Oh What a Feeling (Breaking My Neck at 15)

At the time I did not see myself as a child, in fact anything but. I did not yet see myself as an adult but in my young and naïve eyes I was most certainly not a child. I was to handle the situation as it came, as it manifested itself, blanketed itself over me and my petty existence, immediately and devastatingly at first, and then quietly and slowly in the decade to come. I was to deal with what had happened like an adult and not as a child because as far as I knew I had not been a child for at least three years. Whether or not this premature position of consciousness was of any help I do not know. In retrospect of course I was not at all an adult, a decade and a half of living renders me more of an infant than an adult. Indeed I was but a child. A baby really, a baby in a young teenagers body who thought no doubt he had seen the world and everything in it. I’ll tell you what though at the point of impact the severance of motor movement mattered hardly for the fear it awoke within me was enough to paralyze my soul ten-fold. Yes, the terror was quite literally a deafening roar, engulfing my body, my mind. An earthquake of enormous power devastated my reality as I tried to grip my surroundings physically and emotionally. While reminiscing now my mind wants tenaciously for me to remember a life-flashing moment but contrary to popular belief I had no such experience. I’m afraid my account was quite conscious and lucid through and through unfortunately. As terrible as the first shockwave of fear was the secondary quakes killed me existentially five times over. For the time lying on that ice allowed my mind the freedom to wander and explore my novel reality indefinitely. Thoughts and worries pinged around inside my skull like a pin-ball inside a broken machine. With each ping my reflection of the situation snow-balled growing larger and denser as the seconds ticked by. Very quickly however, in maybe five or six seconds, the impossible realization I had come to cast a shadow over my (entire) future so wide and so dark it was all my mind could do to let it go. No sooner than my subconscious had saved me from that unimaginable torture had my racing brain pinged another equally horrifying reality into existence. And so my mind went. Five or six seconds of escalading unbelievable terror and depression, until I dropped it, followed by one or two seconds of horrid stimuli (re)processing until the dance started again. This game perpetuated itself for God knows how long, through gliding ice skates and adult faces coming in and out of focus until I saw a familiar one, jolting me out of my stupor. My father stood above me peering down, his eyes screaming in my direction. His mouth moved, but I know not what came out. My mind was split between the game and my future and the now of the situation. Dads face didn’t look sad. It didn’t look upset either…What I saw, what I remember was like looking in a mirror, a face so scared it couldn’t function right. He looked frightened, petrified really. The look haunts me still, I can’t fathom what keeps him up at night. The paramedics showed up an amount of time later. I was rolled up onto the board, neck stabilized. Out I rolled, off the ice, through the rink doors into an ambulance. If only I knew. If only dad knew. We had no idea what had just detonated in our faces, blown up in our lives. We had no idea that by far the greatest fight of both our lives had just begun. How could we?


About ben james

"The stars keep me up at night" -some song I heard one time Human. Studying the intersection of Neuroscience and Computation. Wanna be (astro) physicist.
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