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Over the Rail in ATL

Just four hours earlier I was dancing like James Brown and then suddenly I'm being surrounded by doctors telling me I've broken my neck and I may be paralyzed.

The last thing I remembered was leaving a party in Atlanta—one with the all-you-can-drink, never-ending amalgamation of alcohol and booze. I had absolutely no idea how I ended up in the hospital with a broken neck, cracked back, a fractured hip, and some snapped ribs. Just four hours earlier I was dancing like James Brown and doing a killer version of Rick James's "Super Freak" on karaoke, and then suddenly I'm being wheeled down a hall surrounded by doctors telling me to stay calm and don't move because I've broken my neck and I may be paralyzed. Damn. I began to frantically wiggle my toes and was very, very relieved they still moved.


Someone told me I fell over a second-story balcony and landed on the road. Somehow my head never touched the asphalt, the kind of miracle that really makes a believer out of a once skeptical person. The funny thing is, the morning before the fall I received a package from my mother and it contained a beaded necklace with a wooden cross in it. I'd never really worn jewelry, and definitely not any with religious symbols on it, but without thinking about it I just put it on, and that night I fell over the rail.

Who knows why these things happen? There's got to be some reason. I hadn't seen my family in years, and because of my fall I got to see them every day for months and months while I completed my rehabilitation. My mother flew all the way from Hawaii to be with me for six months until I could walk again. We hadn't all been together like this since my parents divorced 15 years ago. We had lots of touching moments together.

For instance, driving from the hospital after my release I was conked out on painkillers, and to my surprise those things make you hella constipated. I'd taken some industrial-strength laxatives to relieve the log jam, and the next thing I know I'm yelling at my dad to pull the van over so I can crap. We barely made it into a McDonald's parking lot when I got out without a second to spare and totally splattered all over myself right in front of the door. It was hilarious, I was actually laughing as shit ran down my legs and covered my shoes in a brown puddle. I could only imagine what people where thinking as they ate their McCrap, watching me burst out of a halo holding onto a walker, laughing my ass off as explosive diarrhea rushed out of me. It felt so good, what a relief!

This was the absurd beauty of an unconventional family bonding. My brother, God bless him, helped me into McDonald's to clean up, and my dad washed off the sidewalk. We all had a good laugh from that one. Events like these really put one's life into perspective: So get busy living or get busy dying, crap or get off the pot!

Here are some photos of the time leading up to this incident, and also of me and my family during my rehabilitation back home in Florida, sort of a before and after. You should be able to tell which is which.