The following is a fable, posted in small chapters. One morning the sun peeked through the blinds covering our window. And I wondered how often we tend to block out the light…
In murky blackness he floated. Silent, spinning, aimless. Pushed aside by hidden gusts, he spun faster and faster, until he felt sick to his stomach. He felt like he was being pulled apart, stretching thinner, expanding to the point where he could feel the dark air swirling between his molecules. He was losing himself. Soon there would be nothing. Where was he? It was like nowhere he had ever been, yet too familiar.
Then came a sound from a far distance, an aggravating, clanging sound. The man sensed that it disturbed the darkness. It sent ripples through it. Pulled and shoved in every direction, the air swirled around him as if contending with the sound, protecting it’s prey. Then it stopped.
Through the waiting silence that followed, another sound emerged. It was completely different then the first. It was beautiful and comforting. Beams of wispy light emanated with the sound like long fingers. Glowing, it stretched forward and surrounded him. The sound sung with rhythmic cadence, and as it did, the light all around him suddenly squeezed…
The man’s wife had just finished leaving a message for the kids on the answering machine when he awoke with a gasp. He was back on the floor. His eyes now wide open, he took quick but shallow breaths. Was that a dream, or …? He tried to focus on the ceiling again, but all he saw was darkness. He tried to look away, but it was everywhere.
Panic set in again. His eyes darted back and forth, frantically blinking to get them to work.
Nothing. He cried out. His voice echoed through the room and down the hallway, but no one was home. The kids were at school and his wife had long left for work. He already knew that, but it left his lungs before he could hold it back.
He coveted sleep, but he didn’t want to chance returning to that place. He wanted to cry, but there was no strength. So, he just lay there, blind and helpless, mind swirling. As each thought passed through, he gave into it’s torment until there was only quiet. He thought back to earlier in the morning, and how nice the warmth felt on his skin.
Why did he react so strongly the second time? Pulling away seemed silly now as he was lying on the cold floor. And then there was that beautiful sound. It almost felt the same.
His hands reached up to inspect his lip. He had tasted blood. It didn’t seem that bad, but his mouth throbbed. He would need to make it to the bathroom to rinse it out, if he could make it there! Why could he not see anything?
It bothered him that the darkness he suffered in did not feel strange. It had the same weight as the weariness that has been pulling on him for months. Had he been blind since then? It just seemed so impossible to live that way for so long. Yet, he could not remember the last time he could see. It might even be years. Any recent memories were anchored in sounds, or a smell, or taste. How could he not have known? Did his family notice? Co-workers? Nobody said anything. If he didn’t know, how could anyone else?
The darkness staring back at him had become so encompassing over time, that he failed to see it at all. But why now? Why did he only come to realize it now? It was all so confusing, except one thing. That warmth. What he knew for sure was how wonderful and peaceful it felt.
For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, the man made a choice.
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