Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Night I Almost Died

Four years ago I stumbled upon the following piece of writing, and made a note that I had no memory of writing it 8 years prior but preferred it in that moment, to the longer versions of the story I'd been writing on and off for years....

As I stumble upon it today, while working on one of my books, I would say that I don't prefer it, but there's something powerful, haunting even, about it being so condensed and written as if poetry. I wish I could remember writing it-- did it just flow (as it sounds like it did), or was I trying to craft it this way? I don't remember, but I have a feeling it just flowed, at least parts of it.

I'm not sure if it has a place in my book, so for now I'm sharing it here:

I can’teven keep track of how many times I’ve been to the hospital in the past 4 years. Surgeries, follow-up appointments, diagnostic tests, and emergency room--

February 20, 1996, my mom wakes me from sleep at midnight, knocking on my door to tellme I have a phone call. Somebody calling about work, she says. But I know better, and I crawl to the end of my bed to pick up the phone, and it’s who I thought it was. A few representatives from the class of ‘95 calling to invite me over to watch “The Usual Suspects.” But in my half-asleep daze, I say I’m too tired to drive, and they say, no problem, we’re on our way. 
i look out my window as we fly down the road
it’s all a blur, my stomach churns, my head throbs
i yell at him to slow down
i repeatedly yell at him to slow down
i plead
he laughs
the music pounds in my ears
my heart pounds as thoughts of jumping go through my head
i look over the front seat at the speedometer
i would die jumping out of that speeding car
i cannot jump
what do I do?
there is nothing i can do

i can yell
i yell
curve after curve
we barely stay on the road
the car skids to the left, to the right,
back to the left and off the road
crashing into a tree at 60 miles per hour
bones breaking
branches breaking
muffled moaning and groaning
i see myself
doubling over my lap belt like the tree doubling over the car

i must hold on
waiting for help to arrive
unable to move my legs
starting to slip away
help arrives
they tell me to hold on
i am holding on
i can no longer hold on

they pull me out slowly
they lay me down on the ground
i hear the faint crinkling of leaves in my hair
i feel distant
golden beams of light shining down on me
i see the darkness of night as i look up through the trees
soon i hear them talking about me
as if i am no longer there
soon i am gone

in an ambulance
flat on my back
i open my eyes to see
a man wearing blue looking down at me
i ask him for my life
he gives me a blanket
i ask him to hold my hand
he holds my hand and tells me to hold on
i thank him
i thank him repeatedly

fade to black
awaken to light
as they roll me in
the lights seem to be flickering
my eyes must be fluttering
bright lights blind me
eyes shut
clothes rip
eyes open
poking and prodding
i squirm as they prepare me
hooking me up to monitors and tubes
i look up to see men and women in blue
they wheel me towards the operating room
my hearing fades
will I be awake?
i see lips moving
i hear no reply
it’s all over
the drugs must be working
fade to white
it’s all just begun

© 2012 Rebecca Clio Gould. All rights reserved.

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