I am nothing if not a thrill seeker. I’ll drive a day and a half and spend three paychecks for a dump of adrenaline. Some say I’m a little bit wild. It’s always been in my blood, I think, but the change was more gradual. Swimming pools turned to cliff diving turned to skydiving. Now I can’t go a day without thinking of new ways to faceoff with the odds. And it drives my mother crazy.

Now I wouldn’t say she’s the kind to always play it safe, but she was never someone who’d really just up and run away. She’d be all about the idea, maybe start to pack a bag, but always managed to talk herself out of it before push came to shove. So I didn’t get this from her. But I’m even less like my father. He, as long as I’ve known him, has always been all about practicality. He’s never told me crazy stories. Maybe he’s just choosing to keep them from me, but I feel as though we’d relate more if he had the same hunger for danger as me. Again, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Perhaps it’s from reading too many books? Nonsense, there is no such thing. Maybe a result of writing too many poems, being too introspective? That’s a possibility, I guess, but it doesn’t seem like enough. Or it could just be that I’ve brushed by Death a little too close when he’s come to collect loved ones. I’ve felt the chill and it stuck in my bones so long that I nearly set myself on fire to feel something again. Then, of course, came the swimming to soothe the burn. We know where it goes from there.

Sometime after that I realized that there was little I could truly depend on – the fires would sometimes go out, the water would sometimes dry up. My constants were time and gravity; days always pass and things always fall. That was when I got it in my head to begin jumping, and I haven’t looked back since. It drives my mother crazy, but I’d rather feel the pull of life than count the days to death.


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