Of Concussions and Helmets
December 1998

It sounds odd to say you remember your first concussion. But I really do remember quite a lot.

I was me. I knew myself as an entity. I was who was.

I became aware of my identity, not in a name/address sense, but in the familiar skin sense. Oh, and I had a physical presence. I existed in space.

Darkness was all, but there were sounds. Not scary, but suggesting space beyond me. Outdoors, perhaps?

I had eyes and could open them. I chose to and saw that I was on the side of a mountain. There was snow everywhere. I was near the end of a slope, but not quite finished it. I debated very briefly over whether to simply ride my snowboard down the little left, but quickly took it off and walked.

I saw Ken and greeted him. I asked how his lesson went. Not well. I told him I'd fallen, but didn't remember how (still don't). He was concerned and asked about his fingers. I counted them correctly. We went inside for a respite.

I wasn't doing too well on the quiz Ken was administering. I couldn't remember what movie had played on the bus up that morning. I hadn't slept and knew I had watched it, but couldn't remember a damn thing about it. It was like feeling the mass of a thing in your hand, but not knowing its shape.

Jogen arrived and to Ken's relief, I recognized him immediately. Ken briefed Jogen, who contributed a few easy stumpers. After quite a time my face brightened. "We're all roommates!" I announced, with evident pride. Their looks grew more alarmed.

I was tired. All through lunch they had been asking me questions. I was now getting nearly all of them right. Even ones I couldn't just 30 minutes ago. I wanted to take a nap. They let me.

I didn't suffer any apparent physical side-effects thereafter. I did go buy a helmet. I'm a big believer in helmets.