I can only guess that, like me, others have experienced — across the span of their lives — incidents that have left them wondering, even years later. Because I certainly have had any number of such occasions that still haunt my curiosity and desire to understand. The following I share here, is just one of them.
I was married to a doctor at the time, and living in a Southern California ranch style home, with a large back yard. I love gardening and growing some of my own food, and it was such a beautiful, sunny day, so I was in the back yard, gardening. And I was accompanied by my cat, Chispa, who followed all of my activities with typical feline interest. I was working in a vegetable plot, which was bordered with a walkway of rough, concrete flagstones. It was on one of these that Chispa had chosen to stretch out and sun herself, while I worked.
I had just finished digging up and cultivating this plot of aromatically rich soil, getting ready to plant more vegetables, when I suddenly noticed that Chispa had apparently decided that I had made a nice, large cat box for her use — right in the middle of where I was planning to plant my vegetables! So I simultaneously dropped my hand spade and yelled at her, running across the flagstones to stop her. In my frantic rush, I managed to stub my big toe on one of the rough, concrete flagstone edges, giving myself a very painful and bloody flap injury on that big toe. I did my best to staunch the now copious flow of blood, as I called out to my husband, Andrew, who was working on his car in the backyard garage. I then headed for the bathroom sink, inside, to wash my foot, as my husband hurried to meet me there and attend to my injury.
I was sitting on the bathroom counter, with my foot in the sink, still bleeding liberally, when my husband came in, took a quick look and told me to sit tight while he ran for his doctor’s bag (of tricks) that he kept in his office. I was dutifully sitting and waiting for his anticipated quick return, when I became aware of a strange but familiar buzzing in my head. I remember my last thought was a disgusted “Don’t tell me I’m going to faint!”
The next thing I knew, apparently some moments later, was “waking up” on the bathroom floor, with a man’s voice anxiously calling. And this is where things got really strange. I did not recognize that he was calling out my name. My first thought was not “Where am I?” or “What happened?”, but … “What kind of being am I? What am I?” Needless to say, I therefore also did not recognize that it was my husband’s voice anxiously calling out my name. I remember being very troubled to be able to respond, because I recognized that a response was expected and sought. It then suddenly came back to me, “That’s right. I’m a human being, and my name is Marcela and that’s Andrew, my husband, calling my name.” Having suddenly come back to that knowledge, I then realized that Andrew was holding up three fingers and asking me how many fingers I saw. It was then that I realized I had completely come back, because my black humor kicked in, and I had to repress the urge to answer “six”, instead of the three I actually did see. But I did not really want to so worry my doctor husband, so I answered the correct “three”, and saw him immediately relax. He was then able to properly treat my injury and explained to me that he had hurriedly returned to the bathroom with his bag, just in time to see me bodily crash to the floor, unconscious, from the not inconsequential height of the bathroom counter. He had been trying to revive me and was hugely relieved when I came to, and finally responded.
So, all was well, except for the big question that still haunts me, because I remember so vividly my unique state of mind when I recovered from my fainting and falling. I can’t explain why I “went away” so completely that it was both an effort and a delayed period of time to connect with the fact that I was not only a human being, but to recognize my name and my husband.
Life can be strange…