Loud and Ringing

the realism

The bells have left.

People say that when you die, it’s like your whole life is regurgitated for your viewing pleasure. One last hoorah before the flame of life is forever snuffed. That’s not what it’s like. Death is heavy and dark. There’s something disconcerting with that harrowing finality. Those bells that sounded for me ceased moments after my world diminished to a desolate, thick wash of steely onyx. Though as long as I am living or dying, I’m sure that sweet resonation of the melody pulsing with each beat of my heart will fill the said organ with a longing for that siren.

I never realized how truly alone a person can be until I existed in that darkness. All of the little things in this world are with you, coexisting. Even the sands or the has-been fragments of shells fill the void and create something tangible. Blackness is blackness and nothing is nothing. I still feel nothing. I still can do nothing as I wallow.

When my eyes open, the intensity of the objects and colors strike me. Everything is white with a blue black glaze. I flutter my lids a few times before I fully comprehend my surroundings. Oh, how my head aches. My nostrils are tickled (more like brutally assaulted) with the astringent of rubbing alcohol and bleach. My tongue is dry and refuses to coat itself with any sort of liquid. Therefore, I’m without any comfort and each breath feels absolutely hallucinogenic.

The IV in my forearm isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but it is a minor setback to any of the questions swirling in my mind. I’m heavy, much like I was in the black everything, but in a different way. I’m exhilaratingly tired. Each breath is an awesome bother, but I trudge onwards, moving forward into realism.

The monitors hum with their kinetics. Staccato rings off the wall from the sheer amount of differing pulses and beats being tracked. A lively orchestra, it’s almost a shame that I wish for the monitors to quiet, to dim. Almost.

I remember exactly what happened to me. I can still feel the water rolling me, battering my skin and leaving me to die to the ferocity of the vast, unpredictable ocean. I wish the water had taken me. The ocean seems like a peaceful place to rest, does it not? With the shells and the sand glittering around the pale corpse. My pale corpse. My young pale corpse.

It doesn’t faze me as much as it should.

The sirens though, they play in my mind and my soul soars with longing. It was the most beautiful sound that could ever grace the ears. No choir could imitate it. No Soprano or Tenor could possibly mimic the glorious ringing that convulsed around me in that cold water. My thoughts racquet around my mind as I stare into the stale nothingness of the ceiling. Nothing corrigible, coherent, or remotely sane was uttered by the consistent bickering that was taking place from within.

And on the outside, I show nothing. A blank expression. Sallow cheeks wretched with a constant grimace and eyes that were chiseled from stone. Wars aren’t fought on fields or air or sea—they’re fought on the inside. The fact that we all walk around so normally whilst our insides are churning seas is absolute madness. Even madder than walking into the freezing ocean.

It’s not too long before a sweet faced woman of about thirty five walks in. Her vaguely glimmering eyes are accessorized with purple bags that show a puffy silhouette of a hard day. Brown hair juts out in strange factions towards the crown of her head, almost in tufts. “Do you feel alright, Ms. Vilkas?”

I part my lips to find a painful dry mouth, “I’d assume so,” I croak.

“Any pain?” She queries.

“Nothing I can’t bear.”

“Seems like you’re about your wits then,” She smiles at my snarky retort.

Most people just frown and change the subject. She’s different for some reason. “You do know what happened?” The woman asks as she presses the cool steel of a stethoscope to my chest.

I nod my head. I walked into the ocean in a moment of clarity. Instead of beating around the bush and feeling fucking miserable—I tried to die. “I got caught in the surf.” I recite.

“Strange to be in the surf this time of year, isn’t it?” She gently suggests.

“It is.” I answer lucidly, fighting to compose myself into something half presentable before someone with authority waltzes in the room.

She scribbles something on a clipboard and leaves without any personality. At least I have personality—even if this said personality is about as stiff as reinforced steel, it’s something. Stiff. I want to be floating.