Day Twenty: A Brief Interaction with A State-Altering Substance that Removes

by Tom Noonan

Can you feel it?

The warmth reaching out, touching everything, holding you?  The muscles twitch at its touch, tightening, and then fall into place, complete and relaxed.  Your eyes close quietly.  There’s the warmth, the calm, and the hole.

Then there’s the falling.  You fall up, sans gravity.  You break rules because you don’t even realize they’re there anymore.  You’re held, and it’s safe.  You don’t need to shake anymore, or sleep; you’re definitely not asleep.  Memories fall from you like a snake sheds its skin.  There is existence but only in the feeling.  Of falling.

Falling up.

So you don’t just lend yourself to the feeling; you give yourself to it, completely and devotedly.  Religion isn’t an ideal or a set of principals.  It’s ritual.  This is ritual.  Keep falling, falling up.  Held all along, cupped in God’s hands.  And you’re safe.  And you’re feeling.

But you’re held too high, too far from the ground.  So you crash, all at once.  Your breathing comes into focus, expedited.  Palms feel like newspaper left too long in the rain.  Sweat leaves a chalk outline on the bed; you wander to the bathroom.  Vomit is green this time.  Gravity is back.  There’s the breathing, the sweat, and the sting.

And it’s too much, your weight.  The unwieldy longs to be held, supported.  It shakes under its burden, constantly breaking and re-breaking.  It looks for the blue and red streaks across the forearm, where they used to merge and fork.  It scrapes underneath, pushing deep.  A new feeling.  The wound’s exposed.

Can you feel it?