Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yesterday, I broke my leg, got hit by a car and fell down an elevator shaft

Yesterday, I was taking an afternoon walk around the neighborhood and lake, and realized that there is this "imagination" phenomenon that keeps happening to me. I was walking down a flight of steps, when suddenly this vivid, ultra-realistic "flash" happened in my mind. I made a step down, and suddenly, my left leg buckled and completely fractured. A hideous compound fracture, complete with bone cracking sound and spurting blood. I felt it, experienced it, and my breath escaped my lungs. Then suddenly, I realized I had just taken a normal step down, and everything was fine. No tibia sticking out of my leg. About 15 minutes later, I was on the sidewalk, noticing the cars coming toward me on the road and passing innocently. Then, one of the cars swerved off the road, and before I had time to react, and dive into the bushes or take other evasive action, the grill of the SUV hit me full on and and I felt myself being crushed underneath two tons of metal. Of course, it was just a mental "twitch," and the SUV had actually just driven by on the road, with nothing so gruesome happening. Heading into the office as I do every morning, I got on the elevator and pressed "3." About halfway up, the elevator cables snapped, and I plummeted down the shaft and crashed at the bottom. Seconds later, I realized the doors were opening on my floor, and nothing had happened.

I have these little "waking nightmares" all the time. At least 5 or 6 times per week, if not more. They seem to last a while, but in reality, it's just a split second in my mind. Much like Picard in "The Inner Light," or the soldier in "Occurrence at Owl Creek." They take different forms and involve different types of horrific accidents (though the "hit by car" and "leg snapping like a dry twig" are pretty common). Is this normal? Does this signify some type of underlying paranoia or death wish? I was a psych major for a few quarters, but don't really recall covering this. And why can't these flights of fancy be more pleasant? Like a three-way with the Deschanel sisters and a bottle of Patron?

Does this happen to anyone else? Or should I just be looking for a comfy couch where I can pay $200 an hour to talk about my childhood?


  1. I sometimes wish for a debilitating injury to spend a few days in the hospital "to get away from things" (also known as Bring me the Class A narcotics) daydream, and the occasional bought of deja vu, but nothing like yours!

  2. I can certainly appreciate the narcotics, but it's not like I "wish" for the bizarre disaster "flashes." They just happen. For example, I was recently slicing a tomato, and "saw" myself slipping and cutting off a finger. Perhaps, optimistically, it's a form of "Spidey-sense" that warns me of impending danger, and how I might avoid it? Or, ya know, I could just be major league fucked up.

  3. My theory.... too many mind altering substances imbibed during your lifetime. However, love the "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" reference.... a classic!

  4. Shan! I thought it was just me! This phenom happens to me all the time. Most of the time while driving when I completely envision some horrific wreck in which I am hit head on, the car flips or some other gods-awful thing. Like you it's just a second but feels like so much longer with much detail. It ALWAYS freaks me the heck out and I force myself to re-think it without the mayhem and destruction just in case my powers are even more potent than I think they are!

    So... either we are both seriously screwed up or this is not as uncommon as we think.

    Frankly I'm relieved to know it isn't just me!



    PS... are you paying attention? Have you noticed all the Twilight hype? Sooner or later you'll have to break down - you don't want to be the only one who is out of the loop do you??? ;)

    21 days and counting until Breaking Dawn!

  5. Freebird: might be a good call. However, read Meg's comment -- she wasn't in the "Keith Richards" school of toxicology, and has the same bizarre flashes. Of course, using the reference you appreciated, my whole LIFE could just be a "flash," you could just be imagined, and I could be hanging from a bridge.

  6. Meg: Glad I'm not alone on this one. That is a strange thing, no? In a way, it does make you more "careful," and think what you would do IF something like that happened. I know when I'm walking, I'm always cognizant of where I would dive or jump in case the car goes off the road and heads toward me.

    With regard to Twilight, nope, you can't escape it. I finally took your suggestion, and started to listen to fiction audiobooks. (I've long listened to business books this way, but with the iPod, it's so much easier). I went to the library (right next door to me!) and picked up HP and the Half Blood Prince, put all 17 CDs into iTunes, and am now listening to that. I think I may do that with Twilight. My only worry is that the series really seems designed as "chick lit" (or at least the greatest demographic of the novels seems to be women) and that I might not find it as interesting as I do other vamp tales. But after I finish HP, I'll probably give it a shot.