Monday, July 19, 2010

The Beginning of Survival


Last night, while driving home from work, I spoke on the phone to my girlfriend. 'Tell J.M. and Eavan we can make it over to their house on Friday night. It will be good to see them again. I should be home in about half an hour.' Following the short call I signaled before changing lanes then turned off the signal.

A green station wagon had been tailgating me for the last few minutes. I yielded to the right to let the vehicle past. The driver continued to tailgate and started to honk their horn. The antagonistic behaviour began to irritate. I was conscious how straightforward confrontations can lead to violent behaviour. I stayed calm and rational. I didn't want hassle.

A violent and loud thud suddenly projected my existence into illusory slow motion. For a split second I stared into the enraged gaze of my aggressor who pulled level with my car.  Haunting… crazed… the hothead tryed to force me off the road. Both vehicles became intertwined in a power struggle.

I began screaming in concert with the grinding of metal. I finally lost control of the vehicle and headed towards a weather-ravaged dark wooden fence. My final recollection was the rear of the station wagon as it sped of in a triumphant show of power. I slowly descended into unconsciousness.

'Are you all right? Can you hear me?' frantically enquired a young female voice. 'I saw what that guy in the vehicle did! He tried to kill you ... run you off the road. Are you all right?'

As her soft voice undulated I slowly came round. Disorientated and confused I tried to move each limb in turn to distinguish the extent of damage. While my vision was blurred - exacerbated by blood pouring from lacerations to my upper and lower face - I became gratefully aware of survival.

The girl continued to converse in a frenzied manner. 'Can you hear me? Are you able to speak? I've telephoned for an ambulance ... the police. They should be here soon. Just hold on ....'

The ambulance and police arrived at the scene in concert. The young girl was tearful, and persistently shook as she recounted the distressing event. I was lucky; I was still alive. Suddenly I acquired a new knowledge of reality, life, what it means to be mortal. Once more, I became part of the sun, the moon, the stars, this earth.

*
Reflections: A river runs by my house every morning at seven o'clock. I believe its a fitness fad, of sorts. This morning we strolled together and spoke of our childhoods. We have much in common.

The river dutifully executes its roles despite severe constraints, namely: lack of affinity with hard hearts, harsh words and voices, wanting to die but afraid of death. Constantly taking risks, being humorous, mostly ingratiating despite unwanted conflicts.

The river's tormented face sometimes bothers me, as does its toneless voice. It never complains, but despises its fate. It detests pity most of all.

4 comments:

Hillbilly Duhn said...

I had forgotten how much I enjoy your reflections...

Of course, I still enjoy your writing, I never get bored! :)

Ronnie Kerrigan said...

Hi Hillbilly Duhn,

Thanks for visiting and your comments. I tend not to take my writing seriously. Neither for that matter does my agent, Catherine Wheel, who howls alarmingly when I deliver something for her to read?! Catherine can be - at times - a damn squib, but hellishly stimulating as well!

Warm wishes (well, they were when I posted them!)

Ronnie

Susan Deborah said...

Ronnie:

I enjoyed this one immensely for the simple truth of survival and gratitude.

I am glad for today and being able to write.

Hope all is well at that end of the world.

Joy always,
Susan

Ronnie Kerrigan said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for passing by and posting your comments.

I still talk excitedly, with exaggerated hand gestures -I must learn to use my mouth.

Behind the humour I try to delve into purposeful matters. Each word is like a new discovery. Indeed, each sentence speaks of human vulnerability; so my psychiatrist says?!

Everyone is fine,and the new addition to the family, Rebecca, is, thankfully, putting on weight,
also smiling, frowning, making faces. Delightful. However, I believe I heard her say,while looking in my direction,'He looks a colossal wreck!' Too close to the truth for comfort.

With best wishes,
Ronnie