by Jane Davis
I should have known better when I bought the rich, decadent banana cream pie that it would not last sitting in my truck.
When I returned home hours later I thought, “Nahhhh. It’s not good!” But the pull was too strong. And so, I ate it.
It wasn’t too long after that an old familiar wave of food poisoning took over. I’ve been here before.
I made it to the bathroom where I hugged the toilet and, trying to stay positive, noted the comfortable fit of my body between the cabinet and the toilet. I just fit in.
And so the cleansing began.
Over and over and over again.
Thinking I was finished, I went and curled into bed. I believe I slept a little bit. I was awakened by that pull…. GET UP!
Knowing I would not make it to the bathroom I quickly leapt up and out the door to the coyote fenced yard where I proceeded to expel whatever might have been left inside of me. The sun beat down on my naked body. All of a sudden I heard the door slam behind me.
“No,” I thought. “No.”
I turned around praying that my worst nightmare had not just happened and much to my horror, it had.
The door was locked.
“Oh my G-d” I thought and went numb. “Oh my G-d.”
I was locked out of my rust colored stuccoed house, which was situated on thirty acres, off the grid, surrounded by a coyote fence that had two gates both of which were locked from the outside.
I realistically and emotionally surveyed the situation. At this point I couldn’t even imagine the possibilities besides screaming for help. So the screams, which were simply a loud, “HELP” began.
“HE-e-e-e-e-elp ME!!! Repeated over and over.
“SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!!!!”
‘What if my neighbors are away for the weekend? Who is going to hear me?’
I just kept thinking, “OMG!”
I picked up a rock and threw it as hard as I could into the window figuring I’ll smash it and pick up the pieces of glass and climb in.
I threw it over and over again. Nothing.
I was beginning to get goat heads stuck in the bottom of my bare feet.
I went and sat in the dirt leaning against the warmth of the stucco on my back.
“What am I going to do?!”
Hogan, a 40-pound Husky mix with icicle blue eyes, and Magic, a 20 pound black and white Heeler mix, came out of the doggy door. I was grateful that they could, at least come in and out.
“Open the door!” I yelled playfully at them hoping for some miracle!
There were pieces of wood for the fireplace in the yard so I spelled out “HELP ME” with the wood hoping one of the infrequent planes flying overhead would see it like I have seen in the movies.
Each time I heard a plane I would jump up waving my arms.
I was feeling hopeless. I managed to reach my arm in through the doggy door and pulled out a bottle of water that had about two inches in it. My mouth was parched and I was so thirsty. I took a sip, swirled it around and spit it back. I knew I could not swallow it. It had to last. “For how long, “ I wondered?
I figured I had four days. Not sure where I got that from but it was what my intuition told me.
I also pulled out an empty soda can. I knew from my camping days that we could drink our pee and it was not toxic. So, just in case, I began peeing in the can, hoping I would not have to resort to that beverage.
As day turned to night and the sun set it became colder and colder. I began shivering and praying. “Stay positive, Jane” I told myself.
Looking at the night sky I was reminded of how beautiful it is and tried to stay focused on that.
Somehow I managed to sleep on and off.
The welcome sunrise brought warmth to help my chilled everything.
My phone rang twice. I couldn’t find it.
“Surely someone is missing me!” I thought.
Unbeknownst to me, my father, in Rhode Island, had had a heart attack. One of my sisters was just beginning to think something was wrong.
I sat up wondering what to do. I decided to try climbing up the fence and jumping over. As I climbed I pretended I was on American Ninja Warrior. Each time I felt like I was falling back down I would muster every ounce in my being and pull just a little bit more. I realized this was not going to work, as I would really hurt myself if I fell over the fence.
I went back to my thinking place.
“OMG I’m going to die here!!”
There was a calmness that had come over me. An acceptance of the end. A reflection.
“What a great life I have had! What will it be like to die this way? Why isn’t anyone coming to check on me?”
I had also managed to get my LL Bean clock off of my night table on one of my “arm thru the doggy door” forages. So I was watching the time slowly creep by. I was dreading another night yet trying not to project.
One more try to find my phone I put my arm thru the doggy door to forage. This time I felt a bag and brought out a canvas bag. Ironically, it was the one I got on my road trip through Death Valley.
In it were my friend’s leather work gloves that she had left in my truck.
“What can I do with these? How can they help me?”
I put them on thinking magical thoughts and then it hit me. I got my answer!
I leaped up and went to the gate. Coyote fences are strung very tightly with steel threads. My bare hands could not unravel them. But with the gloves I felt like I could do anything.
“YES!!!” I thought as I began to push on the thread and follow it, unwinding it slowly.
And there it was, after thirty hours of being locked in, my escape plan was working.
I took out four posts, climbed out of my cell and praised the gloves that saved my life.
Jane Davis, LMSW, is the founder of Riders of the Sage-NM and does Equine Assisted Therapy with her horse Snickers in Santa Fe, NM. She also, as a health and wellness coach, uses eseential oils for healing. http://www.ridersofthesage-nm.com/