Falling from a cliff | MILTOS MANETAS

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Photos: metamanetas.com

I lost my grip on the rock, and I started going down on my back, slowly for two seconds, and accelerating immediately after. I remember everything, the whole timeline. My memory has kept every detail enveloped and timestamped.

One-Two-Three-Four! I remember that for those first four seconds I was simply mad with disbelief. I was upset with my destiny, annoyed that it was letting down my crazy plan of arriving at the beach by descending the impossible surface of a very steep rock.

Five! By the fifth second, I was already going very fast.

Six-Seven- Eight! I could see only the void at the edge of the rock about thirty meters away, and I knew that I was about to die.

Nine-Ten: What I could not see, though, was the second part of the rock. It had collapsed by about a meter – because of an earthquake,
probably – under the first part that I had just surfed.

Eleven! Landing on my ass on that second part of the rock, there was a brief microsecond within the eleventh second of relief and hope.
Twelve-Thirteen-Fourteen! I start falling down again, this time incredibly fast. A voice inside me cried “Oh God!”, but I had the time and the presence of mind to remind to myself that I do not believe in God. I could not count on him, so I took my prayer back.

Fifteen-Sixteen! I now felt my palms burning, holes started to literally grow upon them. But I put all my efforts towards keeping my hands down on the surface of the rock, and I did the same with my ass
and back, which were also burning.

Seventeen! I noticed the edge of the rock again, and I was certain that I was about to die. I risked a glimpse of the landscape around me, feeling immense pity and regret for passing away before fully
admiring it’s beauty.

Eighteen! I must have been falling down rolling at that point, because I have specific flashbacks of mixed images of rock/sky/rock and then suddenly, a little tree on the far left.

On Nineteen there was a violent impact. I knocked into the tree hitting it first with my jaw, and then with my forehead. There was a black frame, and then my eyes were open again. I could see the sky becoming gray and cloudy overhead. My jeans had been ripped apart, and there was blood everywhere, but I did not know these facts yet. Instead, I realized simultaneously that I was still alive, and that it was about to rain. The change in weather seemed rather strange, because until that very moment, that day, Monday, the first of June, 2010 was sunny. I was deeply tired and thirsty, but I was also grateful for the presence of the tree. If we should ever have any religious feelings, these feelings should be directed towards trees exclusively, as they seem to be the only holy creatures that surround us.

Coming back into consciousness, I started thinking of my Blackberry, wondering if it was still intact.

“I can take some black & white pictures with it and post them on Facebook” I thought, trying to reach the pockets that were usually located on the back of my Levi’s. They weren’t there: the whole back of my pants was gone. Happily, the Blackberry was safe, poached inside a little American Apparel bag that was still hanging from my shoulders. But I saw that I couldn’t use it anyway: my hands were covered with blood. There was a brief moment of panic, but then it started raining. I turned my palms towards the heavens so that the rain would wash some of the blood away and I opened my mouth trying to drink some of it. In some strange way, that rain relaxed me, and made me feel very happy for everything that had happened to me until that moment – including my fall. I realized that the only thing that really matters is staying alive and that I should step out of my bliss and get out of there. How did I walked the rest of the unfriendly terrain until the beach? How happened I didn’t fall? I don’t remember.


Photos: metamanetas.com