Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My head is splitting. I feel horrible. There are voices around me; they sound rushed. No, they are slurred. I think… I’m not sure. All I can feel is pain. A pain so great I want to vomit, but am immobilized. My sight is hazy at best. No, cloudy is a better description. Clouds like those that bring heavy rain right before the deep black clouds release the pent up hostility found in lightning and thunder. I am a fan of these storms and the rains, but I would prefer to watch them than to feel as if they are in my head. I close my eyes. I am cold. The pain is ceasing although the feeling of urgency is increasing. The lessening pain is better. It is comfortable. I am sure it is right and I nestle into it, letting go of all the stimuli bustling around me.

I’ve been sleeping. I feel heavy as if I am waking from a drug induced sleep. It is taking me a long time to twitch a finger, take a deep breath, and pull myself through the thickness of this sleep. It’s what I imagine swimming through quicksand would feel like. My movements are slow. I am afloat, but there is tragically little progress made from stroke to stroke. It is hard work and the reward is life if you can make it to the other side. I can’t open my eyes yet, but I feel a deep silence. I choose to lay and listen to it. I stop struggling and just listen. I don’t sink, but can feel the heaviness all around me. I do this for what feels like an eternity. The oppressive weight seems to dissipate from me slowly. Where there is room, it is replaced by a warmth, a calm, and a lightness I don’t think I have ever experienced before. I drift off to sleep, caught between a heaviness and a lightness.

I wake again. I am all light and warmth and calmness. I can breathe easily. I don’t want the sensation to end so I choose not to open my eyes. I don’t know how long I lay like this, waiting for a disruption, something that will force me to open my eyes and rejoin society. It is a long time and no disruption comes. As glorious as it feels to sit here, I am becoming bored with it. I am questioning if I forgot to turn my alarm on and if I have slept all day. No, it must still be early. My boss would have called if I was late for work.

Wait. Maybe it is Saturday. Yes, that’s it. It must be Saturday. I remember leaving the office party last night a little too inebriated, perhaps. And then I remember my splitting headache. The result of a serious, serious hangover. Oh God, I hope I didn’t make a fool out of myself! I can’t even remember how I got home. This is not a good sign. I open my eyes.

Everything is bright white. Bright is not the right term. It is blinding. More so than looking at the sun. I have never experienced anything like this. I blink in the bright light, trying to focus my eyes. Everything looks soft, fluffy, as if it all blurs together. It takes a while, but I am finally able to keep my eyes open without needing to shield them. I feel as though I should be alarmed as my vision still has not cleared. I am not. I still am filled with calm. I vow to never drink again, at least not as heavily.

I stand up slowly and find that I am still as light as a feather. I could get use to this. My feet are on something cool and I wonder what I have left on the floor. Whatever it is, it is extremely smooth. I step back a couple of steps and look down. I can’t make out the object, but I am relieved to see a color other than white and more white. Whatever it is looks yellow. I bend down to get a closer look. It is a yellow the color of gold. The gleam is startling amongst all the white. I touch it, running my hand over it. I can feel little grooves where it hooks to what looks like more little yellow bricks. I continue to inspect it and smile at myself. If I didn’t know better, I would say I was walking on the gold paved streets of heaven.

A sudden flash rushes through my mind. I’m waving good-bye to my co-workers. “Tata” I call, still waving the goofy yellow Easter kerchief giving by the company to all the men and women who attended. It’s no longer an image in my head. I am experiencing this moment again. “Tata” I call again as I step backwards. My heel feels like it has broken and I begin to tumble backwards. I see the hands of my co-workers reach for me from across the lawn. Their faces show fear. Some have averted their eyes. I am still falling. I look to my right and see the headlight of the car. I hear a deafening squeal of tires as they slam on the brakes.

And then I see white again. I see fluffiness. I feel the coolness beneath my feet and am staring at those little interlocking yellow bricks of pure gold. I cry and my tear drops glimmer off of the yellow road. I am dead. I don’t know how long I cry for. Time doesn’t matter here. I know this from Sunday school teachings. As I cry, I am flooded with memories of my life. I see how my choices have affected the people I love and hate. I am embarrassed by some things and proud of others. It is a slow emptying of my life on Earth. A slow realization of how I made a difference on the road.

When I stop crying I am filled with a peace and a pleasure at how much value I added in comparison to that I took from others. I am whole in a way I have never experienced. The yellow of that road speaks to me. It tells me that I have done what I can. I have a great longing to continue to grow from where I left off. And I know the only way I can do that is to follow this ribbon of yellow to my new home, where I will create a life for myself that I could never have imagined on Earth.


  1. I am feeling a lot of feelings reading this. I am not sure where to begin. At first, I felt like I was going through my vertigo again...your descriptions are amazing! To make me feel like you were describing my pain. How? Sheesh! What an amazing writer you are. Then, all those images, the brightness, the white colors, the yellow colors, the co-workers looking at you. I was next to you then. Then, the headlights, the car slamming on the brakes...I saw it.

    Then, you are dead? I'm not sure what happened at the end. Where were you at first? Where are you now? I got confused. I should just go back are reread it, instead of commenting, but I thought you'd be better served if I comment my first thoughts right away.

    Your descriptions still continue to blow me away. Awesome.

  2. I was trying to take people in the journey and put the pieces together with the character. Not tell them where they are, let them figure it out as the character does. There is no cut and dry place where you are absolutely one place or the other. I was hoping after finding out she has died that some of the sentences would come together for the reader personally and fall into place.

    Looks like I just left you confused. Will have to try this approach another time.

  3. I on the other had got the feeling "you" were dead right away but knew you didn't know. Maybe it was the very familiar bright light. I did momentarily think hospital but that was short lived.
    You definitely get in the head of someone who is trying to figure it all out very well.
    I liked this a lot.