In honor of today’s release of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II for the PC:
I find it curious that I’m rated as an 83 percent chance to lose a limb. Here’s why.
On Memorial Day 1998 I was involved in a car accident. A drunk driver, in an old pick-up truck, ran a stop sign and smashed into the side of my car, right behind the driver side door.
It was a beautiful day. I’d gone to KMart to buy potting soil, and rather than run the air conditioner in the car I had the windows rolled down. And when I do that, I normally have my left arm right on the window housing, outside of the car essentially.
My car was totalled. I went to the hospital with a concussion and cuts on my head. I remember getting out of my car and staggering around somewhat. Launchpad McQuack held the dictum that “Any crash you can walk away from is a good landing.” No car accident is a “good landing,” and no one was seriously injured in this one.
But ever since, I will wake up in the night and grab my left arm with my right hand, just to convince myself that my arm is still there. Because sometimes, I’d swear it’s not.
Maybe it’s just the fear that had the impact been even two feet closer to the front of the car the force would have gone straight into me–and by extension, my shoulder–than into the back half of the car. Would my left arm have been horribly mangled? Would I have been horribly mangled? Maybe it’s the doubt I harbor.
Maybe there’s a multiverse, like in Niven’s “All the Myriad Ways,” and in dreams we connect to worlds that are like ours, but not, and in those moments I touch worlds where, but for two feet, an accident could have been vastly different and far worse.
I just don’t know.