Gravity Hill, The Gravity of the Situation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an introduction to a series of short stories involving a gravity hill. There are hundreds of these strange places located around the world. My first encounter with a gravity hill was in 1977. The section in my story about my first visit is actually true, but of course names were changes.

Submitted: April 21, 2013

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Submitted: April 21, 2013

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Gravity Hill, The Gravity of the Situation.

 

The staccato of the emergency flashers, and the amber light behind closed eyes brought me around. Then the pain set in. I also knew at that point that moving was not an option. I slowly opened my eyes and with the intermittent flashes of light I saw myself momentarily in the reflection from the chrome bumper. Prone, and very broken.

I heard someone faintly talking to my left. I moved my head slightly, and my hearing began to adjust, and that’s when I saw him. He was cross legged, wearing a Kandora and worn sandals. The long hair and beard began to give light to his identity, but the almost obnoxious smile was the dead giveaway.

 

“And I’ve seen you looking better” was all I caught of his voice. I wanted to tell him, well you look pretty good for being dead for 25 years, but nothing was coming out of my mouth. I was forced to listen, as I always had with him in the past. David went on to say, “There are rules here. One of those being, DON’T come here at night… it’s way to dangerous.”

 

I remembered putting on the emergency flashers after I had gotten to the bottom of gravity hill. I had turned off the ignition, put the shifter in neutral, aligned the wheels straight, and got out of the car. I walked to the front of the car and waited as it slowly rolled in reverse up the hill.

I had never been here at night before, but drinking often made me unpredictable. Normally in self destructive ways. What I didn’t know was that a truck driver that was cresting the hill had dropped his cigarette on the floor board and had momentarly shifted his vision to retrieve it. By the time he peered up, it was too late. Two forces collided. The force of a truck traveling at 50 miles an hour, and the opposing force of gravity hill.

The car on impact traveled forward about 30 feet, but the opposing force of gravity hill started it to again, roll back up the hill until it reached the bumper of the wrecked truck and stopped. The phenomena of this place is pretty freaky. Any object placed at the bottom of the hill will roll uphill. My choice of objects was the automobile, but anything works. Liquids spilled on the ground spread out uphill. I even saw a box one time tumble end over end up the hill. Not many people know about this place.

 

 I was introduced by a friend, who cooked up this elaborate plan to test my friendship. His girlfriend Sabine, and her friend, asked me to go with them for gas and beer. The girls took seats in the front, and I had the backseat all to myself. I had been drinking tequila, and that always make me want to lounge around, so I semi reclined in the backseat and listened to the girls talk behind the music on the radio. After a short drive the girls got out. Sabine went for beer and her friend pumped gas. Not very chivalrous of me, but I was very buzzed. When they got back into the car they both turned and looked me dead in the face. Sabine said “We’re going to my dad’s cabin for the weekend, and we’re kidnapping you for our threesome.” You have to understand…these girls were drop dead gorgeous, and in a tequila fog, the idea initially sounded GREAT! Raleigh was a good friend, I mean a real good friend, and that means a lot to a guy. Plus there are guy rules you just don’t break, and this would have been breaking one in a big way. Luckily, my mouth took over and I told them that normally I would have allowed myself to be kidnapped, but not this time. At this they both smiled, laughed and we returned to Raleigh’s.

 

As I was finishing that last few pulls from the bottle of 1800, Raleigh said he appreciated my friendship and let me in on the little test he had setup with the girls. I was a little pissed, but Raleigh calmed me down, and said he had a little surprise for my loyalty. “You have to check this place out” He drove to the hill, stopped at the bottom of the downgrade, turned off the ignition, and put the car in neutral. All he said was “get out and watch.” He laughed as I walked around the car as it rolled up hill. He said “Don’t try and figure it out. It just happens.” That was my first experience with Gravity Hill.

This thought flashed through my mind as I laid there on the ground, but David’s voice and the pain brought me back to reality. I don’t remember everything he said, but the last part, I do remember “…and you’ll come back here and none of this will have happened.”

From there, I just passed out.

 

You can always tell when you are in a hospital. The light is severely harsh. The place smells of chemicals that attempt to mask the odor of illness, and it’s always cold. I guess they try to preserve the patients as long as possible. At least until the insurance runs out. I’m one of those that can’t sleep on my back. I roll from one side to the other all night. I woke, realized I was in the hospital, but still wanted sleep. As I attempted to roll right, I was stopped by a handcuffed left wrist to the bed frame. It was one of those “what the hell” moments. If they are lucky, drunks remember bits and pieces of the night before. This morning, handcuffed to a hospital bed, these bits and pieces came flooding in and they were embarrassingly clear.

 

It was Friday night, and I stopped at my favorite package store for smokes and a bottle. The proprietor was a really cool North African whom I had developed a relationship with over the years. Tonight I brought the bottle to the counter, and he said “the usual.” I said yes sir, and he placed 2 packs of Kools next to the tequila. I asked him, when he was going to have the sign changed. The package store was called The Neighborhood Liquor Store, but the sign outside spelled it as Nieborhood. He said “Too expensive.” I just said you’re right. Plus if anyone commented on the misspelling they are truly an observant drunk. We both laughed, and I heading around the corner to my little apartment.

There are two things that I know that don’t go well with alcohol. One is an empty stomack, and the other, in my case was the telephone. That night I went head first into the 1800 and had not eaten since lunch.

Whenever I used to get really drunk, I just couldn’t stay off the phone. Of course I would call absolutely the wrong people. It was never other drunks; it was always my sober family members who loved to talk with me…EXCEPT when I was drinking. That night it was my daughter.

This is where things get fuzzy. I remember phoning her, and some babble about ending things. I remember my door flying open and a couple of local police. The only thing up to being in the hospital was the memory of seeing my young daughter in the back of a patrol car looking at me as I was being half carried to another patrol car. She was crying uncontrollably and I know I felt horrible.

 

As I laid there in tears, in complete shame, and disgusted with myself, the nurse came in to check the patient’s vitals. She noticed I was awake, and said “I don’t think you know the gravity of the situation. You should be dead with that kind of blood alcohol content.”

“You’re lucky to be alive.” As I turned my head away, all I could think of was how unlucky I was. All I could see was my beautiful daughter, whom I love more than anything on earth, crying in that patrol car. This was my entire fault.

 

I was committed for a 72 hour psych evaluation at a local mental ward. During all the meetings with doctors, and group sessions, all I could think about was calling my daughter. When I was finally allowed to make a call, there was no question who I would be speaking with. When Nicole answered the phone, she spoke with a very startled voice, and the words just flooded out of her. “Daddy I’m so sorry I called the police” she kept saying. I finally stopped her and told her, sweetie, I’m so proud of you…you’re my true little hero. With that she just broke down and cried. I’ve never wanted to hold someone so badly before or after that phone conversation.

 

After I was released from the hospital, I spent the next few weeks working to repair my relationship with Nicole, and worked at staying sober. During this time I also ad this uncontrollable urge to visit Gravity Hill again, so on a early Saturday morning that’s where I headed. It was a gorgeous early summer morning, so I put the top down on the pony and enjoyed the Oklahoma wind.

For some reason, in the back of my mind I was concerned about the possibility of someone coming over the hill, as my car traveled up the hill. There were two boys down by a creek that borders the hill so I signaled them to come over, handed them both a five dollar bill, and told them to go to the top of the hill and signal me if they saw any traffic coming. They both were thrilled with the cash and off they ran to the hilltop vantage point.

During past visits to the hill I had never allowed my car to travel very far up the hill. Today for some reason, I wanted to see just how far it would go, and what would happen.

That thought puzzled me because what should happen, like anything would happen.

I followed the Mustang from the driver’s side, and noticed as it rolled farther up the hill it gained speed as well. That’s when David appeared on the passenger side, and I wasn’t even shocked to see my father who had been dead for 25 years. He was dressed in a white Kandora robe. He also showed his patented obnoxious grin, and said “You’ll go back and fix this, and you’ll never remember this happened.” All of this should have been completely shocking, but it wasn’t. I actually felt calm, which is something I had rarely ever felt around David.

The car was beginning to pick up speed so I looked up the hill to check the boy’s. They waved signaling all was clear. David and I, at this point, were walking fast to keep up with the ever increasing speed of the Mustang. For some reason I had the feeling of anticipation. I looked over at David and his last words were, “You will have to come back. That’s the price to pay to repair this thing with your daughter. You’ll know when the time is right, and I’ll be here. That’s the only thing you will remember is that I’ll be here. Son…just know I love you, and always have.” I had never heard him say that before or maybe he had, and all the pain I felt because of him made me forget. All I knew was that it felt good to hear right at that moment. Then everything got real bright.

 

It was Friday night, and I stopped at my favorite package store for smokes and a bottle. The proprietor was a really cool North African whom I had developed a relationship with over the years. Tonight I brought the bottle to the counter, and he said “the usual.” I said yes sir, and he placed 2 packs of Kools next to the tequila. For some reason I grabbed the bottle of 1800 and took it back to the shelf, calling back over my shoulder that I only needed the cigarettes tonight. When I got back to the counter I asked him, when he was going to have the sign changed. The package store was called The Neighborhood Liquor Store, but the sign outside spelled it as Nieborhood. He said “Too expensive.” I just said you’re right. Plus if anyone commented on the misspelling they are truly an observant drunk. We both laughed, and I heading around the corner to my little apartment.

I had the urge to call my daughter, and she answered in her normally cheerful sweet voice. Sweetie, it’s late notice but how about dinner with the old man? She said “absolutely.” After I hung up I thought what an amazing girl she was. It was like she was a little hero in my eyes.

 

 

 

 

 


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