sometimes I lie in bed waiting for sleep to come and the bastard gets held up a few houses down the block. probably some snot nosed kid with a fear of the dark, holding my guy up and keeping me tossing and turning like a pig on a spit. not a very pleasant image, nor a very pleasant experience, thankyouverymuch.
anyway, tonight is a night like many others: the kid is getting all the undivided attention and I'm stuck on the spit. so i says to myself that now would be the perfect time to ruminate on some fun stuff..not. because said "fun stuff" is anything but.
death is always lurking somewhere in my brain, ready to engage me in a little game of chess...a game that I already know the outcome to. i am not ingmar bergman patiently doling out the story while I draw out the encounter. i have absolutely no control in the matter. i can't block death out of my brain. i am its willing captive as i mull over the thought that one day everyone and everything I know will one day cease to exist. there will not be a soul or rock or stream left that knew i was here, fighting the good fight. there's lots of life passing before my eyes, but they are not my life images. no, they belong to everyone i love. i see their death played out like a revue on the back of my eyelids and it scares the shit outta me.
so i get up and write this post to clear my brain.
this makes me remember the first time i realized that everyone (myself) included was going to die.
I went to a private elementary school. must've been second grade. at oldest, third. i was in music class. xylophones everywhere. we were singing a song and damned if i remember what it was. the "ants went marching" keeps sticking in my craw, so maybe that was it. i remember looking around the room, at the teacher and the other kids and realizing, my heart in my throat, that they were all dead...well, they were all doomed to die. then that sent me into apoplexies of terror...if they were gonna die then my parents were gonna die, too. and then the clincher, the thing that just nailed me to my spot on the linoleum:
i was gonna die, too.
i found myself removed from the world around me, sucked into another dimension where i was the omnipotent observer, i was the one with the secret. i was apart. I was a part. of it all.
I went through the rest of the day like a zombie, lost in this weird dimension, separated from everyone and everything i loved.
I had a piano lesson that afternoon after school and my friends Maudie and Jessica came with me somehow. they and their family were staying with us, something to do with a crazy sewage leak at their house (they moved from that house with the wooded backyard and the stream way down in the back where i once got bitten by a baby mole that died). I got through the lesson then went to the bathroom.
and lost it.
locked myself in the institutional metal stall somewhere in the heart of Samford University and couldn't stop the dry heaves and sobs that I had held inside me since that damned music class. (god, the xylophones) my friends found me and somehow coaxed me out to the car where my mother was waiting.
i don't remember if i told anyone what was wrong. i honestly don't remember.
but my nights have not been the same since