I have lasted ten seconds.
Ten seconds of being legally dead.
My body remains motionless on the pavement
I am shaded by a manzanita beside me from the July heat.
I am comatose in the only square foot of shade in this entire park.
Twenty seconds has passed.
I drift off slowly,
I hear a buzzing in my ears, but my intellect still remains.
Thirty five seconds and all I can think of is flamingos.
Why would God create such an impractical creature?
Nonetheless, the pathetic birds still live.
God has a twisted sense of humor.
I begin to think of my life, my mistakes.
I do not wish I could have said goodbye.
It would mean more time alive in the world.
I might set a record.
Too bad I wont be around to collect the award.
My conscious thought fades.
The sun has moved and blinds me through a gap in the manzanita.
Through my eyelids I can see the light, and I am blinded by the cruelty of the sun.
I hear a banshee scream.
Why, why can’t these people leave me in peace?
An electronic wailing alerts me that the ambulance is near.
I am being electrified, my muscles are out of control.
A puddle seeps through my khakis.
Along with it flows all of my dignity.
Twelve minutes and I realize that death may not be such a horrendous thing.
I struggle to go back, to see the heavenly light once again.
Thirteen minutes and a different light blinds me.
This one is glaring, manmade.
I squint into it and see a person.
Further squinting reveals it as a grey-faced man with a handlebar moustache.
He reminds me of a capybara I once saw at the zoo.
Once I open my eyes further, he releases a thundering laugh.
It echoes through the ambulance, bouncing off every surface
Delivering itself to pound on my eardrums.
“You sure are lucky to be alive”, says the capybara.
The blinding light splits my skull open.
I struggle to respond but feel my chest deflate in resistance.
My soiled pants are suctioned to my legs.
I feel like I am coated in plaster, immobilized.
I form a brotherly bond with the victims of Pompeii, our shared struggle connecting us despite centuries of change.
“Sure are lucky,” the capybara chuckles.