Monday, April 19, 2010

I survived a nuclear blast.

We knew the bomb would drop at a certain time. We knew that we had to take cover. We knew if it was dropped a little farther away that we could survive the blast. We knew the man who ordered the bomb, and we knew that he would order it to drop farther away if she was able to convince him. We wouldn’t know his decision until it was too late. We hoped that she had convinced him… but only time would tell.

The time came. We knew she gave it her best trying to convince him to drop the bomb farther south of the city, even by just a few miles. We rushed to take cover as we heard the sound: the time had come to survive or die.

The bomb dropped, we took cover and waited, awaiting our life or our death; we were sure that we could survive the outermost band of the bomb’s blast.

As the first wave came over us, we began to close our eyes, and in slow motion I looked at her, grasping one last time: “I love you.” The wave of air rushed over us, the pressure building, our eyes closed, feeling as if we were about to blow away. The pressure continued to build.

The blast went on, two waves at first, and then a final third: without a doubt, this one was the retraction from the initial burst. The pressure built so extraordinarily, I thought my head was going to explode. I knew we were on the edge of death: “How close are we,” I thought, “when will this be over?”

The pressure continued beyond belief as I felt my body was about to rip into pieces, one particle at a time.

Just as it almost became too much, the pressure began to slow. Right then, I knew we had survived.

Although it was still there, the pressure let up. We managed to survive the outburst of air from the explosion, and we had survived the collapse of air as it rushed to fill the void it had left behind.

It was difficult to open my eyes: they felt glued shut. I didn’t want to open them too soon, and I didn’t know what to expect when I did open them for the first time after the blast. I felt the pressure let go, but my body was still feeling the aftereffect. “Open my eyes?” I thought it was time. There’s no doubt we had survived the blast, but what remained of our surroundings?

As I forced my eyes open I saw a vision unlike the one I had seen before the blast. I quickly closed them again in disbelief: “Was that real? Did we survive?”

I opened my eyes again in anticipation of the environment around me: a place where my life teetered on the brink of death, a nuclear explosion, and unthinkable fallout.

My eyes opened, expecting to find her in front of me as she was before the wave came over us.

I looked and she wasn’t there… I wonder what had happened.

A moment goes by before I’m relieved and disappointed, yet left in awe: How did I survive? How did I have such feeling and emotion? How did it seem so real? How was it only a dream?


1 comment:

  1. metaphor?
    great essay, woody. i dig your writing style.