From some nowhere inside

From some nowhere inside of you visions slowly arise, first pastel petals to your eyes and then wallowing distant squealing lances pins through your stuffed ears and escalates as voices and sounds break through like you would have imagined regaining consciousness in cinematic replica. You felt the weight of the still air filling the hollow column of the hotel all above beginning to put folds in you. In the moment you were a crystalline figure locked in the thick fluid air that turned under slowly like a batter through gorges between glass castles in which you could see each inflection of time and posture of prop as you were trundled through the lobby to a service elevator. The wheels of the gurney exact and silent and the entire gullet of the whale hung over you, turning as your attendants navigated its ribs and stays, and when you stopped turning it began to turn for you as your breath spun circles in its steam structure. But as each second passed it didn’t depart with the criminal clarity which its occurrence might have forecast, it stayed in the moment and the perfect visions of damp surfaces and glimmering lines out to the sky began to pool into a kaleidoscopic forest of pure steaming ice.

Blowing through the warm nonsense you felt cold black air filling your lungs and making you darkly buoyant. It was night in the dam that had been erected in time by your collapse. It wasn’t a dam in time that collected all of these visions into an inscrutable oneness; it was the opening of yourself to begin retaining what you passed through, and instead of it washing past you as it had, you were overcome with the inability to sort the rapidly populating clog of momentary blossoms.

There was no empty space in which to see the night where it lives in framed holes in the sky, but you felt it in your lungs and on your tongue and you felt the release of all of the air in the world let out into the sky and away from your chest and felt yourself gently rising from the foam mattress of the gurney. Did you see things in it? Did you make out things constellated from the glimmering edges of overlayed cells in your visual retention? The visual manifestation of the text, in your attempts to free yourself from the individual moment as it rode forward unchanging in its vacuous carriage, you ended up physically trapped in every moment, your body, the same body innumerable, stuck in the scenario of every second of sensory consumption. The things that you began to see as you grew accustomed to this new perception were untrustworthy because they seemed to be aggregations of moments of other things that had become completely lost in the stack and although you learned to recognize familiar things in the transformed milieu, you were not growing able to believe in them, or believe in yourself relation to them.

A chilled fog of light was captured by the ambulance. Every surface was lit and fell into singular alignment through your immobilization. You chewed children’s aspirin and the black back window became illuminated with the receding skyline as you went north. You recognized it with the skepticism with which you would weigh, upon seeing yourself as a child in the street through a store window, from a parallel world, the forgotten poses and gestures against your own reflected in the glass. The empty highway looked like your entrails loosed into the night as you were pulled backwards through space.

You are fixed in position in relation to the small window. The way the city unspooled behind you made you feel destined. You knew your destination and not recognizing the buildings, lights, and reflections that became the foundation for it did not diminish its finality. Any terror in the sensations that had pulled you to the floor had been let out into the past like exhaust in a steamy cloud through the dark.

The hospital is across the street from your apartment tower. To leave your driveway on foot you would pass its yard where spinal patients were immobilized on gurneys taking in the sun to whiten the greyness of their eyes. Behind the yard from the street, and the water oaks that probably creaked in the night where the hospital stood in orange darkness, you sank into the mattress in a windowless private cell in the emergency room. The lights were dimmed and you were administered morphine directly into your IV port. You weren’t in pain and it shut nothing down in you. It was a wash back to just beneath the surface, the spring at the end of the tether, and you felt nausea in your body rising and then felt your teeth loosen and your blood flow fully around them, covered in nerves and pulsing, as it warmed your mouth. The same warmth swelled from the walls of the room and you could no longer distinguish the sources or limits of the fluid sensations. Immediately next to you from out of brown pillowy shadows a man’s hand towels at the corners of your mouth and an archipelago of features, as if partly arisen from thick old coffee is traced by the sea green light of the equipment in the room. The features could belong to separate faces, each in the same place at different times in the dark, but when they pose or express, they do so together as a divided unit or a stranded family. His was a face that contained several faces in its singularity, one beneath the edges of the next. As his face diminished into darkness you felt again as if it was you being pulled away or sinking. The morphine made your skin roll in waves and as soon as it tingled out of you with the pricks of oxygen pixelating your flesh back from its beige flumes you were walking the louring dawn in hospital issued booties.

Your steps printed lightly like a partially conscious scrawl. Once cleared of the immediate threat to your existence in time, in a world of motions you knew, and started to slip back towards it, you were comforted and at peace with the interstitial medium of seeing things through daze, recalling the peacefully distracting burn and nausea of the morphine, and walking shoeless through the dawn in a parking garage, somewhere apart from what that Friday morning had habitually or had in store for you in its routines. That dazed look of the recovered, of the sack of a human being breathed out of the doors of a hospital, that limbo of their consciousness and internalization of time is a recognizable feature in their appearance. It is almost enviable because of that time, you know they are seeing something completely different than you, in their own fragility they see the fragility of the things around them, the sunrise, all of the other lives with their momentum, skating across the underpainting of the stable life and time they have been plucked from, but see slowly rising into place.

The floor of the parking garage was coated with a sealant that made it look wet and you walked across it with faint disbelief as the booties stayed dry. You carried all the layers of clothes they had found you wearing in a drawstring bag that hung in your hooked finger and swung heavily. You wore only the broad soft hat, loose grey trousers, a worn flannel shirt buttoned in two distant holes, and the hospital booties. It was a short walk back through the service roads of the hospital, across Peachtree and to your apartment. You moved around the buildings and they seemed smaller and worn down where they grew out of the earth.

As you step out under the sky you taste the bloody imprint of teeth on the inside of your lip as if you had bitten from the inside, and a swelling cut in your moustache that feels like a smooth burn. Still everything lags just behind you like the dislocation of the senses found in deja vu, but you and your physicality are the latecomers, you pass into each moment as its own history as if a crew of men are erecting the next follies just over the horizon as you approach.

It is terrifying in a silent way, like awakening in an open grave on a hillside, to open an apartment door in daylight having not had a night to deliver you. The cinching together of days rivets your temples and the spots where your jawbone connects and self-posed questions about the lost night and the arrogance of the morning sunlight diffused through broad dusty clouds provide an inclusive name for the host of other absences you can’t immediately register within the single room.

You lean your belongings against the wall inside the door and sit in the chair facing the blank wall perpendicular to the window and breathe in slow convulsions through your mouth while turning your head slowly from side to side.

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