This morning I awoke at 5:38am to the sound of my mom calling my name. She's done it the same way my whole life, this incredibly shrill, makes-your-heart-skip-a-beat way that strikes you with both terror that you may be in trouble and concern that there is something she may really need help with. I was on the edge of a dream right at that moment and realized she had called to me more than once. I haven't been waking up very easily since I have been so sick lately...I sleep through alarms going off for hours, someone could kick me and I would probably just stay asleep...but I heard her call my name and it felt like it was the last of at least a dozen attempts at shouting at me to wake up. She, at the top of the stairs, and me, curled up tightly in my heated blanket on the floor, comfortably wedged between a book shelf and a stack of bins. My eyes shot open and my ear, the one not smashed into the pillow, still rung with her voice, circling the delicate folds of cartilage for a fraction of a second and then dissipating into the darkness of the basement. It was then that I heard her in her bedroom right above me, shifting on the springs of her bed and the deep, gravelly snore I've been hearing my entire life taking up that silence faster than I knew how to comprehend.
She hadn't called me at all. But I had heard her. And I struggled desperately to make sense of it.
Was it just a dream? But I felt that voice in my head, on my ears, ringing through the basement like a church bell the way it always has when she yells for me. Fuck, I was confused. I still am.
I couldn't go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. I thought that, perhaps, it was some sign for me to get the hell up and go upstairs and see what's going on. There was nothing there but the early, October morning and the chill of winter reaching its fingers through the walls and making my bare feet go numb on the linoleum floor. I ran back downstairs and brought back up with me my heated blanket, plugging it into the outlet in the kitchen and curling up on a chair at the table. Staring out the window for a long time, I wondered if this is some kind of waking nightmare. That my life as of right now is just a nightmare and that something awful had happened...that I had done something awful to myself. I have thought about it enough for it to be possible...that I could lay down in the bathtub with all of my clothes on and turn on the hot water... and that at 5:38am I slip away and my mom finds me when she gets up to use the bathroom and she shakes me and yells my name and sends those waves of panic through me....but I can't panic anymore so I just lay there and hear her voice. And when I awake I am not there but here...in the darkness on a cold morning that never seems to end, wondering if I ever heard her voice at all. Wondering if, from this point on, everything that I see is just a trick of some purgatory where I have to come to terms with what I have done. Trapped inside my own head forever. What if I have been here for what seems like a single morning when in reality it has been since I was 17 years old and for the past 10 years I have been punishing myself.
It would make a lot more sense than looking at the past 10 years of my life and saying that everything happened for a reason...that all of the heartbreak and all of the lost souls I have come to know and love...exist in real life. What if I have been falling in love with every wandering, sad soul I have found in this darkness ...wandering about this dead world with me and falling in love with other lost souls.
Can you fall in love with someone after you die?
This is all just the musings of someone who feels like they are losing their mind. I think too much. I know that I do. But it's pretty interesting when you think about it.