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  • Wojciech Salski

Life's Ride

In those brief moments when everything slows down and we see ourselves struggling through the situation, which has already arrived, it is important to keep a game face on thought the boy leaning against the stone bench by the train station, no one is coming to save us anyway…

Leaving the evening bash, the boy felt wonderful. With his veins buzzing with the alcoholic beverages and loving relationships of his friends he left the caravan site and walked up the hill, as he has been doing for many weeks. He carried his longboard, his loyal companion, his transport assistant, his toy, and reaching the top of the hill he looked down the quiet, 3 AM street. He went down this road many times. He knew every inch, every curve, and every detail of the road’s built. But he was usually fairly sober. Placing the board below his foot, he took out the earphones, plugged them into the phone, and turned on the shuffle mode on Spotify. The quiet of the night dissolved into the rhythms of the song. He was drunk, which made him believe he can make the turn downhill. He was stupid enough to believe the inner voice. His ego, which never stops crying for attention encouraged the back leg to push off. He went down the hill with grace. But only for thirty or so meters.

*

Everything happened so quickly that his mind did not register the outcome, until after he was back on the board, looking down at a bloody jumper. Time slows down when you’re in real trouble he would later recount, I’ve not realized I fell until after anyway… As the board gave into the gravitational pull of the planet’s best, the boy lost control. His mind knew how to skate down, his body (if only in a sober state) knew as well, but in this aftermath of binge drinking state, there was no chance he could have averted the inevitable. He smacked his forehead against the tarpan, broke his phone screen, and scraped each of his limbs in places where the fall made its appearance. He got back onto the board, continued for a few meters, and realized that something was wrong. He was bleeding from his head.

*

There seems to be a certain level of ability to act upon an emergency, even in the direst of the states, even when the body is filled with alcohol’s fumes up to its brim he thought reflecting on the event. The boy took off his jumper, placed it over the head, and dialed 999. He felt stupid. His pride never liked asking for help, especially when it was his own mistakes that led him to such a state, but nevertheless, he had to make a move. Continuing to skate across the bridge, he waited for the connection to be made. The disposition answered, asked for the few details, and soon enough gave the caller an indication there was not much help to be hoped for. Due to high demand, you are placed in the queue sir the woman’s voice on the phone echoed through the boy’s heart, please stay put and wait for the ambulance. She disconnected.

*

At that point, he was already by the train station. Confused about the situation, most likely still in shock from the fall, he leaned against the stone bench and tried to gather his thoughts. Who am I to call he asked himself, should I go home or to the hospital myself…? He felt awkward and stupid. He felt vulnerable. In those brief moments when everything slows down and we see ourselves struggling through the situation, which has already arrived, it is important to keep a game face on thought the boy leaning against the stone bench by the train station, no one is coming to save us anyway… Realizing that whoever he would ask for help, he will have to get them out of their house’s comfort at such a late hour, he hesitated before dialing anyone’s number. An obvious choice was to reach out to the group he left no longer than fifteen minutes ago, and realizing he needs to do something, he clicked the button. A few connections later, as the phone call did not reach his friend straight away, he was back to sitting wondering whether his accident was a major one. Adrenaline rushed through his veins, as he took out the phone and slammed a selfie of an open head wound above his right eye. It was dark and he was drunk, so luckily, he didn’t have the chance to see the bone within clearly.

*

The boy was certain that the ambulance was to come before his friends would. His mind was unable to grasp the idea that such an emergency would be left unresolved. What if I had a fractured skull, he heard his inner questions, what if I lost consciousness on the drop…? Although his life’s approach was far from admitting one’s mortality and accepting one’s death at such a rate, he had to consider it all. If I were to die tonight, how would I feel about my life he pondered swiveling from side to side with blood dripping down his chin.

*

Breathing heavily, remembering the rules from the first aid courses, the boy kept himself awake and aware, looking up and around every now and then. He hoped the ambulance would come soon enough. He hoped anyone would come. At some point, he noticed a shape of a person at the end of the road. Quickly there appeared another two or three shapes in different distances, seemingly coming from the same direction. He felt the wave of disappointment and anger rushing up his spine. What kind of ambulance service does not bother to come and help…?

*

His friends arrived concerned about the event. The questions began pouring from each of their sweet voices. The boy tried to make out a smile, ashamed of the fact he had to bring them into this absurd situation and bring stress upon them. It was all his fault. As they kept him company, one of the girls approached the taxi stand asking for the ride. Yet another moment of craziness arrived, as the taxi driver refused to help as he didn’t want anyone to bleed over his upholstery. He drove away quickly, enraging the group. That’s so fucked up shouted his friend, her eyes gleaming with tears of fury. They waited a moment before the second taxi approached, this time agreeing to take him and the two of them away. The boy sat at the back with his head pressed against the jumper, held by his dear friend. In those brief moments when everything slows down and we see ourselves struggling through the situation, which has already arrived, it is important to keep a game face on thought the boy leaning on his friend’s shoulder, and thanks to our loved ones we are not alone…


Also check out my story about life's laundrette:

https://www.wsalski.com/post/life-s-laundrette


#prose #creativewriting #accident #truestory #lucky #powerful #innerthoughts #innervoice #lifestory #storiesoflife #skate

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