“Are you kidding me”, I say to myself, putting down my book. I sit up in bed, searching for a pencil, my notebook.
“Are you kidding me”? My heart is pounding.
I ask the same question over and over as I try to find something to write this down. I was reading a poem when a panic rose in my chest. It had tiptoed in quietly, tenderly pressing up under my sternum. I only realized it was there when I got through the poem without understanding anything I'd read. It was like when I read Neruda in Spanish just to hear myself make the sounds of the words, only I was reading about beautiful little girls, and how they don’t always stay beautiful. I guess it got me to thinking how I was once a little girl, not that long ago and how, beautiful or not, that’s over.
So the momentum was already there, I could feel it coming to a boil. It was like standing on the prairies. There was no limit to what I could see. It came too fast. At once I could see the delusion in thinking we're are even but a puff of air in an infinite hurricane. Soon everyone that means anything to me will be gone, including me, and here I sit with what amounts to a few seconds of time, held precariously between my thumb and forefinger, to do with what I please, and all I can do is squeeze. All I can do is try to hold on for my life. I’m immobile and it makes no sense. Its laughable, really. I know it and I see that something must be done but I try to push that notion aside. I try to ignore the alarms.
"Code blue 13 D delta. Code blue, 13 D delta."
“I’ll deal with it later. I can’t take it right now. My chest will explode. I will disintegrate”, I tell myself. It's my mantra. It's always hard to say goodbye, long after it's over. And this has been over for some time. The jig is up. The truth is out.
But then I hear it. I don’t know who it belongs to. Maybe it’s the voice inside my head. Maybe it’s the people I carry around with me - those who lived and died before me, in just the right pattern of beauty, torture and whopping doses of mundane to guarantee my existence. Maybe it’s the human condition. Maybe it’s a sign.
“Please" I plead with myself. "Just calm down for a minute. You might be able to just fall asleep and then it will be forgotten"
"But isn't that all you ever do? You sleep it off, You brush it aside? Once you know it, you can't un-know it. It's time.”
“But I’ve wasted so much already."
"That’s no excuse. You're only 31."
"I'm almost 32."
"You have to realize it will be but a split second, looking back. You have to realize that and not let it torture you – paralyze you. It’s ok now, you’ve got it written down, so you can go to sleep cause here it will be, waiting for you in the morning, Let them call you crazy, irrational, immature, self-centred. Let them call you whatever they want, but just don't let it stop you. Live and don’t look back. You are not dead. You're almost comedically alive. Don’t look back. If you spend your time trying to see what you've been holding onto so tightly for so long, it will be gone.”