My name is David Stapleton, and I am recording this because I don't know what else to do right now. If you did not find me in time, at least you’ll have this for… whatever.
We were on our way to Yosemite for the weekend when... well, I'm not completely sure what happened. I was asleep, and when I work up there was screaming and the world was spinning. When I woke up again I was here, at the bottom of this hill. My leg is pinned under the van, and seems to be bleeding quite a bit.
I can see Mary from here, she was the one driving when we crashed. She's dead, I think. She hasn’t moved since I woke up, and it doesn’t look like she’s breathing. I don't know where Thom and Steve are. They might still be in the van, or maybe they're on the other side where I can't see them.
Or maybe they left me to get help, or because they thought I was dead. I don't know, but no one answers when I call out.
I can't get a signal to call for help; maybe that part of the phone broke, or maybe the carrier's promise of their network covering the whole country was crap! It could be the phone though, I can't get the camera to work either; that's why I'm just recording my voice.
That’s probably just as well anyway, I probably look like crap, and it’ll probably make the battery last longer.
I’ve been awake for about an hour now. No one has come looking for us yet. I’m not sure how far we even are from the road here; I’m assuming it’s at the top of the hill, but all I can see from down here is more trees.
If no one comes, then… then I guess this is it for me. How am I supposed to deal with that? I never figured I would die like this; I always figured it would be something quick, you know?
I’m trying to think of all of those survival shows I used to watch; I need to find shelter, water, fire, and food. Of course Les Stroud was never trapped under a van on his show.
Water would be easy if I could get out from under the van. There's a river not fifteen feet from me, you can probably hear it, but it might as well be miles away. I could die of thirst within throwing distance of water.
Shelter… we have camping supplies, so that would be easy, same with food, and starting a fire. Not that I can reach any of it.
Of course if I could move around I could get back to the road and get help.
It doesn’t hurt though, my leg, not as much as it seems like it should though. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I guess it’s better than being in pain, but what if I lose my leg? I guess that would be better than the… the alternative.
I'm... I'm scared. I don't want to die. I'm not ready to die. I don’t even know what comes next; not really.
I was raised to be religious, and I believe in God, and Heaven, and all of that, but now, here, faced with oblivion, I can't not question my beliefs. What if I'm wrong? What if when I'm gone, I'm just gone?
That doesn't make sense though. I... I can't comprehend not being. To my mind I have always been, and I cannot imagine not being. How can that happen? How can I be self-aware, but be nothing more than the product of chemicals and electricity? How can the me I am be just the product of random chance. How can I just cease to be like a computer with a pulled plug?
That argues for there being a God, for there being a purpose to exist, but then what about the mentally ill who can be drugged into normalcy? Just by altering the chemicals in their body they can be turned into a completely different person, so that argues against any sort of purpose, right? That means we really are just chemicals and electrical impulses that just so happen to create sentience.
Is that all I am? Do I just convince myself that I am anything more important than any other living thing just because I am able to?
I’ve always tried to avoid thinking about this too much. I want to believe in God. I want to believe in an afterlife, but what if there isn’t one? What if I just close my eyes and cease to be? All I’m going to leave behind is the crap in my apartment, and this recording. Once this goes, I might as well never have existed.
It’s starting to get cold now, the trees are blocking out the sun, but it was so warm earlier. I think the stress of all of this is finally hitting me; I feel like I’m gonna puke.
I’m scared, that’s all. It’s fear. I need to believe that I’ll be rescued. I need to…
I can almost reach one of the sleeping bags, but- nnnngh! I can’t, I can’t quite reach it.
Damn it! This isn’t fair! This isn’t stuff that happens to me, this is stuff that happens to people on the news! The idiots that falls over waterfalls and shit! I’m not one of those people. I am not one of the idiots that dies stupidly by being a damned idiot!
I can’t accept this. This can’t be happening to me….
Why is it getting so cold so fast? It’s the middle of summer.
Part of my problem, I think, with believing in either an afterlife or not is that I can’t really imagine… other people. Does that make sense?
Am I making sense?
I’m feeling a little dizzy.
Is this shock?
I wish I could reach the water….
What was I saying? Oh, yeah, other people. I have trouble imagining other people existing when I’m not around. Maybe it’s from watching too much TV as a kid? Maybe I’m just self-centered, but it seems like if I cease to be so does everything else.
What if it does? What if this is all my dream? That’s sort of the way it feels like sometimes; like I’m the center of the universe and that everything that happens around me is for my benefit. I mean, why else would some things happen just at the right time for me to be there?
Like that time, haha, that time that we were at Burger Bro, and that woman with that whole tray full of sodas slipped on ketchup… that her son had been spraying on the floor, hahahaha, and she went down, and the sodas just, like, exploded all over her. That’s something that should have happened when I wasn’t looking if it wasn’t happening for me.
Maybe that’s proof of God then? Proof of something… godlike anyway….
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be crying, I’m just scared. I don’t want to go yet. Isn’t that what the Doctor said? I don’t want to go.
Oh God, if you are there, then please send me help, and if not… if not… please tell my parents I love them.
My eyes won’t focus now; it’s kind of like being drunk, or tired.…
Why is it so cold?
My leg… it doesn’t hurt at all now. There’s… there’s a lot of blood though. I need to… do something about that… I think.
I can barely… barely keep my eyes open. It’s like coming down after drinking… after drinking energy drinks and staying up alright… all night.
Butterflies… where did they come from?
I think it’s getting… warmer now. Maybe….
I’m… I’m just going to… going to close my eyes for a minute here. I’m going… to turn this off to save the… the…uh, the battery.