I was not driving.
The yellow VW front passenger door to my right was tied shut with fishing line.
The driver later told us that she only had a learners permit.
I was awoken by her swerving driving , with the car trembling from the force of the vacuum created by a huge semi-trailer in the right lane. We were in the left one.
She lost control. The car slid for what seemed miles then turned over and over.
During that time I knew I was going to die. I put my head on my lap and assumed the fetal position.
The car’s turning made me even more light-headed.
Suddenly everything stopped: the motion of the car, the winds, the cries, the grinding of the metal on asphalt and concrete, the feelings of fright.
All was strangely calm. I felt relieved. My elation grew like an expanding sun.
If the car had been turning over and over before, it had now stopped.
I saw nothing but myself.
I was filled with overwhelming joy.
I had wished I had stayed in that place in time. Whatever and wherever it was, it was like no other I had ever experienced. I simply wanted to stay there. I knew I had broken through a barrier and had now journeyed to another time and place. The time stopped. The place was one of complete singularity.
I wasn’t sure if I was still breathing. Nothing hurt. The silence was complete.
I couldn’t tell you how long I was suspended in this dimension.
What I do know is that suddenly I was rudely dropped down on to the asphalt, and then the grass on the highway divider. Every bone in my body hurt. If I had experienced heaven this was now hell.
My body was pinned under the wreckage. The car was on my back. I had no sensation, so I wasn’t sure that I still had a back.
Suddenly some big burly truckers tried to rescue me. While they approached, the car started to smoke and caught fire. They screamed with fear and ran backwards. I was left to my own machinations.
With the strength of Prometheus I reached backwards and lifted the car off my body. Like Lazarus I arose and stared the drivers in the eye. If then and there I had started a religion they would have joined.
I looked for my friends. I looked for the driver. She didn’t remember a thing (for a solid month she would have amnesia).
I wished I was the one who had amnesia, for the pain was excruciating; that part I wanted to forget.
I soon returned to my drudge life, licking my wounds.
But the minutes I had crossed over, the things I saw, the things I felt, had been real. They were not fiction.
I think about those sublime moments every day. I have tried to return to those other-worldly moments of repose, calm and beauty–unfortunately without great success.
There are many possible dimensions. I don’t know if I was in the 6th, 7th or 8th. But one thing for certain: it was, as John Dewey said, “An experience”. Yes, an experience like no other: puzzling, enrapturing, exhilarating, comforting, beautiful and overwhelming.
P.S. This was a true story.