When I was born, both my big toes were deformed — they were short, bent, and curved inwards. This turned out to be an early sign of FOP: fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, commonly known as stone man syndrome. I never learned to crawl, I just sort of shuffled around on my bottom. Walking wasn’t easy, either, and I never got my gait quite right. My folks — God bless ‘em — thought I was lazy, when in fact, my bones were fusing together.
I always had a death wish, I just didn’t expect it to come true while I was still alive. Funny that. The condition was called Cotard’s Delusion, named after the neurologist Jules Cotard, who described the disease as a delirium. The denial of ones own self-existence. The feeling of being dead, basically.