Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Post Fifty-One: That Time With The Reaper, Him and Me.

I almost died once. Actually, twice.

The first time was in Western Australia on Mothers Day in 1987. Poor mum.

I decided that, being the dickhead toddler that I was, I'd escape from the house and the questionably watchful eyes of my older sisters. We were at my mums friends house in Balga, and I vaguely remember walking around the front yard looking at this womans flower garden and picking up rocks to add to my collection...I collected pebbles and sometimes still do. I guess chilling out in the gutter on a busy street isn't a particularly safe activity for a small child?

Apparently, mum and dad were going out for a mothers day luncheon with mums friend and her husband. They thought I was safe inside so they got into this womans car, mum and dad buckled up in the back. As they reversed down the curb they felt a little bit of a bump, then heard what I guess was me screaming my little head off. Literally. They'd reversed straight on over me, the wheels narrowly missing my tiny body but the number plate smashing my head open as the car dropped over the curb...

I don't know if I've reconstructed the memory or whether it is etched into my brain. I feel like I can see the underside of the car when I close my eyes. I think I tried to push up on it, to get it off me, but I don't know if it would have even been over me for long enough for me to react like that. I can see my dad screaming at the woman, telling her to "shut the f*ck up and drive me to the hospital".

The poor lady was hysterical (as you would be). My dad craddled me in his arms in the middle of the rear seat with my mum next to him his right, so mum was holding my oozing head. Then, I think I blacked out and I can't remember any more of the journey or the operation to follow.

After this, I remember (or have built the memory of) waking up in a cot in the hospital ward. I thought it was weird that I was in a cot, because I slept in a big bed already. My head felt huge, and I cried out in the dark to the nurses that were illuminated in the hall but no-one came. Only the sounds of high heels and air conditioning surrounded me. I felt like I cried for ages, but I realised that I had a new teddy that someone must have given me, so I decided to chew on his ear for a while instead. That is all I remember, but I have a nasty scar, a triangle skull and a bald patch to jog my memories. Oh, and I still have my hospital teddy.

My second narrow escape came in December 1999 at Maroochydore Beach, QLD. I was 15, awkard, introverted and desperate to grow some boobs. I'm still all of those things, apart from 15. Oh....shit.

It was school holidays and my family and best friend Jo, along with her parents, were vacationing at the Sunshine Coast. We did this for about four years running, and I remember being excited about it for the whole year. I always thought I was going to have a summer romance and finally kiss some blonde haired surfer boy, but this was never the case. I didn't have my first kiss until I was 16, no 17! (I got drunk on Red Bear vodkas at Cassi Devine's (her real name!) 18th birthday party in Redcliffe and made out with a seedy hip hop loving guy from the local state school. Ugh, we made out on the trampoline in front of everybody and I'm pretty sure he wanted to have sex with me. It was very, very gross and I regretted it for years.... I came home with the worst hickies, wore a turtle neck for about a week and my mum smirked at me for days.

Anyway, Jo and I decided to go out for a swim in the surf on the second day of vacation. It was a picture perfect Queensland day, but the surf was a little rough. I remember wishing that I wasn't so peer-pressured into wearing triangle bikinis because I had no boobs and if the surf got too rough I'd end up with the yellow top around my belly button. Jo had an amazing rack, blonde long hair and was pretty much a babe, so when I hung around her I pretty much tagged along wishing to sink into her shadow.

I remember being in the water up to my knees, and the next second I was under over my head. Apparently, we found ourselves swept out in a crazy rip which I didn't think was possible in that type of depth. Seriously, the water was kiddy deep.

Quite a few people were caught in the rip too, and I remember hearing a heap of yelling for a while before things went silent. Jo sure was pretty, but she was a lousy swimmer. She grabbed my arm from the right and started panicking and before long she was pushing me under to get herself some buoyancy. (bitch).

I do know, at this point, I thought I was going to die. About six huge dumping waves washed over us and with each one I lost a little more hope. After that set, Jo was washed a couple of metres away from me so I had a moment or two to breathe. I looked out to the shore, which was by now so far away, and the people standing on the beach were tiny little dots. They looked so pretty, like little colourful jewels. I said to myself "Huh, cool. I'm gonna die. " It was very serene, very calm, and I was ready.

Then, and this is the weird part, a really cute blonde surfer guy grabbed my hand out of nowhere. We did the egg-beater together (this is not a euphemism), and after the next set of dumpers he managed to get out that his name was Luke and that he was a fucking life saver from NSW that was on holidays! He too was stuck in this mega-c*nt of a rip, and we waited clenching hands, in the washing machine moments that seemed like forever, until the life-savers that were on duty could get out to us. Only one life saver came, Luke stayed out in the surf for a moment while I was thrown onto a surf board and pushed back alone on a wave to the shore.

I came out with the biggest wedgie, and the biggest crush imaginable. I remember walking out of the water and I couldn't hear anything because I was in shock, but no one ran up to hug me. It was weird, as I imagined everyone on the shore would've known that I almost died. No one really noticed me so I dumped the board and ran behind a sand dune to gather my thoughts (and pride).

Later, I found Jo. She was already over it and I could tell she wasn't willing to talk about the fact that she did try to drown me to save herself. I let it slide because she had met up with Luke and his other hot friend Jai and we were apparently going to hang out with them that night. Swoon...

It all ended pretty miserably. I think Jo made out with at least one of them and I awkwardly stood around as the nerdy geek friend and watched them both drool over her. But, and I'm thankful for this, I didn't die.

Peace. xxx


  1. luckily its not your time yet and hopefully the ol reaper wont come a collecting for a long time yet, but when your numbers up your numbers up i've known some crazy people over the years [ me included ] who should have died years ago but are still here and others who have never taken a risk in their lives and get killed in there lounge room by an out of control car. definately fate. keep up the good work. john.

  2. Ah avoiding death stories. And plus you had a romantic angle! That's cool.

    Despite my sedentary white collar ways, though mnot today cos I am in my party hearty dress down Friday Hawaiiain shirt, I've had odd moments of a tango with the Reaper (odd mental image of it with a rose clenched in skeletal teeth).

    As a youngie like you I can remember being near a pool and trying to throw a ball into the water where people were swimming. I was about three. I threw it ... but forgot to let go. It was like something out of the goodies. Into the drink I went and, being a tot, had yet learned to swim.

    Speaking of pools. I was a serial abuser of the no horseplay rules and no running. And, blessed with utterly flat feet, I was more prone to slipping on wet concrete than others. On no less than three occasions I slipped when running and smacked my head onto the concrete. As luck would have it each time this occured I landed more or less on the same part of my head. I now have a livid scar - like yours - that grows from my head in a snaggled line. If I go a number three or less the hair parts to show it.

    Sometimes people notice it and, a goggle, ask how that happened. I tell them it was a knife fight with skins.

    In my gap year from school and uni - only a gap year cos I didn't get in to what I wanted and the 91 recession meant no jobs in a country town - I decided to do explosives at TAFE. Why? I wanted to use the licence as pub ID. That and blowing stuff up is kewl.

    No less than three occasions did I nearly die. The first when we were practicising lighting fuses and some numpty threw his lit discard into the pile of fuses and it went up in a bright flash causing everyone to panic scatter across the rocky paddock. All except me because I was laughing. Then, same day, we blew a stump that had a big chunk of rock under it. The blast hit that rock and instead of the stump lifted out of the ground to gently topple sideways it blew a 100 metres into the air, spinning lazily up between overhead powerlines then landed a foot from the back end of the ute where the explosives were.

    Finally on another excursion to a quarry they blew some rock to show us how it was done. Only they used too much. Head sized chunks of rubble where blown into the trees where we were sheltering and proceeded to drop down the branches like a pinball then thud into the ground a arm's length from my person. That same day the instructor found a box of old gellignite where all the nitro had weeped out, crystallizing on the cardboard. As it had weeped from the gelegnite it meant the compound that made it stable was no longer active. So the instructor ended up slow motion walking it away to blow it up. I wasn't at risk on that one but fcking hell, what an insane course it turned out to be.

    As luck would have it I failed the exam. So no licence for me!

    PS I would have thought your boobly friend's assets would have helped boyancy but then I'm guessing the density is the same as water so probably not.

  3. Scary stories! Guess neither one of those was your time. great blog! just listening to you now on JJJ. Push the blog as far as you can, it's way cool, and so are you! I can see you on oprah before you know it :)