When I was sixteen, I broke my ankle dropping into an empty swimming pool on my skateboard. The cops came shortly after I crashed, which wouldn’t have been so bad had the other kid and I been there legally. As it was, we had climbed over the fence to access the town’s public pool, shuttered for the off-season. I ignored my throbbing ankle and ran. We had no choice. We ran like hell, clambered back over the fence, and ran some more.
Since those years of rules-be-damned delinquency, I have mothballed the skateboard but continued to test my body with spectacular falls and minor misfortunes. Most of my recent injuries have occurred while mountain biking, none serious enough to keep me from pedaling, just superficial stuff where a small first-aid kit suffices. Meg, cheeky wifey, bought me a big kit and a dozen boxes of Band-Aids for Christmas last year. Anyone who has seen my shins, scarred from pedal bite, knows I will never be a leg model, a heart-rending reality I accept. When I shuffle off this mortal coil, this cloak of a body will be patched and threadbare, a thrift store reject.
“I think you suffer from toxoplasmosis,” my friend Kim said to me.
When asked about this mysterious disease, she defined it as a danger addiction caused by exposure to cats and their feces. Growing up, I did have a cat. Actually, two. Kim asked our friend Kyle, who likes to do the same stuff I do, if he had a kitty when he was a kid. One, he replied. Based on this statistically valid sample of two, I guess she’s right. Latent Infection by Toxoplasma gondii has been associated with enhanced risk-taking personality profiles and suicidal behavior, according to the ever reliable Wikipedia. A link between cat turds and suicidal behavior? I raise an eyebrow. One thing is certain though: Boredom is suicidal.