At age twenty I had a motorcycle accident here. My own stupidity caused the accident. It was the sloped walls of the underpass that saved me. Airborne after the collision, if the wall had been vertical instead of sloped when I struck it I most likely would be long dead now. I clearly remember hitting it, rolling upslope a little then downslope to the guardrail where a lot of grass burrs had collected. That worried me a little then, rolling into those grass burs. Knocked the wind out of me and fractured an ankle, but no other injuries. I immediately got up out of the grass burs and ran over to the car I collided with to make sure the driver was alright. She was. A cop arrived, called for an ambulance and began processing the incident.
As soon as I knew I was going to collide with the car I recall leaning to lay the bike down and thought to myself as calm as a cucumber "This is it," and wondered what death was going to be like–if anything. But I didn't die and on two other occasions I could very easily have died, once after stepping into a deep hole while wading in a lake at seven years old and again after foolishly jumping down onto an untested ledge of rock on the sheer slope of a mesa (the one shown below) which broke right away, sending me tumbling all the way down to level ground. I came through the swimming incident with just a bit of inhaled lake water I coughed up as quietly as I could so my mother wouldn't hear my distress and make me get out of the water. I survived the mesa fall completely uninjured. although I remember being really worried I would roll into a prickly pear cactus patch somewhere along the way down. And I thought both times then as well what death was going to be like, calm as a cucumber.
I may eventually find out when I finally do something else stupid enough to lead to my demise, but I'm hoping with all my heart it's my heart that gives out while hiking through some fine stretch of high-country wilderness so I can keel over in total peace and quiet to die beneath open sky. Every now and again I push myself really hard on an upslope hike at high altitude to see if I can make it happen, but it just makes me tired, thirsty and hungry every time. So I find a nice spot, sit down with heart racing, have a snack and a drink then take a nap. If only death can come then.