We here at Noir Con absolutely love everything that’s noir or that even remotely resembles noir. I like all the golden oldies from times long past, but I also loved Sin City, which was kinda noir in its own right. There are plenty of other films that I love too. Take for example the Blair Witch Project. I have a thing for all things indie, too. And Blair Witch was definitely indie! Another film that I have loved, was Paranormal Activity. I wouldn’t exactly call that noir, but it was defo indie! I also have a thing for movies that tell a real story, or at least a story that could’ve been real. Think of The Hurt Locker, American Sniper and… 127 Hours.
What not many people know is that I have another hobby next to film noir, and that is hiking. And since 127 Hours is a film that tells a real story about a real hike, in which an unfortunate hiker caller Aron Ralston had to cut off his own arm, I really loved that movie. When I’m watching any kind of movie, I’m always asking myself if it could somehow be turned into a noir version of itself. And I’m thinking that it could. In 127 Hours, we witness Aron trapped between a rock and a hard place. When push comes to shove, he takes the knife to himself and proceeds with a surgery no man would ever have to face. The loneliness and desperation must’ve been gruelling. It seems to me that this would’ve been the perfect film noir moment.
I have hiked on many occasions in my life. I started out hiking when I was in my teens and am still doing it frequently to this very day. I wish I could be a weekly hiker, but my time schedule does not permit me to be that. I hike on average 4-5 times a year. While I have never been in a pressing situation such as that of Aron Ralston, I have had my own little dangerous moment…
This one time, I wandered of the beaten bath and decided to go for a little slippery rock climb. The climb didn’t look so dangerous, so I thought… what the heck. Had I known what would happen shortly after, I never would’ve attempted it. I slipped and twisted my ankle. It hurt. The pain was so bad that I couldn’t walk. So I sat down and took my boot off. The ankle was all swollen. Seeing as how I was close to a cold spring, I put my foot in the water and let the cold temperature take care of the swelling. I must’ve sat there for an hour or so.
All that time, I was wondering if somebody would come to my rescue. But it was a lonely trail and nobody came by. There was no signal so I couldn’t call anybody. I was on my own. Thankfully, my decision to dip my ankle in the cold water had paid off. The swelling went down and so did the pain. I was also smart enough to bring another pair of shoes. My ankle wasn’t going to go back into my hiking boot again. I wouldn’t have been able to fit it in even if I had brought a hammer. I brought my favorite pair of gym shoes with me. Just like my hiking boots, my gym shoes are of high quality and give me great support. I got the ones from New Balance that are recommended on Brian Bradshaw’s Boot Bomb site. They have low ankles, so I was able to fit in. I finished the hike back home with my regular shoes and saved myself from having to sleep a night under the stars in doing so.
I sincerely doubt that anybody is ever going to make a film noir about me and my klutzy hiking experience. But in that very moment where I was waiting around, trying to come up with the best solution, the panic was real. I mean, my mind was racing. What if it was broken? I was imagining that I’d had to spend the night there and then, on the spot. And maybe, the next day nobody would find me still. I was starting to fear like I would just have to hang out there and just die from hunger. It was the biggest scare of my life. When I told my parents and friends about it, they were in shock as well. How could I have been so careless? Why didn’t I bring anybody with me? I was not to hike on my own anymore after this. What if I had died!
Thankfully it only a sprained ankle. It hurt for weeks after the incident. The panic I experienced in the first hour was much worse than the pain from the ankle sprain. It was a long time ago, when I was still young, stubborn and stupid. But at that point, I had to admit that my parents were right. Hiking on your own can be dangerous. This one time I was reading a story on Reddit about a hiker who had found another hiker with a broken ankle. He was in basically the same position as me, except worse (since it was broken). He couldn’t do anything anymore. He had to just sit there and wait for somebody to stop by. And thankfully somebody did. That somebody was the guy who posted the story on Reddit. The poor guy. He was going for a relaxing hike, and he comes across a helpless fellow hiker with a broken ankle and he can’t leave him to his fate.
I’m glad I wasn’t in that situation, where another hiker has to sacrifice his afternoon to save my life. I got lucky when I merely sprained my ankle, instead of having broken it. I could’ve easily broken it. With the way my ankle twisted, I’m surprised that it didn’t! Must’ve been because I was still young then. But either way, it was a valuable lesson, this moment of lonely terror and panic. One that, to this very day, I intend to turn into a film noir short titled ‘1 Hour’.