Into the Great Unknown... Almost

5/10/12

I had a near death experience last night.

I've come close to death before, nearly being swept away by the ocean when I was a child (as told in my poem The Perfect Stick ), nearly choking on my own vomit from youthful extravagances, spinning out (twice) on the interstate. Things like that.

For the most part, I'm pretty unadventurous and live an uneventful life. I like it that way. Safety is my adrenaline rush. I don't hike or climb rocks or drive erratically. I enjoy living and I don't do things that have a potential to interfere with that enjoyment.

Last night, I was walking to exchange something at Walgreen's. I waited at the crosswalk and, when the light indicated it was my turn to walk, I did so, and I did so swiftly. One of my pet peeves is when people take their time walking across the crosswalk (if they can help it. Obviously, the elderly, the infirm and the disabled are going to have a harder time crossing a crosswalk and, as such, I extend them grace). Dillydallying and inconveniencing others, is not for me. I don't like it when it's done to me, so i don't do it to others.

Apparently, when you're young and fighting with your girlfriend, though, all bets are off.

As I was crossing, a large sedan driven by someone whom I can only assume is a royal douche bag, ran the red light and was barreling towards me. Yes, this was night time, but it's a well lit, major intersection, and I was wearing clothes that would be very visible to anyone who paid even an ounce of attention to the road (which is what i assume people driving should be doing). This person wasn't and they were driving, quite fast, directly into my path. He was distracted by the apparent argument taking place within the vehicle. There is no way I could have moved out of the way fast enough.

My wife always tells me that you shouldn't turn your wheels in towards the crosswalk. If someone rear ends you, it could cause your car to run over the person in the crosswalk. It happened a few years ago in Bellingham, Washington, where she is from. I remember thinking those thoughts when that car was coming towards me. Then, I realized the car was AIMING towards me. I'm sure it was not a literal aiming, but it certainly felt that way. I saw my life in slow motion. I said a quick prayer (well, I didn't actually. What was actually said was "What the f*ck?") and hoped if they were going to hit me I'd either be killed or unscathed, because I had no desire to live my life as a handicapped person.

And then the car....

stopped.

No squealing of brakes. No swerving. Just a flat stop. Like the car engine died. It felt, like a guardian angel just forced the car to a stop.

I, of course handled the situation with class and dignity. I lifted my middle finger towards the driver, who refused to look at me, and yelled "What the f*ck? Watch where the f*ck you're going!"

You'll have to forgive my reaction. It was just that: a reaction.

He said nothing, didn't even look at me, and drove off. There was a witness to the event which, of course, made me wonder if I'd been hit, would the driver have sped off, leaving me to be devoured by the oncoming cars, or would they have stopped and summoned help.

What would I have done in that situation?

It didn't hit me how close I was to death until I got home. I'm pretty sure I went into shock. I laid on my bed and stared at the wall for who knows how long, I began to shiver, my whole body tensed up (typical fight or flight response, from what I understand) and I was freezing. Later, nausea came. I couldn't speak for a half hour, if not longer. My wife came in to check on me and asked if I wanted to talk about it. I shrugged. I couldn't speak. I didn't know what to say. I forgot how to talk. All I could do was replay the situation in my mind. I was filled with anger, relief, shame, and many other emotions I could in no way describe.

I'm not much of a prayer anymore, but my wife and I prayed and thanked the Good Lord for sparing me.

And of course it taught me to be even more patient with crosswalks and to never ever run red lights. To keep my eyes on the road and my attention focused on the driving task at hand. It's okay to take a few extra minutes to get home. My impatience and inattention is not worth injuring or killing someone.


My poetry collection

Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION, DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, SEE SPOT RUN AND THE BELLWETHER REVIEW. HE CURRENTLY SERVES AS MANAGING EDITOR OF EPOETRY MAGAZINE AND THE BRIDGE ONLINE NEWSPAPER.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOST WRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.

PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

Have you ever had an experience where you literally thought you were going to die?

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Comments 30 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for your sens, and the link, Jeremy. I'll check it out!


goego profile image

goego 4 years ago from Loserland

Glad to see that you made it home safe... damn Sunday drivers.

http://hubpages.com/literature/Boys-in-Blue


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks dmop, and glad you survived all your experiences!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Great insights, Cyndi. And what an interesting way to grow up. Have you hubbed or blogged about that at all?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Audra, thanks. He probably did feel guilty, but it pissed me off more that he couldn't even look at me!


dmop profile image

dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

I am; well I used to be quit the opposite of you in my adventurist nature. That being the case, I have had several brushes with death, too many to really mention here I suppose. I do know that the anxiety can be quite overwhelming, and instill a virtual state of shock. I voted this up and interesting.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Experiences like that make you appreciate life, I think. I've had some near-death experiences. I also had kind of an interesting childhood: I grew up in a nursing home. I was surrounded by death. But, interestingly, it has made me not tolerate too much in this life that I don't want to, because death gives no notice. It waits for no one. It doesn't call you and tell you that it's on its way. It just arrives. Life is so short already. If you're not doing what you want, why not? Not trying to be morbid...it's just that when I've head those close brushes with death, I always remember what a gift each day is: those 24 hours where the possibilities are endless. You definitely have a way with words that always get me thinking. Thanks. :)


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Feeeew! I am glad you are ok!!!

Most people would have racted like that!

That guy was showing guilt instead of looking at you direction. He knows what he did!

I am glad you ar with us still...I voted this up and much more!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Flash. I'm a blessed man, for sure.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

THanks Aurelio. it really is quite good advice.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Vellur, I was very shaken, but, it could have been worse. Others are not always so fortunate.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Oh darling, I'm so glad I came home to you and our babies and that you held me in your arms as we fell asleep! Thanks also for putting up with my venting :-)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

gyPSY, indeed. I definitely feel it was divine intervention that spared me, even though i had a potty mouthed response :=)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, xstatic, for sharing your story!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks sg. I hope so too... and I hope I always remember so I don't cause the same drama in someone elses life!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

James, perhaps.

I also look forward to school being over so I can read your book. Thanks for reading!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, Terry!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Michelle, I think that counts as a near death experience... at the very least, it's quite scary. I'm thankful that you're here to share it with us.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for sharing you story, thanks for the compliments and thanks for the follow Rahul!


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

Fortunately you made it through that horrible situation safely and you are blessed to have a supportive wife who says a pray with you. I hope you become more cautious at night when there is so much darkness to contend with. Vote up!!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Close call and I'm glad you survived. Perhaps in another universe you didn't. I like your wife's advice about turning the wheel and will try to follow that. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Glad your safe, you must have been shaken up pretty bad. I guess patience and constantly watching out is the key to a safe drive.


Andrea333 profile image

Andrea333 4 years ago

As your wife who was waiting for your return at a nearby bench (our two precious dogs anxious for daddy to come back), this story upsets me to the point of numbness (I can only assume the numbness is a protective measure... because the thought of losing you is beyond description and cripples me emotionally if too much time is spent thinking on it). I will never stop praising God (literally, I verbally thank Him all the time) for bringing you safely back across the street to me. Into my arms and the wet and crazy kisses of our Labradoodle Bella and the veiled joy of our cranky older Chow dog Baby.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. The Lord was definitely by your side. It's great that you prayed afterwards. It shows respect and belief. May the Good Lord always be by your side. God bless.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

UP all the way on this cautionary tale! I voted no, but forgot the five days in a hospital at age 19 after an uninsured driver ran a stop sign and totalled my '55 Chevy, leaving me with broken nose, broken vertabrae in my neck (scary but not the ones that leave you paralyzed) & some scars.

I hope this gives all who read it reason to drive and walk defensively.

Glad you survived!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Very good story. I am glad your "guardian angel" stepped in and stopped the car. Let's hope that the person in the sedan realizes how close he came to taking a life and it affects him as strongly as it did you. Things happen for a reason. Voted up and interesting. Have a "safe" day! :)


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Pretty cool, KaraokieGuy, It does sound like a guardian angel, so what the f^#@ have you ever done to deserve a guardian angel? You must be living a better life than you think....


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I'm glad you're ok and that you found your voice. No matter the subject, you tell great stories. :)


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Once before my surgery for epilepsy, they took me off all my medications. To see how bad my seizures were. I had a seizure that was so bad I stopped breathing. After two minutes they started to use a bag to help me, they used the bag for two more minutes before I started to breath again. I did not wake up until six hours later. They explained everything. I don't remember anything. I don't remember having any near death experiences. My heart kept beating, so I guess it wasn't a real near death experience.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

Patience is virtuous man! Glad you are safe! :)

These kind of events sure call for a better look at yourself when you safely get put of them...

When I was a kid... real kid.. very small ( cause this is very funny) I slipped on the swimming pool stairs and hit the bar right between my legs... I did not.. that.. THAT hurts so much and I thought I would die.. :)

One incident which clearly gave me shivers is what happened last year.. on a curved road... It was a sort of perfect scientific coincidence... I was walking down the curve and looking at a house across the road... As I turned my face anti clockwise... (which was the regular curve) A SUV passed by and its side-glass brushed my cheek while the whole turning action... thought this incident was 5 nanosecond small... the powerful heart beat it started.. ran all night long..

Since then... I am double alert when I am on the road

Nice write.. though... presented in very good style and grabs the reader :)

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