they tell me that time will numb it- the sensation of falling off a cliff when you're lying in bed, gunfire rattling in your ears like firecrackers on the fourth of july, someone screaming for their mama, that hot press of hands against a wound- bleeding, god, it's bleeding(more) so much-
it doesn't go away.
you're awake but inside everything is on fire. when your eyelids shut it's like fireworks, and the nightmares don't just visit, they make themselves right at home.
i remember him like a light- glowing so subtly under the hail of bullet shells, covered in muck and blood trying to reload his gun, and there's a crack, red spraying out into the sky like a sprinkler head-
i don't call for medic at first. the shock flushes through my system like ice, and a scream is caught between my vocal chords. i'm not crying- not yet -and he's twitching on the ground trying to scratch out the bullet from his chest.
"you're gonna live."
there are so many of them lying cold and still like statues on the battlefield. you want to touch them, read their letters, look at their pictures, wonder how on earth god could take away a life so easily, but you have to march on because the nazis are coming.
you are numb. some jabber nervously with words burned into the edges of their mouth, trying to get the sentences out to fill the empty space left by the dead, and others just stare, quiet in the loneliness. those are the ones you know lost someone.
i stopped speaking then. i listened to orders and fired my gun, but i couldn't stop seeing him.
I am a ghost in this world. My conscious hovers, untouched by pain and sorrow. The world filters through my mind in a series of facts, bright points of color, dust between my fingers.
My senses have diminished to touch and hearing. I feel the tears of loved(more) ones on my skin, the prick of IV needles puncturing my veins. This all has no meaning to me. I measure my days by the sounds that come and go--weeping, pleading, muttering nurses and scolding doctors and finally the silence of night, broken every so often by the marching-band snap of the night nurse's heels on the tile.
Really, being in a coma is good for the mind. Now, far removed from the grime of life, I move about the caverns of my mind, dusting and organizing. What were once messy storage closets are now organized cabinets of memory and sensation. Light emanates from an unseen sun, and I peruse my memories and thoughts.
My once-family enters again, the soft hands of my son squeezing my fingers. I know that he is too young for this, and in an objective way I wish I could communicate, but the door between my mind and the world outside is closed tight. I can only wait.
"We've decided...to let him go," says my once-wife. Her voice is soft but determined. Randomly, I remember her eyes--soft blue, like the sky after spring rain. I file the memory away.
They leave and I wander the halls of my mind, alone but not lonely. I feel the needles being pulled, the sensors being pulled off my skin. It becomes clear to me that I am about to die. The thought does not bother me.
A door opens in front of me. I go through it, not looking back.(less)
because the world - even the air and space immediately surrounding me - is not a safe place for my thoughts and feelings. its imperative that my face and the winding caverns beneath it contain the words and sighs and welling tears, that i remain a vacuum and that(more) not even a weightless wisp of the horrid insides leaves me. and given a few years and some painful memories, behold! as a person becomes his own prison, and likewise, a prison a person.
burn, burn, burn, burn bur burn burn burn. i had a dream that a man with a triangle face held a long and wiggly candle up to my forehead; the invisible fire bored a hole through my skull and large maggots fell out. in the next scene i was in tokyo with my grandmother. the imperial japanese came out of hiding when they saw an old korean lady walking the streets and they came at her with cutlasses. i ran.
i understand now why people so often characterize heartache as a knife wound. they are similar in that, in both assaults, the unexpectedness amplifies the trauma; however, the sensation seems much more akin to having a hole carved out of your gut. the nerve endings are exposed and every movement and ambitious gust of wind will remind you of how empty you are. that you are simply the mass that is necessary to define a gaping hole.
but stabbing is what i think about now. the methodology and the attention-seeking stigma of cutting lines into my skin with thin razors grows heavy and under its weight i lost the lies and rumors of pleasure behind the practice. so i think maybe just shoving a needle straight down into myself might be more effective. become a pincushion. porcupine.