Going from Euphoric to almost in the grave in .5 seconds
14th of January.
I won’t forget this day in a long time. I hope more than a long time. I hope I never forget this day.
Today, as I was thinking of the awesome happy article I was going to write about how I really felt alive while driving the motorcycle on my trip back from my VISA run in Pai, I almost fucked up my life.
In the middle of the happiness and euphoria, listening to music and looking at the beautiful scenery, while feeling like Rossi, my front wheel skidded on a patch of dirt on the road while doing a sharp curve. Faster than I could react consciously my body did it for me and made me correct my position to balance the motorcycle from falling on its side at full speed.
But, fuck me sideways, I “corrected” the course towards the metal wall thing that limit the roads on the sides. I hit the brakes as hard as I could and was able to avoid becoming the human cannon ball. But crashing was inevitable. I was already too close and going too quick. I don’t know what hit the ground first but for a couple of seconds I was suspended in the air screaming “shiiiiiiiiit!” before the motorcycle and I hit the floor again.
What the hell just happened?! In just .5 seconds I skidded, corrected my crashing course, hit the brakes, and flew a couple of meters while my loyal motorcycle came flying right behind me.
For a moment the adrenaline took control of me and I jumped up and ran to the motorcycle. Kill me please! The hand break had been torn off. And the right mirror. Shit, the left one too! Oh man! Oh shit! And the thing you put your foot on on the right side. Crap, the left one too!? And wait… why is the wheel looking to the right if the steering system is looking straight forwards? Oh,…crap.
And then I suddenly felt the pain in my left knee and felt it was wet. I let myself fall to the ground and checked my jeans. Almost unscathed. But my knee hurt like hell. I pulled the jeans up and saw that I had an ugly cut which looked quite deep. I checked my head and didn’t feel any blood. Checked all around. Some burns and some skin ripped off but almost perfect!
Ok. Back to reality. What has just happened?! I looked at the road and saw the patch of dirt.
“It was you! Fuck you dirt!”
And then the world fell on me. Oh my God. This is so crazy. This is humiliating. Oh God, how much money is this going to cost?! How am I going to tell my parents!? How am I going to get the motorcycle back?! How am I going to pay this?! How, what, why?!
And then it struck me. Wait. I only hurt my knee and damaged a motorcycle. I was 1 meter away from the edge of the cliff. What’s down there? A 3 meter fall. Wow. And the motorcycle almost launched me like a catapult! Or I could’ve fallen under the motorcycle when it slipped on the dirt patch.
What the heck! I could’ve EASILY lost a leg or an arm on the metal structure or have been catapulted to a pretty sure bone-breaking fall on the road or down the steep fall. And the more I think of it the more I see I could’ve died there. If I had hit the brakes just a little later or hit one of the metal columns of the metal limiting structure I could’ve finished my life on the spot.
Suddenly, in a very weird way, I felt calm. This seems crazy and I’m sure that if I had seen this situation from outside I would’ve thought the person looking calm next to a destroyed motorcycle and bleeding from his knee was nuts. I felt very dizzy (shit, did I check my head for damage well?).
A very uncomfortable nervous feeling was running through my body as my brain started calculating the costs of repairing and my mind told me “hey, this could’ve been 100x worse!”
Now I’m back at the school. I got here by hitch hiking (one country extra to my list!). I had a great lesson with the kids making a girls vs. boys competition in remembering words and expressions from the previous classes. I had an awesome dinner and a comforting conversation with Ten who told me to check my body again. Adrenaline can make you not feel some small bruises that might need checking!
I got a firm friendly handshake and huge smile from my mentor, Ben, when he saw me. He knew that I still needed to shake it off so he calmed me down, smiling all the time, while he said : money to repair a motorcycle you can always find. But all the money in the world can’t give you another life. You should be happy and thankful to God for being here. You are a lucky one!
Although I had been thinking this already on my own, hearing it from a person I look up to so much was a great. I finally calmed down while he laughed and told me:
You are alive and almost unhurt. The motorcycle is being repaired. Be happy with me for the opportunity of being here drinking tea, now, in good health!
Now I’ll have to see what it costs to repair the motorcycle and if my knee is actually ok. This is a big fuck up in my tight budget but I’ll have to manage. And I’ll forget about sports for a few days. And motorcycles. Just for another few days.
Now let’s just go to sleep and be happy for not being in a hospital or a morgue. This must be one of those life changing moments! Yay! I always wanted to have one but didn’t know how they occurred!
Let’s see if tomorrow I have a vision or some paranormal shit. Maybe I’ll finally find faith in something! Maybe I’ll talk about this moment in the future with my friends and kids. Maybe I’ll tattoo “I hate dirt patches” on my arm or declare a holy war on dangerous roads, or motorcycles.
Or maybe I won’t learn anything and take this as just another experience that life gives you. Just maybe this will only be an anecdote of a once-young and reckless Rafa that almost got himself maimed or killed on the crazy roads of Thailand.
What it will be only time will tell.