Lucidity

Blackness like a metal tomb floating and creaking, with the gravity gone and replaced with a void.  You can see nothing as there is no light or sound, but your every sense tells you that the space you occupy is tight and enclosed.  You can feel the pinching and stinging occasionally in your extremities though you don’t know the source.  It’s the tingle like your limbs are waking up from a blood deprived sleep.  Darkness feels like a suffocating net over your torso and face, and you feel tiny footsteps creeping up your leg.  You see a bright, tiny sliver of horizon begin to manifest in front of you as your face begins to feel as if it’s being rubbed with sandpaper.  The slivers of light explode like a nuclear bomb, or as if the sun has exploded.  Your eyes open and you’re blinded by light.  Your senses begin to return to you and the blinding light dulls.  Objects swirl into focus and you are staring at the ceiling of your room and sunlight is peaking from under your black as sack cloth window coverings.  A pearly white cat caresses your face with her tongue to remind you her food needs to be made.

You rustle up from your sheets with a zip as you hear a storm of static racing across the blanket.  You half leap from the corner of your bed, and begin to immediately shudder from the cold embrace of the air.  Taking a deep breath of the brisk wintry air the cat resumes licking on your arm that’s propping you up on the side of the bed.  “It’s to early for sunlight”, you say as you slowly reach for the shade’s pull-string drawing it down to block the sunlight.  You stare at your fluffy white-haired, blue-eyed kitty purring intently still licking your arm.  “Okay, okay.  That’s enough Starlight, I’ll get you some breakfast” you say sighing and yawning still.  Starlight sits back on her hind legs and licks her mouth and meows at you while blinking slowly at you.  As your feet hit the floor a cold shiver runs up your spine from the frigid floor traveling all the way up to your neck.  You quickly get your sweater night-gown and socks from the end of the bed and immediate toss the gown over your head and down your still naked body and hop to the door one-legged putting on first your left then your right sock.

The apartment is a west-facing, 3rd-floor, L-shaped construct with the bedroom southern side of the L, and the living room on the northwest.  Just before the bend in the L, just outside the bedroom is the full bathroom, and the kitchenette that sits in the farthest corner of the bend. Your apartment has carpeting everywhere except in the bathroom and bedroom.  The apartment is situated near a highway, with an over-sized parking lot which is almost never filled beyond 25% capacity.  Aside from the parking spaces close to the building, there is no trees.  However, there is just enough trees of sufficient size to diminish the view of the rather bleak and empty lot behind it which is still laden with snow.  The colors and hues of your apartment are all tans and woody browns, with the exclusion of a randomized blue hued, quarter-sized, glass tiles in the bathroom.  It is a typical wood grain style apartment built through the late 70’s – early 90’s in the US.  The carpet is thick, and a pain in the ass to vacuum.  It causes the vacuum to release the vaporous smells of burning rubber as the brush frequently gets snagged.  There is a metal plate by the living-room window where and old school radiator used to be.  The central air system was built into a medium between the bathroom door and the front door.

Still rubbing your eyes of sleep and staggering dizzily you emerge from the short hallway into your living room / kitchenette.  It’s got a short bar but it’s still a kitchenette.  As always you reach for the bag of cat food on the second shelf to the left of the fridge in the pantry while staring at the floor of your carpeted kitchen shaking your head.  “Still don’t know why they put carpet in the kitchen and wood in the bedroom, grrr”, you mumble to yourself.  The cat starts to yowl at you from the floor staring up at you eagerly awaiting breakfast.  You quickly pour cat food into the metal bowl hearing every tinkling sound of food pellets hitting it.  The food pellets are red, brown and tan and look vaguely like letters from alphabet soup.  The cat meows loudly, “Okay, okay… Here you go”, you respond while lowering the bowl of food to the floor where the cat usually eats.  She won’t even touch the food unless you put it on her grass mat.

“You spoiled little brat” you sputter gravelly to your feline companion while patting her back as she crunches away.  “Time for your mommy to eat now” you say as you stumble back to your feet and towards the fridge.  Your stomach gets ahead of your reflexes as you viciously open the fridge door.  The door handle carelessly slams into your left breast sending aching pain through your chest and causing you to double over clutching the source of the pain.  “Fuck”, you squeal to yourself as you hold your aching breast in your hand.  The hunger now beginning to override the pain, you return your hand and eyes to the search of your first meal for the day.

Your eyes pan for a second and suddenly home in on a teriyaki sauce dripping, Chinese food box in the corner of the top shelf next to the milk and tube of wasabi.  You begin to salivate as your thumb, pinky and index finger carefully grasp your meal while avoiding the excess sauce on it’s exterior.  “Oops!” irking from your lips as the teriyaki sauce takes its revenge on your nightgown.  You wipe it with a clean rag from the sink side cupboard freshly wet from the tap all the while rolling your eyes at your awkward morning shuffle.  You grab a plate from the cupboard above the stove and dump the contents from the box on it then tossing the empty container in the trash bin next to the fridge.  You grab a pair of chopsticks with your left hand from the drawer, and begin licking your right hand fingers of the excess teriyaki.  Plate in hand you walk back to your bedroom, stopping only to retrieve a still mostly full glass of night air chilled tea still sitting on your kitchen bar from last night.

Setting the plate on your bed, and the glass on your nightstand you plop up next to your plate sending the chopsticks rolling under your thigh.  You reach for the chopsticks and as you do your eyes catch a spot of blood on your shaven legs that dried while you were sleeping.  “Damn, I didn’t know I cut myself” you sputter as you lick your thumb to rub away the smidgen of blood on your leg.  You reach for the remote after panning the room looking for it, and hit the red power button.

Slowly a bright blue light illuminates the wall farthest from your bed and a tiny computer hour-glass appears dead center of the screen.  The entire wall bursts to life with the imagery of the morning news shows as they are sitting there chattering about something that you have yet to focus your mind to.  As the sounds murmur in your ear and the wall-sized screen shows images of people walking about a busy street intersection, you return to your food.  You eagerly thrust your chopsticks into the brown lo mien noodles on your plate that are intermingled with chunks of cold chicken dripping in teriyaki sauce, and shove them into your mouth.  You think to your self while chewing “Got to love cold Chinese food” then noticing that the show that was on has gone to commercial out of the corner of your eye.  You lay back against the pillows piled against your headboard and slurp up the rest of the lo mien dangling from your mouth, then lick away the sauce from the corner of your mouth.

Your eyes lose focus a little bit as your morning dizziness has yet to dissipate, and you quickly react to the nausea by closing your eyes for a second to let it pass.  “Man, I hate it when that happens”, you mutter as you almost subconsciously grab a chunk of chicken from your plate and bring it up to your mouth.  “I wonder what will happen today…  I wonder what I will do.  I have been so bored all the time since I have been jobless.  At the same time, I can’t really work in the condition I have been.”  This internal monologue highlights in your mind the events of the past few years.  About 2 winters ago you began to get ill.  You suffered from an unknown illness at the time which caused you severe fatigue and these obnoxious dizzy spells.  You’d go several days a week for up to 24 hours at a time with chronic vertigo bad enough to make standing a safety hazard.  The doctors spend most of a year trying to figure out what was wrong, but found nothing to completely explain your condition.  You were even hospitalized twice from episodes of this condition.  You used to think it was the job you were doing, but you had since been prematurely and medically retired from this job.

See, government work is hard on the body as they expect you to work weird hours without consideration of the effects it has on your body.  At least you got a pension out of it, you think to yourself

Anyhow, any chances of the symptoms dissipating once you were no longer worked those hours faded with every passing month of the last 10 – 12 you spent jobless.  You can’t even get out of bed within an hour of waking some days from dizziness, and can’t count the times you woke up dry heaving as an aftereffect of vertigo.  It’s like having a hangover without the headache, or the fun before starting the hangover.  The doctors gave you medicine but it has a pictographic warning label that covers half the bottle and usually means that you’ll sleep through severally days if you have to take it.  It knocks you on your butt like half a bottle of nighttime cough syrup would, or 4 nighttime pain pills with diphenhydromine hydrochloride in it.  You’re so tired of sleeping your life away this year that you punch your headboard just thinking about it.

You lift your head up to devour a bit of food in your chopsticks as your feel it roll over the sticks and wedge itself into your cleavage.   You quickly grab it with your chopsticks and shove it into your mouth while you simultaneously reach for the wet facial tissues at your bedside.  “I always knew you two were useful for something” you utter under your breath.  You must have been stuck too deep in thought to pay attention to what you were doing and lost control of your chopsticks.  You look over at the alarm clock and back at the TV for a moment as you contemplate a shower.  You toss your sticks onto your plate and bounce from your bed, and swing yourself first left then right around the door frames into your bathroom.  You disrobe, flip on the shower and hop in.  You vigorously scrub between your breasts to assure you don’t end up with any sticky reminders as your mind begins to wander again.  You think to yourself about how utterly bored you feel with your life, and wish your illness would go away.  You make enough money to be social and sometimes go out and catch a couple of drinks with friends, but beyond that you have way to much time on your hands.  The hot water blushes your skin, and you start to feel a little faint.  “Oh crap, I got too hot” you say as you twist the knob to stop the flow of water and stagger out of the shower.  You prop your hand on the sink counter, but your wet hand slips sending your forehead plummeting towards the countertop.

With a sound like someone thumping a melon your head hits, quickly blurring your vision and flooding your field of view with stars as you topple to the floor.  Your vision whites out, as you feel your senses fade and your wet, hot, supple skin plops against the floor.

You start the hear a strange sound murmur in your ears.  It sounds like your are under the ocean.  You hear strange sounds of metallic sounds that are like whale song mottling the audio landscape with its subtle twinge.  You open your eyes, and you see the world again, but as if you were looking through the bottom of a pool.  You’re looking down on your naked form curled on the floor, and you can see every other room, as well as the outside as if things were in multiple place as the same time.  Hell, you can see the entire city with your mind, maybe even the entire planet.  Everything looks like it’s under water, or sort of like the light pattern at the bottom of the pool… This strange blue all-consuming ocean looks like that, but as if that warble of light was in three dimensions.

What’s going on, you ponder.  Man I must have really hit my head hard.  “Oh, god” you shout to yourself as you ponder the possibility, “Am I dead?”  Filled with anxiety, you look around panicked.  You’re voice comes out even though your mouth doesn’t move and your voice sounds muffled like it’s also traveling through water.  You breath heavy, and you feel your heart beat fast.  You realize your still breathing and your heart is still beating, but that you are having some sort of out-of-body experience.  You calm a bit, but are frantically looking around where your body is laying, desperate for answers.  You walk outside the bathroom while your body remains in place.  As you walk out you see a floating speck in the air in the living room and you decide to approach it.  As you get closer you recognize it… “It’s a Fly!” you screech and immediately clasp your hand against your mouth.  You lean over in your ethereal naked form to get a closer look.  The fly appears in a state of suspended animation, just floating there in mid-air, motionless.

How is this possible?  How can this be…. It’s like time has stopped you ponder to your self.  You turn your head to your feline companion’s food bowl on your right, and realize she is also frozen in place like a moment captured in time.  At this point you are too baffled to be afraid of what is happening to you.  A light begins to shine from the bathroom and you approach to see what is going on.  As you pass through the door again you see your still form on the floor glowing brightly.  It gets brighter and brighter and overwhelms your sight.  You feel an intense and powerful surge of sensation like water covering your body from toe to head as if splashing into a pool.  You jerk quickly and violently as this sensation overcomes you, and find yourself back in your original reality laying on the floor with a massive headache and a throbbing goose egg on your forehead.  Your once warm and damp skin is now partially dried, still dripping, and very cold.  You pull your right arm out from under you to push yourself off the floor.  “What the hell just happened” you say as you climb to your feet with legs still trembling.  Your head is pounding, your vision blurs slightly with every beat of your heart, and the room is spinning around you.  Looking in the mirror for a moment, you notice that there is no blood and only a slight abrasion on your forehead.  Sure you are not injured that badly, you unsteadily walk to your room bracing yourself against the walls.

As you roll up over the side of your bed and wriggle your way into the center you accidentally catapult the chopsticks from your plate.  As the sticks thump against the floor you feel a cold lo mien noodle fall onto your thigh.  This sensation would be expected with your luck and gracefulness, but you quickly remember that you cleaned your plate when you ate breakfast.  “How could I have missed a noodle” you ask yourself as you push your body up the hill of pillows at the head of the bed to take a lit.  You lift your head, and open your left eye to see a full plate of food lying on the bed.  You’re stunned and open both eyes and gawk at the amazing refilled plate of food.

The TV on your wall catches your attention now as you look up and see the same part of a same show that was on more than half an hour ago before your showered.   It cycles through the same images to same commercial you caught a glimpse of earlier.  Chills run up your spine, and a strange sense of both vertigo, disorientation, and confusion take over.  ‘How is this possible?’ you wonder to yourself in sheer awe at what you are facing. You remembered having looked at your alarm clock just before showering and remembered that it said 9:37am.  But to your amazement the clock says 9:21am.  This makes all the hair on your neck and arm stand on end.  Your voice goes shrill as you anxiously spout out loudly, “Did I just time travel?”.  You stare at the clock, fixated, with your mouth gaping open.  Suddenly the effect of the cold air, and naked, damp body makes you begin to shiver.  You push the comforter back and slide yourself back down into your bed rolling your head up to the ceiling still in amazement.  Your headache is easing and the dizziness is returning to its much more slight state you’re used to.  Eyes blinking wildly you try to shake of the feeling of this strange event, while a memory begins to rise in your mind.

“That’s Right!” you yell to yourself as you remember this happened to you before.  You recall once when you were a kid that you had brushed your teeth in the bathroom and gained three hours.  You remember going into the bathroom at 7 o’clock PM and when you emerged from brushing your teeth it was 4 o’clock.  You lie there pondering this memory and comparing it.  You remember seeing a flash of blue and feeling water just as you exited the bathroom that day.  “So what exactly was that?”, you whispering to your silently.  You continue to lay there pondering this when a strange old song pops on the TV during another commercial that distracts your mind for a moment.  In order to shake the feeling you have, you reach for a DVD near your bedside and shove it into the game console on your nightstand and flip the TV to the right input to re-watch one of your favorite anime shows.  The DVD menu pops to the screen as you continue to try to shake the feeling and thoughts about the weirdness of what seems to be the strangest moment of your life.  You hit play on the first episode, and roll onto your side under the sheets.

Suddenly, but not surprising you start to feel very drained and depleted.  You start to feel drowsy, while starting to let your mind wander to the events of your TV show and then to nothing.  Your sleep issues make it impossible to feel rested some days, so it’s not uncommon for you to wake up in the morning then sleep for the rest of the day.  You move your cold Chinese food to the night stand, and pull the covers over your shoulder.  You think to yourself about how entrenched you’ve become in thinking about the mundane aspect of you life with such detail, but this day seems to be one that is stranger than most.  It’s hard to think about things as you grow weaker.  You watch maybe half of the 22 minute episode and pass out from fatigue.