Ever get socked? Struck when you didn’t expect it – or make that struck, period. Even if you’re expecting it, the experience knocks out your preconceptions.
Getting socked. Or struck by a vehicle. Or attacked by an animal. Or by a human, or two, or three.
First up: surprise. You didn’t see the fist coming, or the car, or the dog, or the idiots out for a good time.
Next, depending on temperament: a rush of panic or of anger or the urge to plead for mercy.
Next? Depends how bad the pain. Depends where you are. Depends if you’re still conscious. Depends if your best bet is to go limp and stay that way or to attempt an escape or a diversion. Depends what it is, who they are. Depends.
The aftermath. The physical, the emotional. Body aching, mind reeling. Dealing with the mess. Making sense out of what happened, no matter how senseless it is. One way or another, the story’s no longer the same. The event becomes a pivot; there’s before the attack or the accident, during (the briefest part,) then, after. If you thought yourself invulnerable before, you know that was a lie. If you think yourself helpless after, you know that’s no longer the case.
Grappling with your own slithery mind. Falling into obsessive patterns. Pulling yourself out of them. Taking control of your own life again.
Ah. Good question.
“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita…” : the first line in the first book of Dante’s Divine Comedy. (The writer’s looking for shortcuts to the second book because the first is one hell of a bummer.)