In Part 2 I mentioned having witnessed car crashes a couple of times. I’ll tell you about my first experience of this nature. The very first time it happened was when I was 19 yrs old, I remember it clearly. A car had driven off the street and into a building in the middle of town just as I was walking by. There were two people in the car, both soldiers, and the one at the passenger seat opened the door and came out, looking slightly dazed and confused. A crowd was gathering quickly, standing around us in a tight ring. But nobody made a move to come closer and investigate., so I decided to do it myself.
I went over to the driver’s seat and pulled the unconscious guy out, softly placing him on the ground. I loosened his collar and positioned him at his side, using his cap as a pillow, and kept talking to the other guy who was still standing at the rear of the car and making no move to help. He didn’t answer me, so I took the unconscious guy’s pulse which was weak but not absent.
I then looked over the people in the crowd and chose a young teenage boy who looked alert and intelligent. I waved him over and then told him to go and call 911 and make sure they send an ambulance and some paramedics and told him to remember street address too. Then I send him on his way, but I actually had to tell the crowd to make room for him so he could go and make the call.
Then the unconscious soldier suddenly went into seizure. I had no way of knowing if he was epileptic, so I once again tried to get some information from his pal. I eventually managed to get him to tell me their names and where they were stationed. At that point I heard the sirens in the distance, so I motioned for the crowd to make room for the ambulance. They didn’t move at first, I had to walk over and tell them directly to give way, and then I had to almost shove them apart to make a path for the ambulance to get through. As the ambulance pulled slowly through the crowd I told the conscious soldier to tell the paramedics what he had told me. He nodded, and that was it. I retreated back and away from the scene, made my way through the crowd and left.
Did I feel ‘jaggedy, prickly, and jangly’? No. Did I feel weak? Hell no, I felt slightly empowered. I wouldn’t say it was exciting – it takes a bit more than that to get excited – but it was slightly refreshing, and I liked to be in control and to lead and to do it well.
What has always seemed strange to me is the way people become very slow, as if they get transfixed by the exciting scene that unfolds. It’s as if they can’t pull themselves away from it, they want it to continue, but they apparently can also not kick themselves into action even when it must be obvious also to them that action is needed.
At the time I was sure they’d all be having excited conversations in the days to come, being the center of attention as they described what they had witnessed.
But with the description by Ronson above, and other descriptions by neuro-psychologists that suggests some of the same, I am no longer quite as certain that most people feel exhilarated in the same way that I do when something really extreme and dangerous happen in front of me. And it obviously takes a lot less to make an impact upon neurotypical people than it does with me – which is something I think to be a benefit and an asset if it gets acknowledged and I am allowed to use it “correct”.
The human psyche and neurological reactive patterns are certainly more varied than I had ever thought. And to me it is a wondrous thing, it makes the world much more interesting and much more full of potential for new and great things and ways in the future.