And if I were to type like this?
Aside from coming across like a pretentious try-hard, I’d be tempting more than one ghost.
it is fall of 2014. i finally have the inpatient Experience i’ve dreamed about. it may be the first night, before i am even seen, or the second, after getting my first ever anti-psychotic dose.
i dream, and i wake, and i rub my face.
and i wake from a dream of waking. and try to touch my face.
and i wake from a dream of trying. and pry my eyelids open with my fingers.
and i wake from a dream of seeing. and manage to raise my little finger on my hand.
and i wake from a dream of moving. and cannot move at all.
and i wake from a dream-
sometime in 2009, still shaking off the trappings of christianity, i wrestle with words like entity and evil. i put together my own language and imagery: unconscious glue holding everything together, clouded skylights that need cleaning to see upwards again.
sometime after, i find myself recognizing events as they happen, pre-dreamed, déjà vu so strong i know it a warning to avert this path, am compelled to create something utterly new to derail it, chain nonsense words together to ward off this dangerous fate- “crimson tapioca”- but once uttered expended, a harder scramble the next time.
somewhere in here i use the words “connected to the universe, or, a higher purpose, or, the best possible timeline.”
spring, 2015. a few days after my sixth- seventh?- surgery. earlier, my feet were connected wrong, ball sockets on a doll that needed to be popped off and refitted. earlier, the rate of blood through gauze was faintly alarming.
now, i have the clearest moment of my life, the most connected and visceral and transcendent i have ever been, unsought and unlike those fifteen years of altar calls. it is joyous, and freeing, and i am weeping because my partner will be sad.
i am supposed to die in my bed that night, and for it the world and universe will be better and more glorious than anything i could have hoped to live into.
i say this, and i am not frightened, but my partner is. ze asks permission to call for medical help. i do not know what i said. if it was more than one asking.
i acquiesce, and am led from my home by men who use all the wrong words, who trip my perky reassurance mode over being recorded as medically ailing in parts i do not have, who give me a bracelet with a name i thought long purged and say they cannot print another, who leave me in a room with gauze and water and lights and a clock.
i do not sleep.
i do not die.
i do not feel safe enough to.
throughout my life i live days, weeks, only to wake and find they never were, here. not in this continuity.
i am confronted by friends whom i have hurt, erase their messages, and wake and cannot search for what i know i deleted.
i learn to pretend i know what i have done that’s lasted.
i don’t remember when i realize i cannot forgive the aversion of my destiny, but i do.
we break up.
i should have died and the echo that did is haunting me.
it is march of 2016. i have been reading again.
i fill my tub with ice and it is harder than i hoped to touch it.
i wonder how my aunt did this and was ruled accidental.
i have never been able to hold my eyes open underwater.
the third time i breathe in fire and heaven and hope and i break the surface losing all of them.
it’s long before 2008 and my every sentence is immaculate, from capital to end punctuation. we write of bibles and alternative hentai, of faith and torture, of doubt and breathplay.
i think myself a perfect child and can’t understand why i am not treated that way.
in january 2013 i sit in the branches of my backyard and text for my life. there’s music in my earphones and a long-saved book waiting in my room and no one would gender my corpse correctly so when i descend it is slow.
none of my partners want to touch that bondage rope again.
it’s now and i look to my essay on glitching and i think about game overs and i wish i’d gotten that one conversation for all i bet it would trade troubles for different ones.
it’s now, and i look to my writing style and i think about models and i wish realities would fuzz together a little clearer sometimes.
i’m no longer looking to finely sort this world’s waking from all the rest.
i wish i could explain all this more succinctly.
whether i am the same me grown or a cutting that fell and sprouted, whether there is more continuity in the alternate dimensions of what here is dreaming than i can recall, whether i have replaced myself a thousand times over or splintered into all my near-deaths or slowly fused more whole –
i’m here, now.
reality is a funny word.