Ever since my youth, I have been privy to a surprising number of car accidents, stabbings, random assaults, subway mishaps, beatdowns and other chaos. Perhaps I just hang with the wrong crowd...but lately I wonder if I am the wrong crowd. Or even the wrong sole individual.
I think this string of random acts of violence started when I was about 12 and witnessed a stabbing in Corpus Christi, TX. Then when I was 16 a friend and I were chased down a deserted street by dudes wearing shrouds (no, I'm not kidding. We escaped, and never did figure out if they were just pretend Satanist ritual killers or the real thing). We were rescued by a gang of teenage boys, then driven home by same boys who almost died--along with us--after steering wildly to avoid a car accident happening right in front of us. After doing a couple of doughnuts in the middle of the highway, narrowly missing the two cars that had already crashed, we skidded to a stop about a foot away from the highway's cement divider, then drove home like nothing ever happened. Ah, youth.
Things were mostly quiet in subsequent years...except for when a kid got shot in my yard. (He lived. We pulled a bullet out of the wall, and tried to figure out what to do with his shoes, which the cops and EMS had left on our front porch.)
A couple of years later a dude wiped out on his bike right in front of me, peeling off a significant amount of skin before coming to a stop right at my feet. About a week later, a lady driving a pickup truck slid on ice, and crashed into a wall right in front of me. At this point, friends started joking that perhaps I had a "reverse Midas touch."
Lately? Well, there was the time out in Queens when a guy took a swan dive into the subway tracks as a bunch of late night revelers, including me and a pal, stared in shock. Drugs, diabetic shock, drunk...all theories bandied about after a trio of quick-thinking men jumped into the tracks and hauled his ass out before a train came. He's a lucky sucka.
Shortly thereafter, I was driving home on the BQE, right around the Kosciuszko Bridge, when a speeding car banged into the rear of the car in front of me, sending it into a tailspin, debris flying, as I drove by unscathed, like I was heading to church on a Sunday morning.
Earlier this summer I was walking in Chelsea, crossing a crosswalk with a pal, when a woman driving a minivan tried to make a left turn. Problem was, a cab was already in the left lane...which she promptly bashed into, leaving my friend and I scrambling to dash out of the way before either car hit us, or a fender flew off and speared one of us in the head.
The most recent--and by far the most horrible--incident happened earlier today when I was walking with the same friend (coincidentally?) in Coney Island. We were heading for Totonno's Pizza, chatting away happily, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a little girl playing on her porch. "Cute," I thought, and was prepared to be bedazzled when the girl very suddenly began some type of acrobatic maneuver which involved jumping in the air, grabbing the metal hand rail on the end of the porch, and launching herself into the air in what was probably meant to be her rendition of a double front dismount onto the ground beneath. Trouble was, it didn't quite happen like that. In fact, it went horribly wrong, and the little sweetie instead basically just did a full frontal dive right into the sidewalk. It was at least a four or five foot drop, and she landed right on her head. I don't want to go into any details about this, but suffice to say, it was horrible. I started screaming like a lunatic, her mother ran outside, neighbors came running down the street, an ambulance was called, little girl was carted away to the hospital, still unconscious. I don't know what happened.
So, my question is: have other people witnessed this many random acts of violence and misfortune? Is this normal? Or should I just stay inside for a while? And does anyone with medical training want to assure me that the little girl is going to be okay? (Little kids are tough. Right?)