Wake Me Up
I was actually beginning to adapt to the blackness. My once green eyes are now burning with sensation as they adjust to this incredibly bright, dusty, circular fixture gently wobbling above the center of this bed, of which the soft fabric soothes me. I say once green because I know colors can change without warning, much like the way my world went to black in an instant. Or similar to a fruit, as it ripens quickly. And while I'd imagine this is what it feels like being born again, I feel far from being ripened. I nearly rotted away by the looks of it. Amassed in a body cast, it's becoming pretty clear that I didn't escape this situation unscathed.
I scan the room quickly with what unobstructed vision I have. A dry-erase board with a bunch of words on it I can't seem to make out; A plate of cold baked chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, and a small unopened juice carton (a lone fly resting steadily on the carton's perch).
(A few heavy exhales following small inhalations)
Unexpectedly, a suction-cup type feeling plants itself within my throat as air funnels through my esophagus like the hose of a vacuum. With bug-eyes and a widened mouth, I restlessly gasp for air. Not because I can't find the oxygen my lungs anticipate, but because of the surplus of air to breathe.
It's ironic because I would never have guessed that I would ever feel that there was too much air too breathe. You see, some would describe me as a worrywart. I often get stuck in a constant cycle of analyzing, rewinding, nitpicking, and fast-forwarding. "Film editor" is more suitable if you ask me.
And then, before I'm able to gather my thoughts, I hear a nurse scream.
The 50 year old-ish doctor pauses...
Smack! He immediately drops his clipboard as it hits the ground.
He rushes across the room directly to me with the look and mannerisms of a concerned parent attending a crying baby."I'll be damned, he's still with us," he murmors in a tone of suspended disbelief (his right hand running through his average-length graying hair).
After selecting a red button and firmly pushing my forehead back with his hand, he rips out a tube I had not even realized was connected to me.
"Thwwwwwhhtt" (a swift sound becomes of it).
I hear a few noticeable gasps. And another person exclaiming what appears to be my name. I hear sounds of clapping and celebrating as I gradually find a rhythm of patterned breaths. I then realize that these people are actually happy I'm alive and it's got nothing to do with getting a fatter check (like I'd often assume).
There's no commission here, only genuine appreciation for the revival of a life once nearly lost.
"What's going on, how long was I out for?", I ask.
"5 days, Caeden," the nurse quietly reveals (her head slightly down, but eyes looking up towards me in a bit of an apprehensive manner).
"Not many people come back from a 5 day coma like that". (she opens up a little more as she returns to her normal demeanor).
"Looks like you've got an angel out there," she finishes (pointing out the window as if I'm expected to view this human life on Earth as some kind of deeper, vast, large, connected universe).
The doctor calls her out into the hallway and she exits to assist him in another room. After things die down, leaving me to feel like less of a celebrity, I start to piece together the previous 5 days prior to being exposed to this illumination, this newfound life.
The last thing I remember is counting my steps. 1,2,3,4,5,6... - having not the slightest clue of what was lying ahead for the feet I walk on. Consumed by a world without color like a blind man without a cane, I tip-toed across the ground. Even the surface I walked upon...was...just...nothing. Nothing at all.
I touched below to feel, one of the few senses I thought I still had - similar to reaching for shallow water with one hand when wading close to shore of a river after you've just gotten in.
I only found the ground below possessed no texture. It was as if I was grabbing a pestering mosquito and missing it completely. I was fully surrounded by black, meaningless air. I felt like an incessant blob stuck floating around in an unplugged lava lamp (but maybe not quite as bloated).
Cautiously, my tip-toeing increased to steps. Unsure of absolutely everything, I would speak aloud in hopes of hearing someone else's voice.
"Can anyone help me?' (my voice gaining strength each time)
I was desperate for a human, a demon, an angel, a creature. Some form of recognition. An echo. Anything. And still, the only sounds I would hear were my own. Becoming more and more frantic, my words and questions escalated to screams. I'm losing my mind, I thought to myself.
(My exhausted cry melting away into nothing) - like watching fat drip off a large cut of meat through the foggy window of an oven.
My steps were now full sprints. I was running as fast as I possibly could. Still blind. I could fall off a cliff or smash into a wall of bricks, face-first, at any moment and not even see it coming. I had nothing to lose so I continued to run. That's when I hit it.
Or it hit me.
I eased into a halt like a track star reaching the finish line (except I was in more like 4th or 5th place than 1st).
"When I finally let go of my fears is when I was able to escape the black."
"I get it", I whisper to myself.
"These things aren't too comfortable", I joked with the nurse as she wipes away her name from the dry-erase board for the 2nd shift nurse. She then takes a moment to replace my meal tray (the fly now following her out the door as she exits and makes her way out to what I could only assume was the cafeteria).
As the doors close, I become astonished as my mother and father walk through the wooden, oak double-doors. (A few seconds later, my brother following them in.) They're smiling despite signs of obvious stress.
Grateful and overfilled with joy, I feel at a loss for words."H-h-hey!" I manage to blurt out as I shift myself up a few inches from lying vertically (the cast restricting me).
"Caeden, oh my god", my mother states as she walks ahead of my father (him just behind with that "father-loves-his-son" look in which he need not say anything at all).
I soak the moment in for a few minutes, not much to say for myself (or that I even can speak that much anyway).
A few minutes into our distantly embracing moment, I'm crying. I can feel moisture running down my cheek.
Or so I thought they were tears.
White flakes begin to fall from the ceiling as I stare above in a state of disillusion. One by one, tiles pop out of place as the room starts to shake. My family, the room, the decor and machines - they break apart like a completed high-dollar puzzle collapsing (the jigsaws pulling apart by seemingly invisible hands).
An avalanche of snow smothers me. I am submerged in snow.
When I was finally able to open my eyes, I was no longer confined by a body cast, nor was I in the hospital. My body was back in the snow again.
Fuck. No, no, no..Not again. Please not again.
"Will this shit ever end?!" I yell inwardly (with an anger so strong I can feel my face redden).
Except this time was different. I was not in my body.
Paramedics and police officers scatter about in maybe a 200 foot perimeter as I hover above my lifeless body as only a presence. I was but simply a set of eyes.
The Judge and Jury
The air wallows; Lingers.
I watch, in a state of complete hopelessness, as they begin to bring a black body bag towards what once was my body.
So this is how it ends. Why god, why?
Just like the movies, the lead detective flicks his cigarette symbolizing how un-rare this is for him. He sighs deeply and exhales (the cold air enveloping his warm breath).
The paramedics take their time zipping up the body bag; zipping up...me.
I am broken eternally.
One Last Goodbye
As the crew finished zipping me up, the lead medics pause. It's something they seem to do in instances like these. I wouldn't know.
They huddle together around me and say a prayer. In my spirit-ghost mold, in which I feel enflamed...engulfed...I feel all but pulled into what seems to be soon negative. I can't see it, but I sense it.
I'm pissed that they'd pray, in a way. I feel to be a religious mockery. A subject, an abducted item. I'm taken for granted.
"Why do I interpret this as disrespect?. What is it that I even know? Everything I loved is gone for good. Everything I fear is right in front of me. The nightmares I've had in the past, the losses I've incurred."
I used to dream about my teeth falling out. Chipping away in horrid, disfigured slivers like the fragments from wood being sawed with a rusty, unkempt manual saw. A feeling of fingernails on a chalkboard (but painfully reverberating and throbbing in my mouth). It felt just like this.
30 seconds in, the paramedics release their interlocked hands and the bag began to zip.
(My body unfurls back out in an odd manner by the hands I just witnessed put me there. The clutter of paramedics and officers surrounding me slowly backs up.)
Everything was working in reverse. Following minutes of buzzing around in compact groups, these courageous men and women were stepping back into the vehicles they had arrived in. Ambulances and police cars leaving, but traveling backwards. It was as if I, the film editor, was holding the rewind button.
And I'm instantly placed back in my body. I don't feel it, but I see it. Everything is now in slow motion. My contorted body tumbles in reverse. Out of nowhere, I'm thrown into the atmosphere; I begin to gasp for oxygen as I had done previously in the hospital.
I'm literally flying, but it's against my will. I begin to dive with my feet towards an open space that is roughly six feet wide and 3 feet tall. Just as I escape to this opening, thousands of glass shards begin to connect. Slowly, a glass shield forms right in front of my face as my body ends up in a bed of leather. My arms flail around strangely, just before my hands rest on a steering wheel. A guardrail ahead loses its indentation as the vehicle I am now apparently inside of backs away. Moving in reverse, the vehicle curves back onto the highway. Salty drops transfuse into my eyes, climbing from the fabric of my jeans and the cotton of my hoodie.
Present time begins again, as if it never left. As if none of this ever happened.
With my left hand on the steering wheel, I look down at my right hand. Holding a cell phone, I glance down and read "I'm so sorry. I love you all. Goodbye".
Without hesitation, I press cancel and drive straight home. The memory of where I lived fuzzy, yet coming back to the forefront of my mind without reserve. What once felt like a prison was now the most comforting place I could ever dream of.
As I walk in, I scuff my feet on our black, fuzzy doormat. After ridding my shoes of as much snow as possible, I remove them. Right before I step away and escape to my bed, I look down. I don't know why, but I did. It was like something told me to.
I looked below at the doormat where I had just shaken the snow off my shoes (the shoes now placed just to the right of it). And in that pile of white I see it.
A snow angel.
© This writing was created by and remains property of they username, lionsmane. It is to be claimed as an original piece only on whaleshares and steemit under this username. Creation date: March, 2019
Disclaimer: I do NOT own the rights to the photos used within and will gladly take any photo down at the request of the owners/creators LINKS TO PHOTOGRAPHS USED IN THIS POST: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9
If you would like to tip or reward me for my writing in other ways, you are free to do so by sending USD to my PayPal address: [email protected] . Simply send using the "friends and family" option (no fees). Note: this is in no way whatsoever required or expected, but greatly appreciated should you decide to do so!