Yes I am back, for real this time, I promise, maybe, probably not, but false promises are currently beside the point. Now that Limbo is completed, I have moved into college, and survived my first few weeks, I finally felt like it was the time to instill some normalcy in my life, and return to this blog. Yet, this return to a somewhat routine schedule could not have come at a more opportune time, because as of late my imagination has been running wild. For example, I am playing around with concepts of suburban sprawl, critiques of American nationalism, and unionizing Oompa Loompas. You may see some these concept, but far more likely they will die a painful death locked in the confides of my mind. Yet, this post is not about my overactive imagination, no this post is about the craziest thing that happened to me during my first week of college; the car accident. Yes, I was in a car crash on September 3rd and here are thoughts and ultimately reflection on the entire experience. Most of this story is factual, but some minute details have been changed to provide you the reader with an experience that is far better paced. Also, most of the dialogue has been changed, and I don't mean lightly altered, no, this shit has been full on changed. This stylistic choice was done to remove almost obsessive use of the words "like" and "um" along with making teenagers who think their lives are far more important than they really are, not sound like such boring, whiny, teenagers. Which in retrospect, we obviously are. I hope you enjoy.
Nothing is better than a nap. After class, between meals, anytime really. Just having that little nibble of sleep is a perfect way to rejuvenate, refresh, and mentally prepare of the night ahead. I am laying in bed. Haphazardly rolling over, I catch a glance at my illuminated clock, quietly mocking me in the corner. Shit. I'm late.
In a frantic flurry I'm out of bed, wide awake, cursing furiously. I run around my cramped dorm room, putting on some of the clothes, that are spread out across my floor in no particular fashion. I grab my messenger bag, wallet, phone, and am now walking out of my dorm at a brisk rate. Now I'm running. I hate running. The back gates of campus shouldn't seem this far away. How far are they really? A 10 minute walk? I'm running and I don't seem to be overtaking any of my fellow sidewalk inhabiting patrons. I'm out of shape. As I pass the gym I degrade to a power walk/jog thing; I don't call this irony, more just plain sad. Now looking at the gym I come to a stark realization. I should work out more, no not just work out, I should be the absolute pinnacle of physical fitness. I should look like I'm flexing without even trying, my t-shirts should rip when I try to put them on. On second thought, that whole body builder, steroid abuser, Olympus dude look is kinda out right now. It's not even out, it's disgusting. Maybe I'll just settle for being tall, skinny, and awkward. I should be able to land some chicks. I don't need to be a Greek god, I have my charming personality. Wait, what am I talking about? I'm kind of a dork; my hobbies include literature, art, film, and other assorted things generally not accepted by the ESPN viewing populous. OK, maybe I won't land the A Lister's, but definitely some B chicks, C's for sure. Yet, I am forgetting one minute yet invaluable detail, this is college. We have the great equalizer, alcohol. I'll land some A's...eventually.
For some inexplicable reason, still completely unknown to me, I choose to look at the gym again. Oh, why did I look at the gym? The glow party is about to start. Yes, that's right, the glow party. It is the first week of classes, and some horny bastards have already organized an event where people dance in the dark wearing neon bands. Yes, because we all know that nothing lands chicks better than anonymity and glowing lights. The bros and the valley girls are walking in now. God, I can't stand bros, with their tank tops, knee high socks, and awkwardly shaped skate broads. Casually chatting about how many dumb chicks they will bang tonight. And those valley girls, please don't get me started on those valley girls, with their incessant use of the word "like", and their innate willingness to go along with the bros socially accept forms of sexual exploitation. Hell, maybe these girls actually like getting treated like shit by a ton of horny douche bags, I don't know. Whatever, just not my scene, I guess.
I'm now nearing the back gates, and I see the car, my chariot of salvation. I look up from the starring at the generic concrete sidewalk, and see my friends waving, urging me to move my out of shape body just a little more quickly. Yeah, that's not happening.
I love college, I love my friends. In high school I would never have met kids who would even contemplate driving to a cafe in order to talk about film, philosophy, or whatever college kids converse about. What is the college drink of choice? Chi lattes, black coffee? It's my first week. I should know this.
Nearing the car I overhear the Scott Pilgram soundtrack. God, I love these people. We are indie, we are young, we wear vegan footwear, and read McSweeney's, we are jail bait in the greatest sense of the word. When we reach our future lives we will stick it to all the bros and valley girls. We will finally get our much deserved revenge on all of the people that made fun of us, who chastised and criticized our interests and hobbies. And with our greater amounts of knowledge and funnier jokes, will show all the haters the error of their ways. We will one day save the world. We will win.
So we are now driving, talking about music, Beck, and how hip we all are. We view ourselves as so important, the heroes of our own stories, but it is all about to come crashing down.
It will crash down.
So we are driving, breathing the air, laughing, laughing at the tools at the glow dance. We know that we will lead lives of much greater fulfillment, love, and happiness. They will be crunching numbers in some generic office space, and we will be creating art, making the world a better place. Was that a stop sign?
Then things stop
I try to speak but can't. This isn't the speech impediment that haunted me as a child, and still creeps up on me during moments of nerve, mainly public speaking. No, this is something different. This is shock. A car is approaching us from the right, it is going too fast to stop, far too fast. Horns blare. We here a deafening crash, steel bends, breaks, and crackels against steel. I shut my eyes as the car begins to spin. We are doomed.
The car is now spinning in the intersection.
So this is how it ends, not with some last triumphant honor fueled march, nor surrounded by love ones morning at my death bed. No, a car crash, over before I can even formulate a coherent thought. At least I know how Lost ended, that has to count for something, right? I wonder what my parents will say? My sister will miss me, my dad too. My mom. Oh, my mom. I'm sorry mom, I'm sorry for the pain I'm about to cause you. You will be an absolute wreck, the tears. I can't even think about the tears, and the crying, not the crying. This will be far worse for you than it is about to be for me. I am ready for this, shockingly at peace. All those times I was depressed, and flirted with the idea of my death, I just never imagined this moment would be peacefully. I more expected panic, chaos, despair.
The car is beginning to tip over. I open my eyes. Airbags deploy.
Well, I guess the bros get the last laugh, the neon tank tops wins the day. The valley girl slut may be used, but in the morning she will only have a bruised moral compass. I will be a corpse. They will be hungover, and I be asleep forever, one with oblivion. On this planet time runs out for everyone, I just guess my time ran out earlier than I planned. I wish I did more, saw more, told people how I felt. I guess this is regret. I'm not a fan.
I think the car just hit the ground. Are we still moving?
Fuck, I don't want to die, I'm not ready for this. Why is life so tragic? I still have so much to do. I have barely lived. I am 18 years young, do you hear me, do you hear me! This isn't the end. No, No, No.
I shut my eyes again. The car stops on its side
Am I dead? Should I open my eyes? Is death the same as the shark complex, where if I don't see it, it's not really there? Oh shit, I don't feel dead, speaking of feeling, I don't feel pain either. I don't know what I feel. Not anger, frustration, sadness, pain, I'm at peace, a strange euphoric state. Is this heaven, hell, or am I some kind of vegetable, forever hooked up to beeping and booping machines, just so my family can morn over my once glorious body. Does it really matter anymore. OK, I will open my eyes on the count of three. One, two, wait, my friend just spoke.
I open my eyes. We are hanging sideways. Some asshole is filming us with his camera. My friend flicks him off. Oh cruel world, how happy I am to see you. I unbuckle myself from the seat and my body limply falls from it's sideways position, to a new one, comfortably on top of the large kid next to me. I'm happy for large kid, he may have just saved my life. People are now gathering around our vehicle. They are scared, worried, but mostly curious, taking photos and videos with their cell phones. I wonder if any of them have called 911?
My friends and I begin to talk inside the car, and somehow we are all fine. Call it luck, circumstance, or if you prescribe to the crazy that is the 700 Club, a miracle. Realizing we are all fine we begin to joke about the whole situation. The firefighters show up, and open up the back of the car. We all crawl out, still trying to figure out exactly what just happened.
We all sit down on the curb. Cops, firefighters, and paramedics are talking to us all about something or another. Some take down our information, others ask us questions, one guy checks our blood pressures. His face reads disappointment, maybe he wished the crash has worse, at least he would then have a story to tell his buddies later. I don't know. I'm rambling.
My friends and I hang around the crash scene for a while. It seems like the authorities always want just one more thing. The crowd of people has long scattered, far more interesting things are going on in the world. I then sit back down on the curb, and watch as the car is being pulled away by a tow truck.
I was in that? I mean, I was in that? Our once great chariot, now seemingly reduced to a colosol mess of steel and glass, being disrespectfully hoisted and dragged through the street. We were on the top of the world. We had rejected the bros, the morons, the conformity. We are going to a coffee shop to talk, to try and share ideas, learn something. But in an instant, a single solitary moment, all of that didn't matter anymore. All the thoughts in the world couldn't save me from my impending doom. Life doesn't care who you are or what you believe in, it just happens.
The car is now flipped right side up, and is being lifted up onto the tow truck. I want some candy.
Maybe that is why we are still joking about the accident, because we are scared? We are scared to accept the fact that we should be dead. We shouldn't be able to have another meal, see the sunset tonight, or have the opportunity to fulfill our dreams. But for some reason we do.
We go to the grocery store, buy candy, walk back to campus, and ultimately spend the night joking and watching bad movies.
Life is all about loss. Life is nothing without loss. On this earth, time runs out for everything and everyone – if that were not the case, then there would be no point in sustaining ourselves, in developing personal relationships, in challenging ourselves and our friends to create, to succeed and make our names, to explore new places and eat delicious foods, to write our ideas for posterity and then debate them, to take pictures and home movies for the sole purpose of remembering those all-too fleeting moments.
We do all this because we know that one day we will no longer have the opportunity to do so. And every time we lose something dear to our hearts, we honor it by taking what we’ve learned from it and what we cherished about it, and carrying that on our shoulders until we, too, are lost.
As I lay awake that fateful night, fearfully contemplating the idea that in another universe, I may not be in my body this very evening. I took relief in that fact that I was alive, truly amazed that I survived. Maybe I was brought back to do something meaningful, save the world? Probably not. But I am laying here, breathing, with another chance to live life, and really, what else is there?