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1. Okay, if you've ever felt immortal, please raise your hand. 2. As Indian boys, we turned the reservation into a test of our immortality. 3. For instance, we climbed to the treetops, stood on the thinnest branches that threatened to snap under our weight, and leapt from one pine to another. 4. Nobody ever fell. 5. Not quite true. One kid fell, slashing against bark and cone for fifteen or twenty feet, before he grabbed a branch and saved himself. 6. The Indian Health Service doctor removed over one hundred slivers from that kid's skin. 7. For some reason, the tribe had dumped a pile of huge and unused sewer pipes down a sand hill behind the school. And we Indian boys turned it into a playground. 8. Once, I crawled to the top of a pipe, propped high into the air by other pipes, and hung off the edge by my fingertips. I was twenty feet off the ground. 9. Nothing is immortal, but some things live for a long-ass time. There's a fungal colony in Oregon that's been alive for 2,400 years. 10. Yeah, those fungi were toddlers when Jesus Christ was rambling around with his twelve buddies. 11. Here's a curse: "I don't want to live forever; I just want to live longer than you." 12. I knew an Indian who leapt from a thirty-foot cliff and dove toward a shallow pool only three feet in diameter. 13. I wasn't there when he crashed into the rocks and died. Why didn't any of the other Indians try to stop him? Because they thought he'd survive. 14. I'm not afraid of death; I'm afraid of Indians who aren't afraid of death.