Pop....Sizzle...Pop...Pop...Sizzle...background noise echoing in the murky netherworld of her mind, dragging her back to consciousness. Earth, the gritty taste sours her swollen tongue as it makes its way around her mouth, pressing teeth for tenderness. Wincing, she sets off a wheezing cough, breath squeezing into her lungs, like flat balloons under the oppressive weight pushing down on her from all sides. Pushing her eyelids open, she is rewarded with further darkness. Only her fingers felt the stinging freedom in the open air against the sticky nubs were nails used to reside. Clawing furrows in the soil through the pain, she does all she knows to do....SCREAM!
Sunlight plays against the rainbow of leaves clinging to twisted branches, an artist playground framing the winding asphalt leading to home. Layers of voices, various conversations blend into a cacophony of noise competing with the songs pushing out of the radio speakers. The weekend was refreshing, among friends, a nice retreat from the daily treadmill of work. It would be nice to get home and fall into the crisp comfort of cold sheets.
Cresting the hill, black snakes of rubber create erratic waves in the asphalt, black smoke rising in a haze over the twisted metal of an overturned car. Time slows, warping to surreal as the screams pierce the silence that has fallen over our camaraderie as we pull to the side. Our soles tromp in rhythm, barking orders...call 911...stop traffic...first aid kit...someone trapped under the car...a lone bloody hand splayed, reaching for hope.
We are here, you are not alone. We are going to help.
Red rags litter the side of the road, where she lay staring at the fading blue sky, each breath taking her one step away from the bondage she narrowly escaped. Driving back to school, I looked down for one instance and...shock riddles her coherence. A long sirens wail heralds the arrival of the professionals, come to save the day. Returning to our van an eerie calm settles over us, reminding us of times we felt trapped.
Accepting help has not always been easy for me, you can blame it on manhood, as evidenced by our lack of stopping to ask for directions, but I imagine we all struggle with it. Its so much easier to be the hero. Its a trap in and of itself, playing the self sufficient lummox. Really its about pride...showing you have what it takes or feeling you have to prove who you are.
There is an angel out there tonight that brought a tear to my eye when I opened an unexpected package in the mail and found a laptop. Thank you, I am humbled in my joy, no longer trapped by the one hour of time online at the library.
We all need help, sometimes we just have to learn to accept it.