Most of the time, I'm pretty happy with my life. I've got a nice apartment, a few really good friends, and a good job. That's more than a lot of people have, right? Still, every now and then, I can't help but find myself wishing my legs had never been crushed by that train.
I know what you're thinking: We all have regrets, but, hey, that's life. It's the same old story, and everyone has their own version: I shouldn't have let that girl get away; I shouldn't have sold that stock; I shouldn't have been launched through the windshield of my car in a rear-end collision, landing in front of that approaching train. Sure, it's happened to all of us at some point in our lives. But sometimes, I can't help but feel like I'm the only one out there who lost his legs to a train.
Not to dwell, but every once in a while, I still find myself replaying that accident in my head. And it's been almost two years since it happened. I try not to lose perspective and blow it all out of proportion, but sometimes I can't help but feel like the day they scraped me off the tracks and rushed me to the hospital for 22 hours of emergency surgery was some sort of pivotal point in my life–and not in a good way.
Looking back at that moment of squealing metal and ripping sinew and bone, I'd go so far as to say that if I could do it all over, there are a few things I might change. Perhaps I would've rather landed just a few feet further from the tracks, so that instead of mangling my entire lower body, that train would have just sliced off my feet. Even with my feet gone, I still would have been able to use leg braces. Or perhaps I would have had an arm destroyed instead. You can still do a lot of things with only one arm.
You know, now that I think about it, had I been given the choice, I probably would've preferred that the train miss me altogether. I could've, say, been thrown into the ditch, the train whizzing right by without making contact with my body at all. That might have been better.
Oh, I'm just being silly. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? Who knows what awful turns my life might have taken if I'd stayed on the path I was on–finishing out senior year as my high school's star pitcher and heading for college on a full baseball scholarship. Maybe I'm better off in this motorized wheelchair. I guess I'll never know.
People have always said I'm the introspective, philosophical type. So you should probably just ignore all my hypothetical ramblings about "what-ifs" and "paths not taken." Who can stop me when I start pondering what it would be like to jog down a beach again, or walk up the stairs to my ex-girlfriend's apartment, or go to the bathroom without help? The past is done and gone, so there's no use dwelling on it.
Even so, everyone gets like this every once in a while. You look back on the things that happened in your life–the people you met, the jobs you got, the speeding trains that ripped limbs from your body and left two lifeless stumps–and you wonder how things might have been. Aw, heck, look at me, Mr. Contemplative over here.