However could this have happened?
A moment ago I was on the road, driving ahead at a speed I thought would have been slow enough to be prepared for eventual slips or slides, then turning a curve the back of the car was all of a sudden in front and I did the thing that most probably most people do in a situation gone out of control: I panicked, pushed the wrong button, so to speak, and the car went over the raod with too much speed, ran into a ditch too deep for comfort and was stopped in an awkward position by the strong metal poles of a large roadsign.
And here I am now, tangled up in my car, half overturned and no way to get out of it. I can’t even move, except for one foot and my right hand. The rest of me is squeezed between two seats, one of which broke loose from the impact, the steering wheel and the airbag. I guess without the airbag I would have been allready a mangled mash of flesh and bones with some parts of the car poking through me, and otherwise dead as a Dodo. But no, at least not yet. For the time being I was hanging on to this life of mine, even though the prospects didn’t look so good as far as I can tell right now. Because I can move and feel my foot, I guess, there is no major damage done to any spinal parts, but one cannot tell for sure. My head doesn’t move, but not because of any injuries (I suppose) but because it is hopelessly clamped between something I cannot see and the dashboard. If only I could move that head, I could judge the situation better. The front pane is shattered and some snow has been floating into the front of the car near to my face. More snow is falling on the outside, but luckily the side windows are intact and prevent it to fall into the inside. I am not cold yet, but that is only a matter of time. What bothers me most is this infuriating inability to move, a forced stillness. I can only stare ahead right now.
For some reason the lights are still on and that is some kind of consolation. Darkness would add to oppresion and feed more panic. And panic is something I dont need right now. ”Fear is the mindkiller,” I read sometimes in a book, ”I shall not fear, it will pass through me and then it will be gone.” Yet, it does not help right now. It is at least 3 o’clock on a dark snowy winternight and I lay in a ditch. I don’t know if I have passed out or not, probably not, but it is hard to tell how long I have now been laying here. Has it been an hour or ten minutes? No car has passed so far. I suppose they would stop and call for help, but so far… nothing.
I could move my eyes a little, left and right. In a limited way it was possible to explore the immediate surroundings, for better or worse. To the right the leftovers from the sign came into focus, but all I could see was HANKO 53 and an arrow pointing to the left. So, I was on the side of a roadcrossing 53 km from Hanko in the middle of nowhere, sqeeezed into my mangled car with snow and cold dribbling through the structure. There was something analytical of how I felt at the moment, like when something happens to you, that you are not prepared yet to accept. That would come later. Perhaps panic would come with that too.
I noticed something else. Disturbing.
The whiteness of the snow near me soaked up something red. It didnt take too long to realize, that it was my blood. This didnt in itself raise my panic-level, but the immobility which made it impossible to find out more about my injuries. Ignorance is bliss, they say, but not in this case. Ignorance to me at this moment was a curious mixture of fear, anger and more panic.
No panic, no panic.. I said to myself. Panic doesnt help. You dont feel any pain right now. Was this good or bad? No panic!! But for how long could I hold that thought? The cold was creeping closer to the bones and started to become uncomfortable. No car so far. What was the time? White and red and HANKO 53. Yes, concentrate on that sign. It is something tangible, concrete, it is out there in the world. ”HANKO 53” was my anchor, I would not float away, not yet. I kept staring at it as if my life depended on it. Perhaps it did. There was still lights from the car. But the cold kept creeping in. Red and white, white and red..Why did nobody come? What time is it?
When somebody jumps off a high building, by accident or intent, the whole life flashes by in a few seconds, they say, although I dont know if one should believe that. After all who hasurvived to tell that it is true? But if that is so, does that also happen to somone who is dying in a slower way? Would that happen to me? At least right now there are not any memories invading. Perhaps later?
The airbag seems to deflate a little and I can move one hand more freely. This is a great relief. I can move one ellbow! Amazing how little the things, when one is trying to hold on to the little life left in them. I could move my ellbow! My hand found something I could puncture the airbag with and after a few stabs it colapsed and finally I could move my head some more. More relive! I could now look ”HANKO 53” straight into the face.
The lights seemed to grow dimmer, and after some time I was sure that they did. How long would they still last until they finally went off? Dont think about that now. Look at the sign! Red and white…. Cold…
”HANKO 53”. I have been to Hanko several times. A nice small town in summer. I like the architecture, lots of nice wooden houses with their own character, curtains made of lace and an impressive casino like a grand old lady who demands your attention. The sea is allways nearby and the whole town has a certain smell of water, a little like seaweed and fog. A nice little town. A friend worked as a waitress in a restaurant there for one summer and I went to see her. It was Midsummer and in the evening we made the mistake to go to a popular place on the beach, where young adults and underaged drank themselves into a stupor and passed out on the sand. Most males were high on testosterone and tried in a clumsy way to impress the girls by shouting something obscene and gulp more alcohol. Familiar flashes from my own past, long gone.
Red and white and red and cold…..”HANKO 53”. There it was still in front of me, while the lights grew dimmer. Look at the sign!
How long does anyone hang on to life? Is there a point, when he lets go, I mean really and voluntary lets go, or does he hang on to it until it is forcefully ripped out of the body? Or is the a point when the body does not have the strenght anymore to hold on to it? I dont see any tunnel or an angel or I dont have any visions, yet. Let me still concentrate on the task at hand. It is cold, getting colder all the time, there is a red film floating thinly over ”HANKO 53” but I know where I am. My ellbow moves, my foot moves and sooner or later it must be morning and somebody must be on his way to work.
I’ll wait. It is a game… there are red and white squares and I am the king of a chessgame jumping from square to square and on each square is a the same sign: ”HANKO 53”. It is kind of anoying. I dont really get anywhere. Moving in circles,moving in squares. Red and white…
It is a game. On the far side of the board there is an ambulance, but it doesnt move and it doesnt have its lights on. Other figures appear, some near some further back. There are women jumping in erratic moves over the board, and the king moves with them, against them, avoiding them or moves alongside.
” You are the father of my children”, one whispers, ”dont go away. I need you”
” Come closer”, another figure in the background says. The king cannot make out its face, it is hidden in the dark, standing on a red square. The moment the ambulance puts on its light on and moves towards the king, the figure also moves, but only on red squares. All the women whisper at the same time and the king cannot make out anything they say, although they try very hard to make themselves understood. The king moves from square to square and tries very hard to stay on the white ones. He doesnt allways succeed because he has to evade some figures he cannot quite make out and doesnt understand. Every time he ends up on a red square he can hear them wail, faint but clear. It is not easy to say if they are far or close on the board.Come closer…. red and white, white and red, cold and hot. Hot? Where does the hot come from? This is new!
I open my eyes. There it is in a faint light of a fake morning in winter: ”HANKO 53”, my companion, saviour, red thread of life, throbbing in a red light to the sounds of wailing and sirens! There are beads of sweat on my forhead. I can move my hand and wipe the sweat off… The snow around me is red.
The lights from the car have allmost gone out. I can still make out the sign in a sort of afterglow, ”HANKO 53”. I must hold on to it with all my might. What happens when the lights are gone? Where is my hold to the world, to this life? The figure on the red square is much closer now, but so is the ambulance,they race towards me at an incredible speed, but I seem to be many million lightyears away. However fast they go, it is too small compared to the distance they will have to traverse. The whispers are closer now and some of them I can even make out, distinguish, but I cannot understand their language. Fates, Isis and Osiris, the women of my past and the children of my children of the future, all in one. All in one big ball of fire they explode and with them the lights of the car flicker, brighten up and are gone. All of a sudden I am surrounded by total darkness…
There is an afterglow from the sign, or perhaps my mind just plays tricks with me. I still can see it: ”HANKO 53”. Hang on to the sign! The figure and the ambulance are closer now, racing at an incredible speed. Which will reach me first? They change colours constantly, they are red and white, white and red until you cannot tell them apart anymore, they mingle more and more until they are one big blurr, whirrling and racing at this insane speed. The shadows in the background sing, howl, wail, beckon. They stand in a row high above a ledge in some forest, clad in thin flimsy clothing, like greek godesses. Wails like the siren from an ambulance
All of a sudden the ambulance is there and so is the figure in red/white, HANKO 53 between them. The figure smiles, more beautifull than an angel. Who are you? What are you? What to do? The ambulance is a man dressed in functional emergency-clothes, red and yellow and white fluorescent stripes. HANKO 53 shines like a star, bright red with white, looks like Christmas. Cold. Hot. Hot like summer. A beach, sand,….wails, a tunnel. I am falling. Who? Someone is falling into a large red and white hole, wailing hole. The man from the ambulance follows, shouting, the angel smiles. Air. I breath. I still breath.
”Do you hear me?” the man from the ambulance.
The angel smiles
”Do you hear me?”
what is that red snow doing on a sandy beach?
Can you hear me?
My head turns to the man in red and yellow.
the angel smiles…