As I pushed the second leg into my yellow tiger paw boxer shorts, my mobile phone rang. Startled by the shrill of a ringtone I hadn’t selected, I lost my balance and pitched forward. My head struck the edge of the new writing desk, I hit the floor, and just before my mind emptied I said to myself: so this is what it feels like to die with your pants down.
When I awoke the first thing that strolled up and muttered “hello” was the pong of clinical iodine. I opened my eyes to find that my nose, too, had turned traitor: I was sprawled at the foot of the new writing desk. I reached forward to pull myself up, and grasped a leg, which, after I whipped up my head to look, became in my hand the leg of the new writing desk.
The floor was cold;
My head hammered;
The phone rang.
I took a deep breath, and then struggled to my feet to answer what did not sound like any phone I knew. It was my phone; it vibrated in a slow circle on the varnished tabletop. I grabbed for it, and my yellow tiger paw boxer shorts, which, I forgot, was wrapped around my ankles, tripped me. I fell forward and struck my head against the new writing desk. As I crashed to the floor, I did not only think it but would have said it aloud—