What happens when you cross the point of no return?
By: Simple Spider
It wasn't pain that struck me as much as an overwhelming disbelief. A knife was lodged in my chest and it didn't belong there. For what seemed like an endless amount of time, my arms slowly tried to rise up and grasp its hilt, like a roller-coaster clicking its way to the top of the hill.
Whoever he was, the man in the process of robbing me, he was surprised too. His eyes displaying a strange frightened excitement behind the clever disguise of his cotton ski mask. I honestly don't think he meant to do it. It was just one of those things, something that might not have happened if fate gave us a “do over,” but we had passed the point of no return.
An explosion of pain! My chest erupts in painful fire. The fast forward button pressed and the verdict is “no use crying over spilled milk.” As I listen to myself gasping, trying desperately to suck in my last breath of air, Mr. Ski Mask has resumed the robbery. I can't blame him. That’s why he’s here after all.
My body reacts automatically. I can hear my voice, breathy and afraid, begging the robber for help. But it’s not really me. I am outside myself, watching a play with two wonderfully committed actors.
I don't remember falling to the floor, but that's where I am. Black work boots frantically pace through my house. They intermittently dance in and out of my field of vision. Something being smashed, drawers pulled open, glass breaking; all combine in an awkward sort of elevator music, playing, but so softly I can barely hear it. I find myself above it all, almost bored, like those old movies that show their credits before the film begins. Everything is cosmic background noise to my growing since of detachment.
My attention is being sucked into a vacuum and I am only watching what's on because there is no other channel. Why does everything seem so slow? I watch Mr. Ski Mask's boots rise and fall. My chest rises and falls. There is so little movement in this relatively static backdrop. Rising and falling, again, but this time even slower. Rising and falling, and slower still. I watch in tepid amusement as my panicked assistant finally freezes in mid step. I marvel at the blood pouring from my chest, a strange frame by frame, syrup solidifying on a breakfast plate left out too long.
Outside of pain, in-between the impulses of brain chemistry and light based movement; I am suddenly between the acts. Everything is near absolute zero. Or maybe it is simply the chill of massive blood loss?
In the stillness of the moment my mind focuses on the only interesting thing in the washed out picture: a vivid blue and orange reflection, bursting forth from a large and jagged piece of glass lying next to me. It used to be part of my expensive French door. What makes such a beautiful color combination? It's strangely like a sunset, a mixture of water colors and oil canvas. My head swims as I take it in. Never has something so beautiful been in my drab little house.
The rest of the room slowly shrinks, like entering a tunnel at high speed. In this frozen world the light is the only thing that moves. At first what is a simple twinkle blossoms into a swirling and chaotic vortex. Round and round, its growing brightness begins to outshine the pallid house, the robber stuck in time, vainly trying to complete an endlessly long crime.
I remember the concept of black holes. How did that go again? If I were to watch someone fall in I would never actually see them cross the threshold. They would get slower and slower and finally stop at the event horizon. As the observer, stuck in my world just behind that of light, I would need to wait forever, till the end of time, to finally see them crossover.
And what if I were the one falling? It seems like such a privilege because I think I may get to pass on through, almost like walking from one room to the next. It’s like the rules don’t apply, or at least aren’t important enough to worry about. Or was it that I would simply be spun around the edges and stretched out into a disk, looping in one infinitely long moment?
I can’t remember. I feel very tired and the strain of thinking doesn’t seem worth the effort. The light around me grows. My mind becomes fuzzy. It is only the colors I hold onto as I am engulfed.
I open my eyes and am met with a familiar sunset. I am on a sandy beach I remember from twenty years ago. There is a cold beer in my hand. A woman named Marie is sitting beside me reading a novel. I never understood Virginia Woolf. She wears a wonderfully large, orange hat. The ocean casts a familiar cadence, a soft popping sound as the fizz of the sea dissipates.
I look out at the horizon and grasp her hand. The summer heat feels good and I am reminded of what a vacation is supposed to be. There is no reason to hurry. I look at my watch and laugh at the lifeless second hand. The sand must have gotten to it. I smile; some things simply break down in a new environment. No use thinking about it. The tide dances for us on the beach, moving, not forward, but simply in the direction that feels best. Everything rocks back and forth, no thought to where or why, just as it should on an endless summer day.