Yesterday, while lifting a load of wet clothes out of the washer, I smacked my head on an unfortunately placed soffit that juts out right above the machine. At that instant, two layers of sound were clearly discerned by me. The first, or top, layer was the crude thump of irresistible force (skull) meeting immovable object (plaster). Within the second finer, deeper, layer, though, was the clear and delicate sound of an eggshell cracking.

As I slowly went blind in one eye and slumped to the floor, I was reminded of a story told by Jackson's pediatrician about an enthusiastic uncle who would greet his young nephew by tossing him into the air. One time, after throwing the boy up so high that his little noggin met the living room ceiling, an X-ray disclosed the presence of a fine fracture circling the top of the kid's head, which the emergency room doctor called an "eggshell fracture" (so named for the way one would take a spoon and carefully tap around the top of a soft-boiled egg and scoop out its little brains).

As I slipped gratefully into a coma I realized that I wouldn't be able to post for a few days, or perhaps even years. But I leave you in the hope that I may be able to bring back for you a glimpse of the other side.

And it will probably look a lot like Honolulu. We'll be back next week.