Danger Zone

I grew up in a house in a cul-de-sac, with a fairly long road leading up to the loop. In elementary school I took the bus home, and one day I was walking down my neighborhood’s main road, and I was about to turn onto the road leading to my house when I heard deep crackling. I was confused for a second, then I turned to my right just in time to witness some sixty feet of tree falling across the road twenty feet away from me. I thought to myself, “oh, that was kinda cool.” Then I walked around the tree and went home.

In retrospect, I see that I didn’t really develop a sense of self-preservation until middle school. The self-preservation kicked in when I ran down a trail in a Florida swamp that I thought was empty except for my friends who were weirdly huddled together at the far end. When I jogged up to them, I realized they were staring behind me, so I turned around, saw an alligator on the side of the trail, realized that the path was so narrow I had nearly stepped right on it, and I promptly freaked out.