In an Airplane

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a recount of an experience. Depicted here are the moments before I died in an airplane crash, and what, in death, I found.

Though I personally cannot call it such with any conviction, you may think of it as a dream.

Submitted: June 13, 2012

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Submitted: June 13, 2012



In an Airplane

I looked out the window to my right and saw the horizon slanted at an alarming angle. Standing up, I looked around the cabin; most everyone was unaware of the tilt, but there were two or three people panicking absolutely. Those people weren’t drawing any attention, though, and that was strange because the cabin was packed. I was the only one aware of the change in our trajectory with a retention of wit.

The attendants were mysteriously absent, so I walked to the front of the plane to seek an explanation. They weren’t there either, but I did find the cockpit door hanging open on one hinge, pilots nowhere to be seen. Through the window I could see a lot of ground and not enough sky. In the instant that I saw through that glass, I felt what I imagine the giant, movie robots feel when they’re about to cease; the slow-motion, shutdown feeling-sound; the jjhewvh!

I started to turn around and look for some escape as panic welled up. To my left I found a single parachute, snagged and abandoned in reckless haste, and I understood what had become of the staff. After freeing the snared strap and picking up the bag, I turned back to the window. Something came over me then. Without really knowing why I did it, I set the parachute down. Some part of me said, Just let it happen. Just accept it. And that’s what I did.

I decided that I should be happy in my last moments, so I began to try and smile. I found that, in the acceptance of my fate, I could let go of all of my fears, frustrations, anxieties and grudges as if they were nothing; I could let go of all of my friends and loves and just be grateful for what I’d had with them. My smile grew bigger than it had ever been before; until it became less a simple contraction of muscles, and more a wordless broadcast of pure happiness. It was serenity; tranquility; inner-peace. Call it whatever, it was beautiful. So, so beautiful. And I just stood there, beaming until it ended.

The very last sense-perceptions I had were of my head and torso both being crushed from the left side. There was no pain, my senses were too inconsequential, but there was a fleeting feeling that it had happened. All I saw was red, as if I had peered at the sun through closed eyes. And then there was no more me; no more “I.”

But there was something there: Freedom. Wordless, imageless, senseless, abstract thought. I want to say it was my thought, and it was in a way, but there was no me; no identity with which to possess it. It was free absolutely to conceive and conceptualize, but it wasn’t in control either. I want it to say it was random, but it was more like it was so free that it did what it wanted without wanting to; without having to want to; without having wants at all. It didn’t have a “me,” either. I mean, it was me, at least in part, but there was no me; it was what I had become when “I” unbecame.

Its freedom was not even beholden to dimension. Physically, it was nothing. There were no senses; there was no perception of space or time, but the thing still was. It was infinite in that way, because, does it not make sense that when there is nothing and there is something that that something is everything?

But then there was something else; an energy of sorts. It would be inappropriate to call it a light in the dark but that’s the closest I can come. It was a beating heart, devoid of context and independent of the expanseless force of conception, though it was perceived of, or, perhaps more likely, conceived of by it. It felt more like perception, yet there were no senses with which to perceive it. Then there was a soft flow of air through a nose and into lungs. The expanselessness shifted into a shallow darkness and I awoke in my bed in Lago Vista.

I just laid there, eyes open as my senses slowly returned. After regaining my vision, I sensed sound again first. Then, since I could see them, I began to sense my arms and what they could feel. I could perceive time again, too, and after lying still for a few minutes I began to feel that something was missing. Shortly, I sensed a mass opposite my head, and remembered my lower body.

And there was me. I, complete. And I cried a long time for the freedom.



© Copyright 2019 Tom H Hart. All rights reserved.

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