You could almost hear the moving air between the creases of the linen curtains. The still air of the room only momentarily interrupted by it, yet necessarily so, as if to remind me of the fact that time is very much still in play. Though my wishes for it to stand still are often strongest at such moments. The specks of dust float in the air gracefully, only revealing themselves through rays of sunlight that poke through the dim of my bedroom. They remind me of my imperfections that only become apparent upon close examination, I cannot help but wonder if these specks ever felt like they, too, were deviants from the norm. My left cupboard door is left open. I was never one to follow through with things. The clothes reveal a part of me. The mixture of colours and textures suggesting a lack of direction or theme in the way I choose to project myself. I don’t deny that, I’m still trying out what may be the best version of myself. I doubt I will ever be remembered for the way I dress. Not that I have any particular desire to. I decide to shrug that thought aside.
In the meantime I lie fully stretched out and face up on my mattress. Its been like this for a long stretch of the day with the occasional snack and toilet trip. I almost feel like I’m stuck watching a show that I’d be too embarrassed to just walk out of. Or maybe part of me likes this show. Whatever reason, I stay firmly in bed. You know you’re programmed to do more than this, but there is an attraction to such a lifestyle nevertheless. I am aware there will only be less time for such intimate moments with myself in the future. I cling on to this fact like a girl to her doll.
I lie down and think things through to the smell of fresh sheets. What has life been to me so far? John Mayer plays in the background. I never liked music intruding my thought so I always turn down the volume. On days like this, background music is a must but it has to stay true to its name. It keeps me calm and is the antidote for any thoughts of loneliness. I am aware of my weaknesses and know exactly how to keep them at bay. I’m too old to indulge in meaningless melancholy. Life has been sound. Why has this been so? I’d like to say my surroundings and upbringing have made it so but I believe in more than that. Either I’ve been in denial of a storm brewing outside or very simply I have attained peace with the person I am. I can accept who I am in my entirety. I am happy. Yes. I am happy and fully content with the person I have grown up to be. It has to boil down to that. There is no storm.
The stillness of the room pretty much sums up my life then. Stable, carefree, the kind of atmosphere a pilot would prefer to fly his plane through. If only the skies were filled with the stillness of the air in my room. That would be some much appreciated calm. The silence too. Yes, that comforting silence. You could almost hear it snuggle up next to you. Hear silence snuggle up next to you. Something audible yet inaudible, intimate yet empty. It was a feeling of peace and elation that would soon follow after such a realization that such paradoxes could exist in harmony. At least within my world. I was sure no one could take that away from me.
It was about 4 o’clock when I noticed the sky darkening outside. It was rather sudden, and for no reason really. There weren’t any overbearing clouds. It was just a general darkening that threatened to compromise the clarity of day. Something was wrong but I didn’t feel any need to panic. I just lay there in wait. I watched as light drained from my room, the colour seeping from my clothes, which brought along with it the yellow of my walls and the beige of my curtains. The colours flowed downstream and was claimed by the darkening sky. I lay there, staring upwards. I hoped my body wasn’t losing light as well but I had no inclination to look at myself and confirm this. I just pretended that I was the only thing still illuminated in the room. I firmly believed that at the moment. It was all I had to hold on to. The darkness around had me paralyzed. I just lay there, illuminated.
I thought back to when I was a child and I had been unwittingly trapped in the boot of my fathers car when I tried to hide from my parents. My dad freed me after what he said was 3 minutes but they were the longest moments of my life. Time has the ability to make the most of itself in times when you just want it to disappear. I feared for my life and it felt like death. The hopelessness wrapped around me and felt its way to every curve of my little body. I was convinced that I was getting a free preview of hell itself.
The room didn’t take long to turn pitch black and my hand would’ve definitely disappeared before my face if I had looked at it. But I was illuminated, I was illuminated. I had to be the object of clarity in this world of darkness. In that moment I felt no such fear that I had felt when I was a child in my fathers car. Time was not about to make the most of itself now. I felt the light within emanate through the room. I closed my eyes and saw the room, aglow, bathed in my light, thankful for my very presence.
I thought I had it under control. Opening my eyes would mean everything was back to normal again. I was certain about that, like a child assumes his mother will always be by his side. The darkness would have faded, that I would have prevailed. I thought I had it under control. Then a sudden tightening of my chest- I was slow to realise it at first but the sensation was that of holding one’s breath. It feels alright at first but your desire for oxygen increases exponentially. It turned out to be shocking. At this point I was undoubtedly paralyzed. The sensation wasn’t pleasant nor unpleasant up to this point but the heaviness on my chest started to weigh down on me. It challenged by very being. I still believed in myself but my belief was a waning candle. The light could only last for so long. My faith started to seep away, my chest tightened, I had to know what was happening. I had to open my eyes. Once I opened my eyes everything would be OK.
But then a part of me doubted, and a part of me believed. All my life had amounted to, all that I have known started to dawn upon me. I couldn’t just believe things were going to be alright. I couldn’t just believe in a sudden restoration of order amidst harsh and arbitrary uncertainty. The physical impact of this was apparent, and as I stopped believing, time stretched, the light that was me started to dim. My limbs disappeared, followed by my face and finally the chest that caged my heart. Eyes closed, I watched my body flow downstream and smash into nothingness as it crashed against a wall of darkness.
I had reduced my breathing to short sharp breaths. I was certain that there was only darkness around. My limbs weren’t there anymore. I was numb. I couldn’t open my eyes, my nightmare and reality had merged. There would be no difference between knowing and feeling. I had to keep my eyes closed. I had to. It was the only way to still hang on to the hope that I wouldn’t awake to the darkness that had had me cornered.