When I say everything stopped, I include myself. I did not gain superhuman strength or sudden speed, but rather I was frozen, locked in pace. In that moment, though, I could see a way to save her. I saw that inevitable need not be so inevitable and that the non-existent enemy that she had looked out upon just moments before was not as intangible as I had initially thought.
So as time gradually began again, like a child awakening from sleep and as I plunged forward into the humid air, stretching out my hand to grab from her certain death, I slipped. So in saving her, I had secured my own grapple with death.
Some people who have been to the edge of death and returned say they see a white light at the end of tunnel in that moment.
Doctors would tell you that it is cause by random synapses in the brain firing, the mind’s desperate way of trying to stay alive, whereas others would insist that it’s the entrance to heaven.
So did a see a light before my seemingly certain, untimely death?
No, I saw two blinding lights, a train and the shocked pale face of the train driver frantically trying to brake.
I’ve always thought of train stations as a sort of no-man’s land, a commuters purgatory, neither here nor there- just waiting.
If that was true, where would I wake?
My first thought upon waking was that there was no suitable metaphor for being hit by train. Being hit by a train was like being hit by a train. I had no time to experience anything but that lone thought. I saw no sight, I experienced no smell, no feelings, I experienced nothing. I simply fell back into unconscious, dreamless oblivion…
My next awakening was not so abstract. I could not the light of my mind, but rather, I woke to the piercing light of day in which I lay helpless.