When you regain consciousness after fainting, life doesn't slowly reveal itself like curtains rising at the start of a play's opening act. It roars in, all at once, like a flood of lights in a dark room. I blinked my eyes open one evening in late June, 2012, and immediately realized that I was lying on a bench outside of a restaurant in the West Village where I had just finished dinner with friends. My last memory was paying the bill and heading outside to hail a taxi, because I suddenly hadn't felt well and desperately wanted to get home.
My next realization was that the police and fire department were there. I couldn't move my body, so my eyes darted frantically back and forth to take stock of the situation and my surroundings. A cloth napkin from the restaurant was placed in my mouth to absorb the blood that covered my face, neck, ...
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