may have been a major liar, but the very fact that after his diagnosis and treatment, he stood up, fought against himself, worked hard, still makes him a hero, at least in the field of the mind, the field of the self. That remains inspirational to me..

    As a competitor against other humans, on the other hand, aah thats where the vileness exists…

  3. Tommy writes:

    First Bill, and now you? Pretty scary, Dave, no more dares! Best to stay on terra firms. Glad you only got some sense knocked into you, and there was someone there to help you to the street. A lesser man might have broken his neck. Most importantly, I’m glad your bike didn’t get hurt. 🙂 Ps – it’s still stoopid, even if you made it across.