I Have this Sinking Feeling
Copyright 2010, David A. Epstein.

All Rights Reserved.

 

I'm just laying in bed at this moment in a dark room. There is no sound, no signs of any distractions. I feel like I'm sinking into a deep, persevering sink-state. It's mortal flesh about to decay, decompose into unintelligible components. Sinking here, sinking there, in no discernable direction. I'm having this impression that I'm being placed in a coffin. Coffination is what they call it, I believe. And if you're lucky enough to be taken out of one, it would be referred to it as Decoffination, indubitably.

Would you hold it against me if I said I was often coughing in the coffin?

To be quite frank, the bed was holding me up, a pure counterrevolutionary force preventing me from a liberationist free-fall into an even darker, unknown abyss. I could be spiralling into who-knows-what. Sure, I was being absorbed by the bed. I felt dead as the sheets sucked the good will and life out of my feeble body; but in a peculiar way, the bed was my savior, not in the least bit fearful of collapsing onto the floor due to my unbearable weight, morbidness and highly-compressed, pressurized anxiety.

I am dead. And I'm here to talk about it.

I am alive. And I have nothing to say.

Yet I know I'm in between. Here tomorrow, gone today.

Now, I managed to get out of bed. I escaped from its unbearable gravitational pull. There I was, freely walking to the bathroom. Nothing was going to stop me now; I was going to have my relief no matter what.

As I was opening the door, I succumbed to an impulse to look back. I saw the bed, draped with its crinkly sheets, disheveled blankets, and lumpy pillows. It was as naked as an ox without its plow. Poor, pathetic shell of its former self, is what I thought.

I went into the bathroom and received a dose of instant relief. I thought about the freedom of refreshing salvation, deliverance from the depraved world of the dead. After dispensing with the routine bathroom rituals, I washed my hands and wiped them with the towel dangling on the cross bar. I opened the door and headed back to bed. As I was shlumping back to that bedrock foundation of all listlessness, I saw something fluttering near the ceiling. It was a butterfly that somehow found its way into my abode. It's wings were in full motion, spanning what appeared to me to be the full length of the bedroom; from sea to shining sea is what I imagined. It was a fleeting moment, one of quiet sanity and invigorating replenishment.

Just as I was getting ready to get back into bed, the butterfly fled the scene and flew into the bathroom. At some level, it was a joyous moment, for I knew that it had its own rituals of disengagement. As I was getting into bed, I lifted the blanket and ruffled the sheets. And what I saw was terrifying beyond belief: I saw myself staring back at me. I was motionless, paralyzed without a thought, but started laughing hysterically.

I panicked. There's no way that could have been me. But I was shocked, repulsed, and trembling without any let up. I ran out of the house and into the street. I looked back at the house and saw nothing. Then it occurred to me that I was just hit by a car. I blacked out, and the rest as they say is non-history.

So there I was, groggingly awakening from my painful Rip Van Winkle slumber. I was in a hospital bed. There were no doctors, nurses, or attendants in the room. I was there by myself.

Then, the door opened. I looked up to see who it was. It was me. After a few seconds of speechlessness, I yelled out for help. Myself, who was staring at me the entire time, replied, "Don't worry my friend. I'm going to get it for you." He left the room, and I never saw him again.

What happened after that is anyone's guess. It could be he couldn't find anyone that could have been of assistance to me. Or it's possible that he just left without telling a soul. Then again, he could have been hit by a car himself.

When I left the hospital, I silently uttered a prayer for my phantom self, as I prefered to envision him. I prayed for my safety and sanity as well. Then I plopped into bed awaiting the reactivation of that same old vicious cycle. But instead, I fell into a deep sleep and the fanciful dreams that accompany it. And you want to know what I dreamt about? Well, I'll just leave that to your ...