Not too long ago a car lost control going 90 mph on the highway in front of me, if I had not braked and swerved exactly as I had as fast as I did, that car would have picked me up with it as it kept flipping over the lanes horizontally before slamming in to the wall just a few yards away from me. It happened so fast I almost didn’t see the car go from the far left HOV lane all the way to crossing over to the far right exit lane that I was in. It happened in a blink of an eye. But just as the movies depict moments like these, in the matter of time it took me to blink, time did cease itself for that split moment that car made contact with that wall. Time had to have stopped, because the crash was hardly audible as if the speed of sound slowed as crazy as that sounds. And at that exact moment, in my head, that driver just died from that impact and that’s what rocked me- I had never seen death at the climax of his hunt, I’ve only ever witnessed the after carnage of his kills. After I hung up the phone with the 911 operator, it weighed less heavy on me once I accepted there was a possibility that I had not seen death come alive. And my heart rate descended back to its regular rhythm, as did my life.
Frankly, I never felt like I was in danger, it was witnessing the act of death robbing a life that made everything in me hyper-react.
No, in fact I’ve lived out of harms way my whole life. And even if I was ever in the same vicinity as danger, I groomed myself to believe I could fight it, it would never defeat me. That’s a luxury. I was raised by a strong woman who embedded in me the belief that you are nothing if you are not strong. It is a luxury for me to believe I can outrun death and outsmart evil as if they were just inconveniences to me. I grew up and life introduced me to evils I could not understand, because it bore qualities of pureness and beauty yet left mangled ruins behind. Ah, but what is evil is subjective to the eye of the beholder, and the definition of justice and fairness becomes interchangeable with ambiguity. I learned to understand through patterns of behavior, I, yet again, took for granted the luxuries of my evils.
I don’t want to finish. This began as a creative outlet, not a significant one or even a good one for that matter. I was trying to appease my pain by creating something from it. I just want to talk about it now.
I was talking about how my evils and dangers are a luxury, and this is why: I am ashamed of how safe and so very insignificantly small I feel when I read or watch what happens around the world. Just now, I watched a live video of people in Syria moments after a chemical attack. I don’t know or care for the premise of the video, the title of the video “Syria today: chemical attack by Assad. The media is hiding this from you” triggered nothing for me and was completely irrelevant. I could only focus on the people in the video, the ones who were trying to save the ones who were dying among the dead. Men and women, young and old. Children. The elderly. The sons. The daughters. The camera panned over these humans teetering on a thin line towards death, they were stripped of their clothes and sprayed down with water to counteract the chemicals and prevent anymore damage. And then there was a shot of a young boy, his body laid limp and far from his control, yet stiff and twitched from whatever damage it just endured. And he was heaving sharp and slow. And his eyes were looking up at the sky in a lazy roll, and he should have let go but he was fighting it. He had long eyelashes and curly brown hair. He wasn’t crying. But his skin was inflamed, red yet pale at the same time.
I didn’t feel anything and then I felt everything. And I will never forgive myself if my heart or my life finds its regular rhythm again.
Death and evil have evolved for me just now, and I will never be able to fathom this as my world’s reality but this is my war cry: it won’t go in vain. You did not live forgotten or die in vain.