The Abyssal Blue Divide
Morning came into my brain at about noon like a freight train through my head. I am coughing profusely and cursing at the window shade that is somehow half way up now. I am horse as hell and my voice sounds as deep as Victoria’s voice does, just not as sexy. Every pounding of my pulse makes my vision blur slightly, and I crawl out of bed like death warmed over. I can feel the detail of last night trickling out of my brain like a bad dream, and I am trying to pull the shades down. It takes three attempts to get it to stay down. I should probably replace that damned thing, but I am just a little too lazy, and lets just face it… I am not very handy around the house aside from the cooking, cleaning and just generally being good as stuff a home-body like myself is. I feel pathetic, just a little as I think this. I am not trying to be tacky, and the sexist connotation with in it makes me shutter a bit, but it’s just the truth. I know it sounds stereotypical, but I just usually care more about things that help me care from someone else because I grew up with that. Trust me, it’s not as selfless as it sounds. Who gives a shit if it’s stereotypical or not.
But I feel that beckoning inner feminist tell me that I should be more than just good “housewife material”. I have many talents, but I long so much for love and convention that I think I may have a built-in propensity towards that model. I dread and loath it as much as I long for it. I guess though what it boils down to is that I want love so much that I’d sacrifice for it, and being that I can’t work that seems to come to mind a lot. Being disabled wasn’t my plan in life, it just happened. Hell, I can barely walk around the house safely some days. Growing up raising my siblings made me like this… and some days I really do hate it with great intensity. I can do so much more, but the world isn’t tolerant of disabilities though it puts on a good show of it. I want to work, but I can see the accident reports piling up on my boss’s desk. My legs work fine, it’s just my brain that is busted it seems. Well that and having a sleep disorder that makes the vertigo so much worse by many fold of it’s norm.
I stagger feeling almost still drunk into the bathroom and reach for the medicine cabinet to the right of the mirror. I grab the ibuprofen, and a glass of water and take the medicine. I then begin a warm shower to hopefully give the medicine the time to react while I use the heat to stave off the headache. While I am showering I contemplate last nights events, when suddenly I hear a pounding at my door like someone is beating down the door. I jump, but recollect myself climbing out of the shower, wrapping myself in the all cotton robe that was a Christmas gift from family and trek my way unsteadily to the door. I open the door and the blaring light makes my head pound, “I thought you’d never answer” says Vic with a glib little smile on her face and an apparent sigh of relief. The brisk air feels nice against my alcohol driven aches. “So, how you feeling”, she says as I let her through the doorway and Starlight runs to rub up against her leg as kitties tend to do. She bends over and pets the cat and says, “Sorry, I’ll let you finish your shower”. “Thanks for driving me home last night” I say for like the 10,000th time it seems. She says, “Fine, it’s all good”, as she heads toward the coffee machine instinctively as if she lived with me.
Anticipating her asking about using it I say, “Go for it… I’ll be done in about 25 minutes”. I return to the restroom, and shower contemplating why she showed up so early to transport me to my flight with check in starting at 3:45pm. She is always prompt but never early, like she was worried I wouldn’t be here when she arrived, or at least that is what her eyes told me. It’s 11:59am on my mirror from a built-in LCD clock. She usually shows at about 1 hour and 45 minutes prior, but she was almost 3 hours prior this time. Maybe she was worried, but I felt fate tugging at my sleeve today. In a proverbial sense, I felt she was confirming something deep inside me that I hadn’t known until today. If it was something I knew but I couldn’t figure what it was. As I showered and the hot water it made my headache ease, and my aching breasts sooth when I start to smell the odor of fresh black tea brewing… Vic never drinks black tea. Why is she making it? Is it for me, if that is indeed what she is doing.
Victoria is practically addicted to black, oozy, syrupy coffee, especially after a night of drinking… Why in the hell would she be making me black tea? I finish contemplating these thoughts as I wash the last of the conditioner from my hair. As I climb from the shower the medicines have started to kick in, and I can definitely tell it’s black tea now.
I dry myself off, slip on a pair of fresh underwear, and stick my face out the door to confirm what she was brewing. I’ve known this woman for almost 4 years and she is making something she hasn’t made in all that time. What is up, I ponder? I slink into my room barely clad in a towel and panties and start searching for something light, white and cotton to wear on the plane. I hate flying, especially after ten years of government service and travel to foreign countries. I slip on a clean pair of purple panties, and begin to find something I can get way with wearing without a bra under it. It’s painful to wear a bra around certain times of the month. Anyhow, I can hear Vic clanking around in my cabinets looking for glasses to pour whatever concoction she made into, with a miffed sound in her voice. “I hate your kitchen, Anna!”, she scolds me from the kitchenette. “I said it’s not a kitchen, Vic-Vic!”, I shout back at her from my closet. I grab my bags, which are small, and tote them to the door in blue jeans and a purple top.
As I stroll into the living room towards my sofa with a bean bag chair next to it I say, “Vic, what are you makin’? It doesn’t smell like coffee.” She says, “Well, you are always drinking tea, so I thought I would give it a whirl”, she then chuckles uncomfortably. I can’t tell if she is either placating me, or dodging the issue. She knows I can read her as well as she can read me, but this mask she is putting up for me is new and foreign to me. Could I be seeing a new color of Vic for the first time in 4 years?
I guess it doesn’t matter. In 4 years she has always been there for me, especially when she was the reason I was debilitated. However, something about this particular day felt weird to me. As if I felt that this day was foretold, and everything that had been predicted was coming to me. It felt like déjà-vu, the kind that a person with amnesia experiences when remembering something their brain can’t quite recall. I couldn’t seem to escape this feeling of dread that encompassed my being. What was going to happen… this was the thought that perpetually penetrated my being through this day. We finished our tea after a lot of idle small talk which isn’t usual for Vic, and she grabbed my bags at about 12:56 pm and said, “Are you ready to go?” I responded with a befuddled twinge, “Isn’t it a little early for a 4 pm flight?” She spurts, “No, it’s a major international airport after all, right?” “I guess your right” you respond submissively. You grab the other bag and begin to walk for the door… “Oh wait, who was going to take care of Starlight while I am gone for 2 weeks.”
She stares at me shaking her head, “Have you already forgot, silly. It’s me, it’s always me, isn’t it?” “Oh yeah, sorry…”, as I dip my head still trying to divert my eyes from the painfully blinding sunlight shining through the door. We are in the car now, and it’s 1:11 pm and the afternoon sun feels more like morning sunlight because of the tilt of the Earth as the brisk morning air seeps in through Vic’s cracked open window. The main stretch of highway between the airport and my apartment is nothing but prairie and is now still mostly covered in snow. We trek on pretending as if none of the weirdness from last night ever occurred, and I notice the blue glow in the sky again, but quickly dismiss it as nothing. Vic notices the change in my face and quickly asks me, “Is everything alright?” “I am just still a little hung-over I guess”, I say as a giggle a little then wince from the pain of my hangover.
Perfect alibi with a perfect excuse. I always had a way to pick them, though in my older ages I decided I didn’t need them to justify how I felt. I started to feel a little dizzy as we approached the terminal. Vic became aware of this, and quickly jumped out and began to help me to the bag check-in counter. At this point I was starting to feel somewhat normal however, my fatigue was kicking my arze. This was exactly why I didn’t drink like that on a regular basis, but Vic always had a way of breaking down my defenses in those regards. She always had a way to make me feel that I could jump off a cliff with her at my side and feel completely okay with it. It didn’t matter what it was, she could always put my mind at ease and make me feel like the me she knew me to be. She brought out the best in me. Very few had this power over me, except her. It was like she could see my soul, and knew me.
I exasperatedly check-in at the airline flight kiosk with my debit card, and toss my bag on the scale nearest the attendant helping me. She tugs at my ruffled t-shirt and pulls me into her. “Come back to me, now. You hear?”, she whispers into my ear. “Sure”, as I whisper back while patting and rubbing her shoulder with my loving affirmation. I turn back to the ticket counter and grab my bag receipt, and boarding pass and begin to walk to the security checkpoint all the time contemplating her unusual behavior. She acted as if she truly loved me, and for once in my life acted as if she didn’t care that I knew it. This wasn’t like her, that even though I always knew how she felt, she always, always, always maintained her gruff exterior to me only showing me her love in her tough masculine way. She let it slide today and my mind swirled on the why and how.
It felt like something I had said had shaken her to the core, and she wouldn’t tell me what it was. I was so clueless, and so unknowing. I proceeded through the security checkpoints, and grabbed my bag and shoes and progressed to the train to my concourse. My mind faded from the feelings I sensed from my friend and started to focus on my family whom I was flying to visit from across the country. I was so ready to be mentally and emotionally rid of this place that I couldn’t stand it, but I had those handful of friends that made it hard to think about moving right now with so much in my life in flux. I loved my friends as though they were family, and valued them no less. Vic knew this, and is partly why she bonded with me so closely. I was the only sister she’d ever known, and she was by no means willing to losing me anytime soon. It’s just how life and love is for me… I always find the closest bonds but never find that true soul mate style love. It’s one of the few things I ever felt was missing from my life, but I was so content taking care of myself for the first time in my life that I didn’t care that much until the length of time I’d been single started to get to me. Being retired allowed me the time to really take care of my needs, though this didn’t mean my life was great. Far from it.
Deep down that was my feeling; however, it wasn’t an overpowering necessity just yet. I longed for nothing more than the absolute bonds of love, which always seemed to be imaginary or impossible in my past acquaintances. I ponder these obscure things as I wait for my row to be boarded onto the plane. I can’t stand these waiting games you have to play when you travel, but I understand that it is a necessary waiting game for those of us who can’t afford first class tickets. Once again, as like on the bus I pulled my ear buds out and tucked them neatly in my ear and tried to forget the odd events of the past 2 days while I boarded the plane. I tucked my bag safely under seat like I always did. This bag always contained the most personal of all my possessions, and my most favorite clothing that I felt comfortable traveling with. The only thing it didn’t contain was my toiletries. I considered those things trivial.
With a jerk and a popping sound the plane began to back away from the terminal, as that same old feeling of dread began to loom in my mind again. I never used to be afraid of planes but with my equilibrium as it was air travel with my disease it was a bit more terrifying for me than ever before.
I burp uncomfortably as the acidic pain of last night resurged in my throat. I reach to the flight attendant and ask for some water exclaiming that I feel ill. She brings me a water bottle of mineral type, and I take a couple swigs to try to wash the bitter flavor from my mouth. It’s a rough and burning sensation as the pilot powers up the engines and begins to taxi down the runway. I don’t know how to feel right now between the sickness, and the uneasiness of what I feel is impending for me. I know something is going to happen, I just know it. I just sit back in my seat, trying to control the nausea and praying.
I used to love flying and got such a thrill over it, but in recent years I began to dread it. Maybe it was a control issue, maybe it was something else or a combination of the aforementioned illness. I knew of the favorable statistics of flying versus other forms of traveling; however, I dreaded it even more because I felt there was nothing I could do. I mean, come on, it’s not like I could drive home with no car and no license. I lean back as far as I can in my seat and brace for the sudden acceleration associated with take off, all the while still praying for my safety. How was it that I went from doing a job that exposes one to the scarier side of human nature and true horror, stuff scarier than most human beings could imagine to being afraid of being on an airplane. It was strange and humiliating in the same way. I didn’t understand these feelings but I held tight and clinched my teeth waiting for what I felt to be my inevitable demise. It was a strange sensation indeed, and with a cold anticipation the plane takes off.
The plane continued to climb, and the ground once covered in cars, streets and buildings now looked like etch marks in the ground. Nothing I could do aside from swipe my debit card on the back of the seat and watch the in-flight movie to help me keep my mind off of the dread I felt. It was an okay movie but more than likely something with children and teens as the intended audience. The movie was still decent, and it was something of a heroism type movie. A story about the underdog rising to the challenge and becoming a hero. I like those sort of stories very much, so I guess I was able to avoid being put off by the content obviously targeted at children. Well, these days at least it seems like most of these movies still inserts of adult humor that flies over children’s heads. So I guess it’s pretty even. Anyhow, about half the movie has flown by now and I think I have the whole thing figured out. The movie is fairly entertaining, but I feel something tugging at me again. I don’t know what it is, but it’s pulling harder and harder and I have felt it increasing in power over the flight. It’s 4:32pm. Suddenly the plane starts to jostle a little bit, and the fasten seat belt light go on. My nerves are already frayed as the plane bounces a bit in the turbulence. I can see the wings bending just more than slightly up and down as we start flying through some high ceiling cloud cover. “Don’t panic, don’t panic”, I whisper to myself, but this only seems to worsen my anxiety. “Oh god, what if these is my last moments on Earth” and mutter unintelligibly under by breath.
The flight attendants haven’t even flinched, and continue to hand out those tiny bags of pretzels and sodas. But, apparently I am not the only one who is nervous. The plane continues to bounce about rather rigorously but nothing that seems dangerous to the crew. I see an arm in business class with a strangely familiar blue wristband on a raising arm apparently asking to receive three glasses and three alcoholic beverage mixes. Either they are trying to get drunk or are trying to ease their nerves. As I think about alcohol my memories of last night surge and I throw up in my mouth a little bit. I don’t even want to think about alcohol at a time like this. I feel so tired, and I am getting more nauseated by the second from the plane.
I decide as the salty sensation flows into my mouth that it is time to head to the lavatory. I get up, and brace myself against the overhead bins as I walk down the aisle. I catch a glimpse of the lavatories, and see someone just coming out of one of the center two. “What luck“, I think to myself as I quicken my walk noticing that last bump appears to have lifted my stomach to an all new high. I quickly open the lavatory door now, pace much faster now and quickly latch it behind me only turning just in time to dry heave three times. Then, I finally get some of the black tea I drank earlier to come out last with a vicious burning sensation. Iced tea never tastes as good coming back up… But then again, what does? “Jeez, Vic, what the hell where you thinking… You knew I had to fly today” I whisper as the 5th bout of vomiting has temporarily deprived me of my voice. I am sweating profusely, but that round of nausea has given way to a cooling action from the sweat spewing from the skin on my entire body. I feel better now, and have a sense of relief I haven’t felt on this entire flight. I sit down on the seat and begin patting my sweat down from my brow and neck, and suddenly realize the plane’s flight path has stabilized. And not a moment sooner. I don’t need to spend the rest of my flight vomiting.
Finally cooled off by the lavatory fan I make a quick check of my appearance and fix anything that was disheveled and unlock the lavatory door. I open slowly and progress back to my seat just in time to catch the flight attendant approaching my row. So I quickly hop into the empty seat by the window next to where I had been seated. The flight attendant then asks once my tray table is down, “Can I get you anything, Ma’am?”
“Yes, Saltines and Ginger ale… If you have it that is” I quickly respond with my face obviously still a little flushed white as it does when I am nauseated.
“Air Sickness?” she says while handing me a 3 tiny clear packets of saltine crackers, and an entire can of Ginger ale with a cup full of ice under it.
“Not exactly… (I briefly chuckle)… My friend helped me get this way last night, so I have her to blame”, I retort while shaking my head. I hear a chuckle up in business class from someone who heard my story to the flight attendant. “Well I hope you get to feeling better than,” she says casually then abruptly she unlatches the brakes on the food cart and moves it forward. “I just hope this flight gets better from here on in”, I think to myself.
I begin to pour some soda in the cup and immediate open a pack of saltines while I let the fizzing of the soda subside a little. I pop the first salted cracker in my mouth whole and slowly start whittling it down with my side teeth. I crush up most of the cracker but some of it is stuck to my tongue so I use my soda to wash it down a bit. As I hold the glass from the top with the back of my hand over it, I gently tip back the glass again peering at my watch to check the time again. 4:45pm… Out of the corner of my eye I can see the person with the weird blue armband dangling out in the aisle like they are completely assed out. I pull the second cracker from the package and pop it into my mouth and break off a piece instead. I continue sipping and looking out the window kind of having to bow my neck a little down to see out. You can’t really see the ground now through the misty layer we are flying above but the sky is completely clear. It’s strange though… I don’t see any clouds and to be honest I can’t tell where the horizon is. It’s just blue and orange sunset colors above and blue brown tinges below the mist. The sun reflects like a beam across the tops of the clouds. I think nothing of it and turn from the window.
I resume watching my movie that I had forgotten to replug my ear buds into when I went the throw up. I plug back in the movie, but realize I have missed too much to want to finish it and turn off the screen. At this moment I catch something out of the corner of my eye from outside the window. I look out and in the distance I see water… I am trying to make out where it is, but then suddenly I realize the water is like a huge wall in front of the plane about 15 miles ahead, and coming fast. I’m now jarred from my place of comfort and severely panicked, and I am looking around the plane and realize no one else is seeing it. I look back out and I can see clouds over this ocean and I can see glowing beneath it’s surface. The gravity on the plane is normal and we aren’t flying straight down, yet everything my eyes are telling me is telling me we are about to crash into the ocean on a steep vertical descent. What is going on. My heart is beating so hard and fast that if this is just an illusion then I am going to die of a heart attack immediately after.
I see a child in the opposite window seat to me acting completely normal. She is about 12 or so, so I would imagine she would be panicked like I am if she saw it. The water is getting closer and I see the clouds over the ocean white out my window view for a second. I take one final look before my inevitable death it seems and notice that the other passengers are starting to look and move very sluggish, as if they are slowing down.
I see the ocean rising closer and closer, and I can see the waves now and the glowing beneath the surface is brighter than before. I count to myself, holding my breath all the while bracing for impact, though I am the only one, “5.… 4.… 3.… 2.… 1.… ( my count is a little off, so I paused for a second and said) 0!” I hear a loud boom and see glowing blue bubbles outside my window. At this point I can see water welling up from the cock pit bubbling up very quickly. The water is swirling and twisting violently as the glowing blue ocean is consuming the plane. Every one around me is frozen. They aren’t moving, and I take off my belt and begin to walk backwards towards the back of the plane as the water consumes more and more of the plane. I narrowly get past the flight attendant and her frozen in place tray before the glowing water catches me. I can see the warbled shapes of passengers and the plane from about 8 feet past the now only gurgling surface of blue water approaching me. I run to the furthest back spot on the plane I can find to the rear galley. The water is still coming, and there is no where for me to go. I rush up to the rear most emergency exit before it is consumed by the water. It won’t budge, and I can’t even shake the handle like it is also frozen in time.
I back up into the galley once again and wait for my imminent demise. I am holding on to the pull out towel drawer handles for dear life. The water is at my toes now. In a weird moment of pause I stop to look at my watch. 4:57.35 pm / – – ° F… The digits for minutes, hours, and seconds had completely stopped. I felt this was the last thing I’d see. As I peered back at the water that should have consumed me I found that it stopped at my toes and was only creeping up on me now. A loose penny from my purse floated outwards… Not only did it not fall but the moment it stopped I could no longer move it. I could see the water creeping ever so slowly. I didn’t want to die so I tried to find a way out, but I wanted to leave a record of what happened to me. So I decided to enter the water, to try to get out of the plane again. I stepped in and was immediately floating in it. I swam to my seat, all the passengers still looking alive but frozen in time. I reach my seat, and reach for my bag under the seat in which I had paper and a writing utensil.
I pulled and pulled on my backpack for what was probably no more than 5 seconds but felt like an eon, and I was now struggling to hold my breath. Finally the bag came free and I began to vigorously swim past the flight attendant in my way again, and back to the only air pocket. I was running out of time and fast. My whole body was burning, and I was shaking violently while I was swimming… I wasn’t going to make it… Things started to black out a bit and I was seeing stars.
I couldn’t swim anymore and I was in excruciating pain. All I could do was hold my throat in agony, when I finally let my breath go. The most painful breath I have ever taken in as my first response afterwards was to breath in. I could feel the water filling my lungs as the stars in my eyes started to turn black. But instead of suffocating my first breath of the water just felt like water, but was some how providing oxygen. I was breathing water… Maybe this stuff wasn’t water at all. When I looked around because I had a moment to breath finally I realized that it looked very much like the events of yesterday in my bathroom on the plane. “Is this what time travel is like?” I say to myself aloud, and can hear that once again it sounds like I am speaking under water. “HELLO!” I shout, to see if I can get anyone else’ attention but to no avail. It’s doesn’t sound like my voice is traveling far enough, not to mention that I don’t think they can hear me in their current state.
I swim further back down in the plane, and look farther aft only to realize the ‘air’ bubble at the back is gone and that time is still moving though very slowly. I see little bubbles and bubble-like pockets of energy flowing past the plane. I am starting to notice some subtle changes in the position of some of the passengers but most of them still aren’t really moving. The plane must still be flying, but I don’t know what is going on. Out the window I see larger pockets of bubbles moving in vortices and the plane is passing them. I head back towards the front of the plane and I reposition myself near my seat so I can see where the plane is going. It’s heading to the darker blue abyss I have seen before, both in my dreams and these episodes of temporal unrest. The feeling of wonder with this frozen paradox turns to fear. I just realized that the pressure had been steadily increasing, and the further we progress it gets harder and harder to breathe. I can feel the currents pulling me towards the abyss getting stronger and stronger. My ears and lungs are starting to hurt from the pressure, it’s not bad, but it’s making the panic rise up again in my chest.
Out of the corner of my eye I catch something blue moving by. It takes me a second to focus my eyes and realize what is happening… The walls of the plane are becoming transparent to me and I am seeing the glowing ocean through them. The people are also fading before my eyes as the pressure becomes more intense, and the current is now pulling hard enough to tug at my clothing. I am not fighting against the currents, and the plane around me is mostly gone. I have been pulled almost all the way to the cockpit. I start trying to swim but there is no way to fight it…
… The last of the plane disappears, and the currents are rippling as they tug at me harder and harder. I can feel my body accelerating faster and faster and the water gets darker and darker… I feel like the pressure is nearly stopping me from breathing now, and it’s incredibly heavy. The current is so strong that moving my arm in it feels like swimming in thick gravy. My lungs hurt really bad and my bones and ears ache from the pressure. It gets blacker and blacker until all I can see is a lightly contrasted blueness in the distance from where I was pulled from. The water is so heavy that all I feel is pain, and my heart is beating so hard trying to fight the pressure that I feel it’s about to burst.
I feel faint, medicated, and strangely euphoric. I stopped fighting it, and I feel the currents accelerating even more. My body has gone limp and the only thing I can feel is my pulse, and its beating slower and slower. It’s completely black now, and all I can hear in my ears in popping, and my heart beats less than once a second. Tha-thump……. Tha——thump……………… thump…(growing quieter)…………… thump……………………………………..(I feel myself falling asleep)……………
Thu……………………………… The sound has stopped, I am fading. Losing consciousness… is this is it. “At least the pain is gone”, I think to myself one last time.
As my consciousness fades I am suspended in tight blackness, I feel my body fading away from me. There is blackness and nothing for a few moments and the sound of my mind goes dark and flanges into complete silence…. … .. . … . .. . …. . . . . . . . . … ……. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .