Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.
eliade

The day I made my last post was one of the strangest days of my life. I will probably put it down to a confluence of events--viral sinus infection, a sudden surge in Wellbutrin efficacy, a fever spike, unmonitored Nyquil consumption. But after I posted and went back to the shelter, I had a strong premonition of death...which didn't pan out, obviously. But it was a very physical experience. Chills sweeping me, hair standing on end, all of that. My throat closed up and the right side of my face along with my right ear was a dead zone; I knew just how it would feel when my body went into convulsions, seize up and expire. I wasn't sure it would actually happen right then and there; it was more like existing in a world of static and then suddenly receiving a concrete and recognizable transmission that you never received before--wham--which could be meaningful immediately or in the future. I knew I was either going to die or do something extreme and embarrassing.

To cut a long story short, I went with extreme and embarrassing and asked one of the shelter staff to get an ambulance. While he sat and waited with me I kept telling him to write things down--my brother's name, my e-mail password. "Write this down, this is important," I'd say. Important or febrile. Then I went to the ER, waited for about five hours, increasingly dehydrated and hungry and nutty in the head (but not particularly angry, because I felt that I was getting pretty much the experience I deserved), and got finally got looked at, then returned to the shelter. And then yesterday I filled my prescription for antibiotics and did a lot of lying around, hacking and encrusted with snot, confused and poking around in my head at the sensation of the experience as it faded.

It was a precise mirror of the positive experience I wrote about the other day, the childlike feeling that every moment of my life has been good and exactly right: the understanding that I'm going to die, the understanding that I'm alive and have been all this time, that every detail of life is real. I felt terror. I thought that I might someday have to end my own life before it ended itself in some long, drawn-out coccoon of trapped suffering. What I mean is, I recognized how it would feel to have a stroke, to be immobilized, to be handled and moved around without being able to express anything--what can't be suffered is. People suffer this every day.

It's hard to bear that thought. It's like blinding sunlight: you blink reflexively, putting a buffer between yourself and these feelings and realizations. A veil, to put it poetically, which I don't have a problem with. The veil of everyday life, Plato's shadows on the cave wall, the insertion of definition, the verbal.

It's all big and strange and I had to write it down. Now I'm going to eat something, and buy some VHS movies for the guys in shelter to watch, and read more Martha Grimes.

Love, Anna
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