I heave open my leaden eyes. Nothing. I delve deep within the shadowed depths of my inner mind. Nothing. No sight, no memories.
Who am I? Where am I? What am I? What is â€˜Iâ€™?
I tremble as I lie on whatever it is separating me from the everlasting fall I am convinced I would find beneath. In the darkness I lie, and my mind goes on and on in its endless cycle of terror, in terror of things I know not. Now, as I lie in the darkness, an image flashes before my eyes, but is gone before I can grasp it.
Gone, like the faint whisper of a sweet, forgotten dream. Gone, like the slender shaft of sunlight in a storm, which bears an alluring yet short-lived message of hope to those who, in vain, wait upon the death of the ravaging storm and the new birth of the clear, blue sky.
Before I can regret the escape of this potentially crucial sight, it is back. Like before though, its stay in my consciousness is over in a heartbeat.
It comes back again and again, with increasing frequency, until it is a solid image. A grey scene lies before me, doing nothing to lighten the sea of melancholy in which I am drowning.
A walkway winds before me, a snake frozen in the midst of its death throes, twisting left and right into the bleak distance. The expanse which looms above this tosses and turns, reminiscent of the indomitable Atlantic, a flock of wild horses stamping their hooves in their fury and tossing their manes in their pride. A lone albatross braves the onslaught of the skies, wheeling and whirling in this tempestuous sea. Alone on the walkway, a pillar of solitude, a figure stands. Their head is downcast as if mourning the death of a friend. Their stick-thin back is covered by a cloak of grey; their feet bare as the day they were born.
My gaze is drawn to a small jagged hole in the otherwise impeccable cloak, a mouth lined with vicious teeth, gaping to devour. Through the hole I can see black. Not black as seen in black clothes, but black as in the darkness in which I was engulfed only moments ago. Momentsâ€¦or years? It seems to me now that it does not matter, time is slowly fading and I see no reason to resist.
Suddenly, impossibly, the image becomes alive and breathing. The sky becomes truly torpid, truly stamping its hooves and truly shaking its mane.
The albatross above me begins to truly wheel and whirl, to truly screech and cry as if tomorrow will never come. Now not only is the image alive, alive and breathing, but I am a part of it. I stand on the rough cobbled path and breathe deeply of the fresh sea air. I feel the chill as the cruel wind bites into my skin. I hear the cries of the soaring albatross. Abruptly I remember the emaciated form standing silent and alone in the middle of the twisting pathway. Somehow, deep inside me I know that this one figure is the center of all that has happened since whatever memories I once possessed, disappeared. Fearfully I turn my gaze to the figure before me. They have turned to face me and as I lift my eyes, trembling, to their face, I remember.
Images and thoughts, concepts, ideas, race through my mind, threatening to overwhelm me, but through this raging torrent of thought I can grasp only one out of the countless multitude.