Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Drowning on dry land

The news is hitting me all at once like a tidal wave. My legs are weak and I have to hold onto something for support. I look for a chair and when I see one I stumble to it and sit down struggling to comprehend what my ears have just heard. What my eyes have just seen. I am vaguely aware that I am drowning. Water is filling up my lungs slowly so that breathing is becoming difficult. I feel like I am moving all of my limbs, but they are heavy like lead and it is not helping me to come to the top. There is noise all around me but it is like my ears are in a vacuum. I know there are children crying, machines beeping, possibly a lawn mower somewhere, but all I can hear is dead noise, a strange yet familiar humming that is filling my brain. I want to cry, but suddenly my eyes are so dry they hurt. I feel a need to scream out, but my mouth feels like it is filled with cotton. And sandpaper. I try to think a rationale thought, like what to do next, but it's like my mind has gone numb.

Although the words are always different - this is the feeling of shock. No matter what the words - all shock looks and feels the same. I remember it so well I can taste it. And it always tastes the same. Like old money smells. Briney and bitter. When it is over, you do not ever want to taste it again, but it is undeniable. You know that you will.

Months possibly years later I can remember the moments of shock vividly. Strangely, what I will not remember is what I was thinking right before the news hit me. I want desperately to remember this, but try as I might these thoughts are just out of reach. Was I so happy? Could I not believe how great things were going? Was I thankful that things were not worse? Who did I want to spend the rest of my life with? What was I craving?

I don't really think it will change anything, but I must feel everything now. I must remember everything precisely. There must be a careful account of every moment so that when I am drowning again I will be able to remember what it feels like right before you drown. If there is any comfort to be had I will bottle it. I will coat myself in the comfort of these thoughts so that it will soften the blow........Soften the blow of the next drowning.


Lucy said...

I would like to place a massive order for this memory elixir of "Life before shock."

What beautiful writing, sister! For me, the climbing out of the shock state takes many bottles (usually my old standard: Rescue Remedy) before I can feel again.

Monica said...

ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! when i first read "bottle" i immediately thought, "ME TOO!!!!" but not quite the bottle i was thinking of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you for the compliment. coming from someone as talented as you - that means a lot. xoxoxoxo