As far as near-death experiences go, mine was a disappointment. No bright whirring tunnel or silver-blue mist, just a wave of white noise, a low-set squall coming from an unknown source. I was gone for ninety seconds and spent the next two weeks in a coma. I sometimes imagine the moment when my miniature death ended and the coma began. I picture it like emerging from a bath in absolute darkness.
I woke in a hospital room during the last week of July 1987. I was seventeen and it was the middle of the night. A series of machines stood around my bed, emitting a pale, luminous green. I stared at a heart monitor, mesmerized by the scintilla of my pulse moving across the screen. Tiny drops of clear liquid hovered, then fell inside an IV bag. Voices -- muffled and indistinguishable -- carried in from a corridor. I felt unable to call out. I lay there quietly, looking up at the ceiling, and waited for someone to confirm that I was back among the living.
Copyright © 2007 by Dominic Smith