to be around four years old, red headed, and as cute as a bug.
She was in a lime green ski outfit, and her face was flushed,
either from the cool air or from dangling upside down.
was beginning to drop off abruptly, and I knew that I had to act
quickly before the distance between us and the ground increased
too much. I grabbed her stuck ski and slid it out of the chair's
hold, and reached down and grabbed her by the back of her coat,
turning her right side up. I had intended to hoist her up into
the chair, but my efforts at freeing her had caused me to lose
my balance in the chair. All at once I was dangling from the chair
myself by one hand, and holding the kid with the other. That wasn't
anywhere close to the suave rescue effort I had in mind, so it
became time to improvise.
ready to land," I told her, knowing that I had to drop her
right then while we were only about eight feet above the snow.
she said calmly, as if in a game.
her as gently as I could, and saw her sink to her waist in a snow
bank, right before the lights went out. I had my back to the direction
I was going, and I didn't see the support pole lurking there.
I clanked into that pole with the back of my head, and I dropped
like a sack of potatoes, falling about fifteen feet and landing
face-first in the powdery snow.
all I've been through in my life, I'm going to suffocate right
here," I remember thinking, unable to move my body.
…. There's really nothing that compares with the feeling
one gets from being shot at and missed. It's not necessarily a
good feeling, but one of exhilaration and true thankfulness.
the initial denial when you realize that a gun is being pointed
in your direction. Next you comprehend that it is indeed being
purposely aimed at you. At the flash and recoil of the weapon
firing, the reality of the situation hits you. There's that split
second of total panic as you hear the sound and realize you're
the intended destination of the projectile, with no possible time
to dodge, expecting to feel the bullet tear into some vital portion
of your body at any microsecond, followed closely by indescribable
relief when you realize that the bullet meant for you somehow
that when you perceive coming close to death, your entire life
may flash before your eyes. That happened to me at that moment.
It was as if time froze, as I not only thought about things from
my past that hadn't been thought about in years, but also had
time to think of a lot of things that I'd planned to do someday,
but hadn't. I have a theory on this reaction.
tries its very best to take care of us, as it regretfully realizes
that if we go, so does it. Therefore, it will do its absolute
best to save us from our foolish follies. As soon as the "gun-shooting-at-me"
thought data entered my brain for processing, it desperately began
searching for some solution to save me, and therefore it, from
devastation. Since most brains, and mine in particular, haven't
been trained for this particular event, it didn't know what to
do, other than rapidly search its memory banks, hoping to find
some possible action.
a brain, like a computer, uses some type of indexed search; some
key to point it into the right memory area. When faced with apparent
death, however, most brains have nothing in their index to speed
the search. Thus, the brain has to go sequentially though every
memory cell that it has, hoping against hope to find some stored
data that will help. During this sequential search, it rapidly
speeds through every memory that you've ever had, leaving the
impression that your entire life is flashing before your eyes.
I suppose, in a way, it is.
brain didn't have that many memory cells to worry about, or it
searched with incredible speed, because all of this took place
in a matter of about two seconds. That was how long it took for
me to realize that the guy was shooting at me, and for the second
guy to grab the shooter's arm and bring it down.