Thursday, May 03, 2007

through the rabbit hole

The breath escapes from my lungs as I look over the edge. Fear creeps into me like cold water in my veins. Rumblings of doubt shake me from the inside.
And yet still, I jump off the cliff, my love, to be with you again. Terrified of what’s in store I close my eyes and leap.
The air rushes past me as I anticipate the landing.

But the air never stops.

And I open my eyes and look down and there is nothing.
An abyss of newness, I fall to my new fate.
And then I realize that I have stopped falling; I am floating
Somewhere in between, waiting, watching.
Figures and shapes around me begin to take form and I feel as if I am looking at my life from an outside perspective. I cannot touch or speak to the old friends and coworkers of my former life but I have yet to join the new and different people who will populate my new world.

Lost in the space in between, I try to find you so that you might be the anchor that pulls me into my new world. I can hear your voice but I cannot feel your body. I can sense your presence but still I cannot see you.
I fly around, hoping to find a door or a window. But all around me are white, stark, movie screens showing me what I once knew.
There are no previews of my coming attractions and still no you.
I cannot see where this purgatory ends or where it begins.
I am stuck in the middle without you.

They always say you have to work hard to get what is most important.
But I don’t know what I have to do to escape this in between world I have found.
I had thought my leap would lead me straight to you.

“INDEPENDENCE” flashes on the screen in front of me. And I see you, far away, pick up a phone and dial.
I hear the phone ring.
I look around but there is no phone; there is nothing in this place but me and my mind.
The picture of you fades as you reluctantly hang up the phone, not having reached me.
“Baby!” I cry out, but you cannot see me or hear me.
I am alone here. Fated to figure out my next step on my own.

“CHOICE” appears on the screen. The words appear black and stark and then slowly and steadily begin to melt off the screen. I see their puddle far below me and I try to fly toward it.
As I get closer, I see that it appears now as a manhole cover which I, expectedly, cannot get open.
“Help me,” I scream into the abyss, “Why am I stuck here?”
“CHOICE” appears again on the screen, this time accompanied by a rumble of thunder. As I look up at the word, a loud clap of thunder reverberates the walls around me and the word explodes from the screen. I curl up in a ball in an effort to avoid being hit by the shrapnel.
A loud clank is heard and I see that a crowbar has landed on top of the manhole cover.
I grab for the crowbar and begin to pry off the cover. After what seems like hours, I get it open and peer into the depths of this new place.

I look down into a series of tunnels, all covered in black, sticky goop. There seem to be road signs deep within the tunnels.
I look back up at my silent, white purgatory and wonder if I should venture into this dark, messy, complicated place.
“CHOICE” appears once more on the screen, this time accompanied by a loud screeching sound and a strong gust of wind.
I am propelled by this wind into the tunnel and the manhole cover seals me in this new place. It is dark and wet and the only sound I hear is breathing. But it is not my breathing.
It sounds as if it is coming from the walls, as if I am inside a living being at this very moment.
I wait for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. The wet, sticky goop covers every part of me. I can almost feel something crawling on my skin.

I decide it is time to move.

I head toward the first set of tunnels that I saw when I was looking into the hole for the first time. My eyes have not adjusted completely to the light just yet and so I reach up above the entrance of either tunnel to see if I can feel some sign indicating where either tunnel will lead.
A metal sign above each entrance has raised letters and I read them with my fingers. One sign says “Life;” the other says, “Death.”
Well that’s an easy choice, I think, and I start moving toward the tunnel of Life. As I lean into the tunnel, I realize that it is a vertical drop. I leap forward anyway, tumbling and sliding through the muck until this time, I land, hard, on the floor of a room with 3 tunnel entrances. The floor is covered with feathers and now, so am I.

As I stand to look around me, a large wooden paddle comes at me unexpectedly and smacks me in the face, knocking me unconscious.
I dream of you and your warmth. I dream of your arms and your lips and the look in your eyes when you tell me that you love me.

I wake because of water dripping on my face. I am still in the room with 3 tunnels but now it is clean. And I am clean. Raindrops come from up above and sunlight streams out of 2 of the 3 tunnels. The third has a large wooden door blocking the entrance. The tunnel with the wooden door has the word “PEACE” written above it. As I head toward that door to check the handle, a scratchy voice says from behind me, “That choice is not for you.”

I turn around, hoping to see who it was that spoke to me but there is no one. I look at the other 2 tunnels. The sign above the first reads, “ALONE;” the second reads “TOGETHER.” I pause, wondering if my invisible guide will help me to choose. He does not. I choose the “TOGETHER” tunnel.
I walk toward the sunshine, its brightness almost blinding me. I see ahead of me green grass and a thick forest of trees. As I emerge from the tunnel and can feel the sunshine on my skin, I hear the voice again.
“You have made your choice.”
I look around and see no one. As I attempt to step forward to explore this lush landscape, I realize I cannot. I am encapsulated by a clear filmy substance, like a soap bubble. My soap bubble rises and I begin to float over the greenery into a suburban neighborhood. The bubble brings me to a house.

I look into the windows and I see you smiling. I see you with your wife and your children and you seem so happy, so content. I hesitate to disturb you, wondering if this time I can communicate with the world around me. I decide not to cry out and I turn my head away, tears welling up in my eyes.

When I do so, the bubble breaks and I land in the middle of the street. I hear a car horn and tires screech. I hear my own scream. I have been hit by your neighbor’s SUV. I am rendered immobile and unconscious.
I wake in a hospital bed. I am bandaged to the point that no one can see my face. And I cannot speak. All I think about is you and what I could have done, what I should have done. They see I am awake and seem pleased. But I do not understand their words. It is as if they are speaking another language, one that is foreign to me. The doctor has comforting eyes so I feel safe.
For a moment.
I hear the scratchy voice of my guide. He says, “You can only achieve what you really want with an uphill battle.” I resolve to believe in him, as he is the only person who I can understand, but still I cannot see him.
A group of doctors with kind eyes walk into my room. They speak to me and amongst themselves in the language I do not know. One doctor pats me on the arm and smiles. Just after they leave, a nurse comes in and injects something into my arm. She does not have kind eyes. I fall quickly to sleep.

When I wake, I find myself on the padded floor of a gym.
“Are you alright?” I hear a man’s voice say from above me. “We play a little rough around here.”
I stand up to see a team of smiling people, in the midst of a game of dodgeball. “I didn’t mean to throw it at you that hard,” the man says again. He seems well-meaning and helps me to stand up.
“It’s…it’s okay. I’m okay,” I say as I move off the playing field. I see a bench and I sit on it. I don’t recognize this place.
“No matter how many times you fall, you have to keep getting up,” a woman on the bench beside me says. She is pretty and I recognize her slightly. She puts me at ease.
“Do you know where the locker room is?” I ask her. She points toward the opposite wall on which there are 3 doors.
As I stand up, she says, “Don’t mind them; they always play really rough. It’s just something you have to get used to.”
I walk across the playing field toward the doors, dodging, successfully this time, a ball or two that come my way.
When I get to the wall, I notice that none of the doors are marked. I am not sure which one to choose. I turn around, hoping to ask one of the players, but the gym is now empty and dark. I turn back to the doors. They all look exactly the same and I am not sure what it is inside any one of them.

I go to the door on the far left and push it slightly in order to hear what is inside. I hear chaos: screaming, sirens, guns, horns, people talking, planes flying. I back up, hoping to avoid that choice, but the other two doors are gone. I hear the scratchy voice of my elusive guide once again.
“You have made your choice.”
I push through the door and am thrust onto the streets of a bustling city. People are moving fast, talking fast, living fast. I am afraid at first but soon get caught up in the madness. The chaos envelops me, helps me to forget the mistakes I have made in the past. I spend months in this new place, living at breakneck speed, constantly looking around the corner for a set of 3 doors to move me on my adventure toward you.
But the chaos is deafening and the life I am forced to lead is all-encompassing. Your memory leaks from my mind. I cannot see your face anymore nor can I hear your voice. The city wipes my mind clean of all that came before.
Until one day.
One day, I am walking fast down the city streets, barely noticing the advertisements blinking all around me when I see your words, your beautiful poetry scrawled on a wall. I stop, jarring many pedestrians behind me, and look at the words. It is not only your text, it is also your handwriting.
Your stamp has been made in the chaos.

Suddenly all is silent and I hear only the voice of my guide, “Had you forgotten your purpose?”
A wave of memories flood my brain. I think of you and your smile. I think of your love and how it once warmed me. I think of your arms and how they made me feel safe. I hear your voice and it comforts me. And I decide that I need to find you. I need to get out of the chaos and be with you again.

“You have made your choice,” I hear my guide say.
And I am no longer in the cacophony anymore. I am standing at the edge of a cliff. A small man with a top hat stands next to me. It is my guide. He reaches out his arm to show me my choice.

“Jump,” he says. And I do.
This time, I am in the air for only a split second. I land in a bed, covered in fluffy pillows and warm blankets. I am inside an apartment and I can hear the shower running. The shower stops.
The door opens to the room and there you are, toweling off. You smile and walk to me, you sit down on the edge of the bed and lean in to kiss me. It feels more than perfect.
“Good morning, sunshine.”

2 Comments:

Blogger The Wookie Shack Productions said...

Amy's Adventures in Wonderland

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Chelsa said...

Good for people to know.

6:52 PM  

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