In a previous writing I detail my birthday accident where I was struck and thrown in the air by a truck whose driver did not see me sprinting after one of my party guests who had taken my hat. I had to be resuscitated by the EMT’s, but I was briefly gone. I remember no final scenes flashing before me, but the paramedics appeared overly happy when I regained consciousness. I mean how many life-altering scenes do you have in the film can at 4 years old?
Evidently, it was only the first time I died.
I was working as an Assistant Manager for my brother’s coffee shop and dating a girl named Jenny. She worked full-time as a ballroom dance instructor for the Arthur Murray Dance Studios. She was also an RN, doing home nursing back before it was even a thing.
She was legit. She could do ALL the dances. She was also the nicest person I had met up to that point in my life. She dragged me along to watch her dance, and I had to admit to myself, that I really enjoyed the rare combination of fluidity, power, and precision displayed on the ballroom floor. I also love competition of any kind, as long as there is a winner and a loser, so I was good.
I joke about my own dancing moves (or lack thereof), but she competed at state and regional contests. So, we are in a nice hotel in San Francisco for the Western Regional Finals where Jenny placed second in the Tango competition. We partied well into the night as we celebrated Jenny’s amazing performance. I think she also took home some cash, but I don’t quite remember those details. So the party continued until we literally dropped into the California King bed in our room with an awesome view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
It is about 6am and I am lying next to Jenny. I remember I was having a dream that I was on a big transport plane like a C-130 and we were flying over the ocean. The sky was a light baby-blue and contrasted with the indigo-blue as we reached deep water. The next thing you know, I don’t recall how or why, but I am falling toward the ocean. I can see the plane getting smaller and smaller as I fall faster and faster speeding towards the water. I brace for impact and I can actually feel my bones shattering as I hit the water lying flat on my back. As I begin to slowly sink, I see the light of day begin to fade beneath the opaque water.
As I approached darkness, a bright light illuminated the Virgin Mary and she was holding baby Jesus. No words: I just felt so warm and fearless.
I was rousted out of this state by Jenny, who was beating the shit out of my chest and screaming at the top of her lungs. A stethoscope was swinging from her bare neck as she caught her breath. I could hear sirens outside pulling up to her apartment.
“Oh my God Mark, you died,” she said. You had no pulse for 5 minutes.”