Life as a Ghost
He let me out at the next petrol station (which wasn’t even that far away), I thanked him
and he drove off with a wave of one big paw.
I bought a canister, filled it with petrol and hitched a ride back to my car. This was easy, I
just explained the problem to a young couple who were filling up their car, and they
couldn’t really refuse. I sat behind the girl who strongly smelled of perfume, and nobody
said a word. I just called out when I saw my car with the blinking indicators on the other
side of the highway, but the guy had already seen it and slowed down. He stopped, I
jumped out with my canister, and he quickly drove off again, since this really wasn’t a
place to stop a car.
As I ran across to the middle of the highway, I saw a car stopping right behind mine on
the other side, switching on brightly flashing blue lights. Fucking hell! The fucking
police! Couldn’t they have just driven past a minute or so later, when I would already be
safely on my way again? Now I would have to give them huge explanations, perhaps pay
a fine… Fucking hell!
By this time I only had seconds more to live, but of course I didn’t know that yet.
I jumped over the plank in the middle of the highway with my canister. It must have been
quite funny for the policemen on the other side to see – one second I was there, the next I
You see, as I told you before, this part of the highway was on a bridge, an enormous
bridge set up on tall, square, concrete pillars, very ugly - but you’re not really aware of
any of that while driving on it, especially at night. The problem, in my case, was that
actually there were TWO bridges, one for each direction, with a narrow gap between
them. I fell right through that gap!
I can’t recall what I was thinking while flying through the air into the utter darkness
below me, although I do remember holding on to that stupid petrol canister with all my
might. I guess my last thoughts as a living human being must have been very trivial.
Perhaps I was just thinking that this was the bad ending to a bad day. I guess I couldn’t
really believe that I was really going to die. I mean, the whole thing was just really much
I lost consciousness on impact, but I regained it soon enough, it seemed to me. At first
everything was dark, but by and by I could make out the outlines of some trees nearby,
and then I saw myself as well, from above, as if I was hovering a meter or two above my
Of course I had read about these out-of-body experiences that people supposedly have
when they are close to death, and of course I didn’t believe they were in any way REAL
– just some crazy images synthesized by the brain when it is deprived of an adequate
supply of oxygen. And since we all have the same kind of brain, we also produce the
same kind of images when we’re dying – there’s really nothing miraculous in this.
Just it seemed to last a really long time, this out-of-body experience. I told myself that
this might be because I was experiencing time differently. Maybe I was living through
the last few seconds of my life as if they were an eternity.
Just how was it possible that I could still think so clearly? Maybe my brain wasn’t in such
a bad state after all. Maybe I was going to survive.
But what about the rest of my body? I tried to feel my body, tried to “find” my toes,
“feel” into them, but I couldn’t, as if I didn’t have any toes. I didn’t “find” any other parts