Paradise

I tried to remember what my final breath was like. What the oxygen had tasted like when I inhaled for the last time.

I could see the surface of the water. I tried to reach for it from underneath but it was too far away; beyond my reach. It got further and further as I descended. A thousand thoughts flooded my mind as I wondered whether this was it, whether my time was up. Then my hand, my body and my mind went limp and I fell asleep.

I opened my eyes; at least I think I opened them because I don’t think I had eyelids; I don’t think I had anything. I could see nothing, only nothing; bland nothing that was vast and endless. I didn’t know how I got there; I didn’t know what I was doing there; I didn’t want to stay in there, or was it out there. I was merely a presence; present nowhere.

The place – was it a place? – was ethereal. It was unlike any place I had been before but I had memory of it, at least I think it was a memory. It felt like I had been there before; like I had always been there.

I heard voices, at least I think I heard them, for I don’t think I had ears. I just knew the voices were there. I tried to walk towards them – How? I had no legs – I just thought of being where I wanted to be and I moved; at least I think I moved.

I didn’t find the voices; they were around me but not around me because I didn’t know which way was up. I didn’t know because I tried to turn myself up side, down side, but then I felt like where I began was where I ended.

I decided, at least I think it was a decision, at least I hope it was a though, to stay where I was. I stayed and waited; but I wasn’t sure I was waiting because I couldn’t tell if time was moving. Nothing was moving there, I don’t even think time was moving so I wasn’t sure I was waiting.

After – was it after? – I had tried waiting I decided, at least I remember it was a decision, to try to stop everything, try to die. I tried to close my eyes but the eyelids that were not there wouldn’t block the eyes which did not exist.

Th voices were relentless and were getting louder. I couldn’t stand these voices which were not there. I tried to block my ears but the arms which were not there couldn’t move to the ears which did not exist.

I decided – decided? – to give up and cry but I didn’t have a heart. I heart that could feel and tell my eyes which did not exist to shed tears. So I stayed there – here? – and tried to wait some more.

While I was trying to wait I felt myself move. I hadn’t decided to move; I was moving by some other power so I think I was afraid. It was as if I was being pulled by a thousand invisible soft strings. I didn’t know what was happening, but before, nothing was happening, so I did know.

I saw, I believe I saw, something in the mist, a shape; a shape that belonged with that voice. It seemed to be saying something, something I recognized. It was my name, the voice was calling my name. I tried to cry out but my mouth that was not there couldn’t carry a voice that did not exist.

Then all at once my eyes were open, open once again. I had eyelids; I had an arm and a hand. I had a mouth and I used it; used it to scream out. I screamed out because I felt a pain on chest; a pain like someone had been pounding on it.

They had brought me back, I was lying on my side coughing out water. My heart was racing, I had escaped from the nothing. All that nowhere was gone. I was back, back to seeing, hearing, touching, feeling. Back to paradise.

 

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