I posted this poem a few days ago, and said that I might attempt to explain it in a future post. Well, here it is! I’m not sure how much sense it’ll make because it was an exceptionally profound experience, and previous attempts to explain it to people have resulted in failure. I don’t know if it was a near-death experience, a hallucination, or even just a terrible nightmare but, whichever way, it was the most frightened I’ve ever been. If anyone has had any experiences akin to this one, I’d love to hear about them.
To set the scene, I’d been drinking cheap white cider with my best buddy Tommy Harris. We were listening to music and watching South Park. I remember turning to him at one point after a protracted silence and saying, “Am I supposed to be replying to something you just said?” He looked back at me and replied, “I don’t know.” Yes, it was one of those nights.
Anyway, the action kicked off after Tommy had left. I saw him to the door as usual, then walked into the kitchen for a glass of water before bed. I also picked up a slice of coffee cake that the mother had made. Then things went tits-up, though I don’t remember leaving the kitchen.
Suddenly, I was in an almost free fall. This is the part I mentioned earlier that is difficult to explain. To me it was a slow death, pure and simple. It was like being tied to a giant wheel, half shaded good and half shaded bad. As I moved around the wheel the bad was desperate, it was despair, and the good was glorious and full of light. After every revolution, though, the dark part grew larger and the light part correspondingly smaller. All while I was in a feeling of freefall. And this went on and on. What also happened was that the euphoric highs got higher and the depressive lows got lower. Approaching the light areas granted me a supreme peace and a happiness like I’ve never known whereas approaching the darkness sapped all of the goodness from my soul, and was the worst I’ve ever felt. And all through this the darkness was growing larger while the light was receding, minute by minute. I’d liken it to being tied to a mill-wheel in rising water. Your time out of the water, your time to take a breath becoming less and less as the minutes go by. Your time under the water, your life out of your hands and dependent on how long you can hold your breath until you see the light of the surface above you, getting longer.
And then I woke up. In the fetal position in the middle of the dining-room floor. With coffee cake in my mouth. I don’t know how long I was gone for – seconds, minutes, even hours, but that night has stayed with me for a hell of a long time. I could have easily choked. Maybe I did, and a lucky spasm dislodged the offending item. I don’t know. I didn’t end there. For a fair amount of time afterwards, at random times and places, I’d go dizzy and feel myself falling, my heart would start to race and I’d think back to that night.
I still don’t think I’ve managed to do justice in writing to exactly what happened. I do, though, like to think of the multiverse, that in an infinite number of universes I died that night , and that by surviving I should have learned something.
I learned nothing.