What does it mean when everything happens in slow motion?

April 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Posted in OhMidge Advice | 1 Comment

So some of you may know already, but two weeks ago today, I was driving into Hollywood on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles, and plum near got squashed by a truck. Indeed my friends, I was stopped in traffic on the highway and some lame dude in a SUV didn’t brake quick enough and ended up slamming into a big white pick-up truck that slamed into my stopped car directly on the drivers side. From the force of impact, and of course the centripetal force divided by the velocity/viscosity, the truck pushed my car all the way to the guard wall. My driver’s side door got smashed all the way in and all the windows smashed too. That’s when everything went into slow motion.

So, I’m driving by myself. I’m actually listening to some meditation audiobook I had just got. I slow down to a stop for the traffic. I see that the woman behind me stopped fine. Then I hear tons of beeping. “Honking,” as they say here. It’s not to unusual in L.A. so I didn’t think much about it until I notice that a big white thing seems to be getting bigger and bigger in my side view mirror. (This all happened within seconds) All of the sudden, I hear a really loud crash noise and then very low “sprinkle” sounds. I’m aware now that I am seeing individual shards of glass flying in the air in slow motion. I zoom in and focus on one of those peieces and see it land in the passenger front seat. At this point, I recognize how strange it is to be able to focus in slow motion on such an event. I become pretty certain that this sort of thing only happens at significant moments in one’s life and start to seriously wonder if I’m dead or about to die.

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Suddenly, I find myself on the side of the highway and that traffic has begun to start moving again. Cars start driving past me and I see people staring at me. I think, “They can see me. I’m probably alive still.” I wonder if I’m going to get hit again. Now I’m a parked car in the middle of a busy L.A. highway when traffic is moving. Not good. I sit in the car and look down at myself. My sunglasses that I had been wearing, are no where to be found. I’m still snapped in with my seat belt. I am glistening with glass covering my chest and arms and face. I have blood all over me. I decide to undo my seatbelt and get out of the car. The door won’t open. I have no idea why, until I focus and realize the entire thing is smashed in half-way onto my seat. The window is free of any glass now so I quickly throw myself out of it and run over to the side of the highway. I can’t hear anything. I have no idea what happened. I’m dripping 3 inch pieces of glass out of my pant legs. My bra is carrying a half pound of fresh safety glass and all I can think is that I need to take my clothes off.

I don’t end up taking my clothes off until later in between a cop car’s doors, still not the best place, but at least it wasn’t blatant on the side of the 101. The rest of the story is a bunch of nonsense with Paramedics and hurried police men and the two jerks that hit me. The tow-truck driver, Enrique,  was nice.

The question is this: Why did time slow down during that traumatic period? I’m quite sure that for everyone else on Earth, time went along as usual. It slowed down for me because of some brain function. I did suffer whiplash and cuts and was in shock for a couple of days, so was it a protective shield my body put up for me? Did my brain have an overload of stimulae to deal with and so it temporarily malfunctioned? I didn’t feel any pain from the cuts or my spine and neck until about 20 hour after the crash. Maybe the shock that set it, shocked my synapses. It was like the Matrix with slow motion movements and sound effects. Maybe when your spirit is unsure if you’re body is going to be usable, it steps out for a bit, so as to make the break easier.

What do you guys think? Ever have a similar experience? Do tell!

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  1. Hi I also felt that time slowed down so much when I was in a car crash and it was interesting to read your post with same experience. I remember that a second lasted for 2-3 seconds at least. Maybe it’s a mechanism that gives your body time to prepare? I’ll google it sometime
    best wishes to you


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