I walked to the public clinic in my neighborhood after breakfast that day to have the gauze on my right arm (which was balling-up already as it had stayed there for 5 goddamn days) taken off forever. As I was on my way, the expected unpleasant feeling of finally meeting the ugly scars out of 8 stitches was offset by my excitement about finally being able to have a proper bath in half a month. I felt calm, and alone. The aloneness, definitely not in a pathetic way, refers me to the aloneness I felt the moment I fell off that motorbike, lying in my own blood. I shall call it the “ultimate aloneness”. I realized people were piling around me asking whether I was okay, but knowing that I was getting help from warm-hearted strangers didn’t to the slightest degree lighten that aloneness I was feeling – the kind one would never had any idea of until one went through the sheer moment in peril of ceasing to live.
The aloneness, as I tried to reason it, was because the intense emotion, the tremble of soul after visiting the edge between being and not-being is in no way to be shared with anyone else, not even your closest ones. You may try with all the words you know and all the languages available , but you gathered it would be a doomed failure. You would never be satisfied enough with what you could possibly deliver, nor could you stop suspecting others when they claimed they understood. You had it all to yourself. It became a locked secret that you never intended to keep.
I insist that it has to be after I get rid of the last piece of bandage that I’ll start to put things down in words. Otherwise I can’t be chilled enough to look back and think over the whole incident, knowing that the leftover of the self-sympathy in my body would always come in the way to keep me from a neutral confession.
However, as I’m finally determined to give it a try now, when I close my eyes, retrieve my memory and replay that scene, the sense of alienation I spent so long to build up become flooded by the same old fear in an eye blink. So I just said it, fear. It was fear that swallowed me at that moment, so huge a fear that made me forget to pull the brake at my left hand, forget to let go of the accelerator at my right hand, forget to turn the vehicle around, forget everything I was supposed to do. I was completely absorbed in that dark-hole alike fear that I gave up doing anything but simply waited for it to happen — letting it be whatever it ought to be. (If I was gonna die, I would die. If I was gonna be a disabled ever after, I would have to live with that.) It happened, the “Bang!”, the crash. The process was very quick, but not quick enough. I waited for a while, confirmed with myself that I was still alive, then there started the unbearable pain.
Today as I revisited the scene, months after it, just as every single time I revisited it ever since it happened, I couldn’t help gasping at it with my heart rate going straight up as I had no choice but to go over that dreadful fear. It seems to not decrease at all as time goes by. I doubt if fears of this kind will ever fade away after all.
People say I was strong to bear with the whole thing. It wasn’t true. I was at my weakest, body and mind. I cried frequently, sometimes due to the pain, while other times I simply just wanted to.
But you see, I was actually unbelievably lucky, underneath all. My body got to retain its full function with no bones broken, and my face was miraculously unmarred. No, “lucky” is too superficial a word for my luckiness. I hold no intention to overrate or underestimate my luckiness, just as I’m not inclined to exaggerate or understate my unluckiness. Whatever it puts me through, to endure is the only fair solution I’m left with.
I have no answer for what alteration this incident exerted on me in specific terms. For all I can say, if there was one occurrence that revealed my earnestness for life I tried so hard to defy, this is it.