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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Window 23

Coming back to consciousness isn't like what the movies told me it would be
it isn't like swimming to a surface
or a blurry face slowly becoming clear while it calls my name over and over

It's more like booting my computer when I first get in -
I kind of fumble my coat off while
nudging my mouse around
switching things on one by one:
sense of smell (click)
sense of taste (click)
touch (click)

sight - I only know it's back cause I see a single red light pushing through the crack of the cushion and the floor
I know that's where I'm at cause the carpet's sticking to my forehead
so I can't roll my face to one side
I want to see if my other eye works
try to jerk my head back, all I see is fireworks
horrified to hear a patch of skin rip above my eye
got my head free but all I see is blood with the right side

I'm not afraid of small spaces, which is lucky because I've spent many
a morning like this, under my desk, just so I don't have to make small talk with Jeff.
It's weird, never in my life did I call for my arms and get no answer.
It's something I really took for granted - the obedience of limbs - and as I tried to summon my left arm, I realized that I'd been given command of a machine I'd never bothered to understand. I couldn't even comprehend what made it go.
Story of my life: me, on the side of the road, late for work, smoking hood, dry clicking sound, with only one option left: wait and turn the key again in ten minutes,
make up my own science and put all my faith in it.

And just like that
my eye starts cutting out shapes from the dark
I start to get the feelings in my left hand back
my left arm trapped under bags
I slowly work it free and they fall apart

I smell fire but I don't hear it
I'm still for a while, can't tell if it's far away or if I'm deaf
I'm pushing at the seat cushion blocking my view
but it's too close to get leverage with just one arm left

I work my knees up to my chest
so relieved to see them function that I actually consider just sleeping for a bit
but then I think about that little kid who hit his head
and went to bed and just slept himself to death

as if to agree, my hearing switched on in both ears
but slowly, as if the world's volume was getting turned up
and just when I thought my ears would break again
the volume leveled off at the sound of the world burning down

and now my senses are conspiring - my whole body sweats
I slip onto my stomach, slide my arm under my chest
and use my knees to launch my back up against whatever's stacked up on top of me
break through the broken seats and luggage --- I can finally see!----

This isn't what survival is supposed to look like...
there's no justice to it... there's no humans...there're no windows
this isn't what living looks like...
This is like God took a blender shaped like a 747 and packed 200 people into it, emptied the contents of a travel store on top, lit it on fire, and forgot to put the lid on when he pushed Start.

Seeing this knocks the wind out of me,
I lean against what's left of my chair, search this mess for the emergency exit that's supposed to be there (by the fax) but there's nothing
and I'm pissed because this time I actually LISTENED to the emergency instructions
I even read along in the guide
because I did that thing where you're getting on a plane and you decide you're clairvoyant and you're sure that this one is gonna crash for real
but if you have to get stranded somewhere and repopulate
there's this hot girl in HR that would probably be ideal.
And if I was right about this one, then... I'm psychic! You know? My ego's through the roof.
If I ever get out of this alive
I'm going to be cruising the office like some bitchass Nostradamus
not getting on planes, trains, buses, bicycles...
telling everyone they have two weeks to live.
I finally catch my breath and try to stand up
but the minute I'm almost upright both my feet roar and give.
My right arm screams back, which is a relief cause I wasn't even sure it was still there,
I start to drag myself forward
under a thick layer of smokey black
stink of charred flesh and burning hair
there are no sirens
no talking
no outside at all
I'm alone
in a mass grave
with no place to crawl
and it all comes to a steep slope
a wall of suits and bad upholstery
there's no way over it
nothing's where it's supposed to be!
The only way out might be buried behind there
what's left to breathe tastes more like sand than like air
I can do this - I can join this amoebic burning mass
if I can just get through this day I'd come out in business class
and crawl away.
Take the last gasp of air and dive into the passage where the fire hasn't hit
hoping that I fit,
INCHING THROUGH A CORPSE TUNNEL HEADBUTTING ANYTHING BLOCKING ME AND WHEN I CAN'T HOLD IT ANY MORE I LOOK UP TO SEE
---The clock! It's five o'clock! It's five o'clock. Thank you lord, I can't take another minute of this place.

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