How can I start telling what just happened and another incident prior to this one that left me boggled and confused but exhilirated at the same time. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. But maybe with enough room to breathe, and a good mug of steaming coffee, I might start babbling about it. It was really unthinkable, but always possible, and what happened should have scared me out of my wits.
But it didn’t.
Recently, or not so long ago, if my memory serves me right, not that my memory is failing me but let’s leave that for you to think over. I was nearly sideswiped by a car. No not heavy-hitting, bone crunching sideswipe, but just a nudge really, just enough to get me off balance and try to do a Thomas maneauver to land at the top of the sidewalk, just above the gutter line, and hurt my knee, resurrecting an old injury from my cycling days (oh yeah, I miss my bike) and made me limp for a few days. Nothing really just that, the driver was a newbie, on a spanking new Mitsubishi probably bought by his wealthy dad and was anxious to give it a whirl, and was probably sending sms to a friend about his new ride while making a U-turn down Amorsolo street and made a fool of himself and us pedestrians there. It was nothing really, just a wake up call on my part. The driver got the losing end, with a dent on the fender and his license being put up for claims at the local traffic regulatory office.
It was nothing really.
But last Friday, August 3, 2007, between 8:30 and 9:00 pm, on board a taxi driven by a friend (my street holds probably the most number of independent taxis and taxi operators I’ve known) and was glad for the free ride to Sampaloc where I usually take my Bus home to Bicol. I remember hearing my celphone ring and started to get my bag from the backseat when everything turned black. More like the world blurred into darkness like those we see in movies. And everything else was second hand information, becaiuse the next time I opened my eyes, I was dressed in a flimsy hospital gown with a huge erection, for reasons unknown, and my friend Darwin, the taxi driver was also there just across the room smiling like a schoolboy with a nasty joke.
I didn’t have to ask where we are. One look at the familiar walls told me, but that familiarity was from slightly different circumstances, and the feeling is the same sterile, alcohol-smelling Philippine General Hospital. I knew the place when my Aunt was confined here. Never thought I could be the one lying on a century old bed with nothing on except this garment. No Intravenous lines. No patches on my head or arms. No stitched up wounds. Feet feels fine. Hands and fingers all accounted for. My loins seem to be in order judging from that erection a while ago. So what Am I here for? Have I gone mad? Well I am. Sort of. But really, have I turned into a beast while riding a taxi? Have I been transformed into a thrashing, salivating lycanthrope and started ripping people apart only to wake up in a hospital? Nah, nothing of the sort. What happened, while nearly unthinkable a least to me, is really one of those remote possibilities that could happen to you, one way or another.
The taxi we were on, was idling near the intersection, just half a kilometer from where I live. Apparently, a livewire from a nearby house disengaged and whipped at us from above, electrocuting us and no one else on the street. Fortunately, the other taxis were acquaintances and they did what was rational, called Mang Ben, Darwin’s father and Operator, took us out of the cab and into another and drove us to the most practical choice for an emergency, which is where I resumed consciousness. And my bags were secured by Dong, out gopher-guy. And we laughed, Darwin and me, because nobody saw that coming, and we are still alive, bad seeds though we are. 4 hours of unconsciousness and another 8 hours to endure before they let us out, both my cellphones’ batteries were emptied by the incident, and had to borrow a nurse’s mobile phone to let my wife and kids know I was allright, all things considered. And waited. And waited some more. And we were sent packing and sent home.
Fantastic? Well, yes. Something from a fiction novel, right? You bet. Only, it all happened. To me. I was right smack in he middle of it. And I am writing this down, not to moralize and get jiggy with religion, not to suddenly convert and start preaching about faith. No. For one, nothing changed. I still believe in a Supreme Being watching over me. Over all of us. What happened proves that. But I won’t insult HIS intelligence by turning all mushy and worshippy. HE Knows I believe. That’s between HIM and me.
So what are the chances that two seemingly life threatening accidents happening on somebody twice within a span of say two three weeks period? I don’t have a clue. But it did.