Warmth washing over me, inside me. What is this? I’m no longer of the world I know, but I’m somewhere; I exist. Here, there is no more pain. No more screeching headaches. No more manipulative, lying, obsessive thoughts. No more lying voices. No more roller coasters, though I must say as a child, I loved them. No one tells you that adult roller coasters are an entirely different organism than those you ride as kids.
No more bad. Only a fluidity; a new ability to glide instead of limp and stumble. Instead of plotting my way along, one knee giving more than the other; one hip higher than the other, cock-eyed, bones rubbing against one another, pain searing throughout.
There are voices here too, but not the usual voices that plague me. Not the voices telling me that I’m not worth it. I’m suddenly feeling that I’m golden. No more telling me I can’t do it. Oh, I certainly can do it now. Go ahead, give me a thing to do. Ask me to display an unforgettable feat. Because right now, I can, and I want to show the world. I want to show family. I want to show friends. I want to say look, “Are you sorry for calling me pill-popper behind my back? Have you any idea the damage you did with that? The heap of scrap and garbage I felt like?”
More voices. I look, hoping I’m in the right place. The spirits I sense here are the ones with smiles and something akin to fairy dust that flies and bounces around in the air as they move. There are songs; must be similar to the sirens and what the men, proud of their ships, would hear just before their destruction and demise. I’m not going that direction, where I can only imagine how dark it is. How dank. How frightening. I wonder about that place. Are they all punished in the same way, or does each have to live their individual hell every day? Customized terror and punishment, I imagine.
Does that mean I will have a customized heaven? I’m going. I’ve been tired. I’m floating away. I’m listening to the voices urging me along, telling me happiness is about to engulf and transform me. I see the angelic white light. This is the stuff of Sunday School classes. And I know now, I’ve made it. My proverbial thorn in the side is about to be removed and healed. Removed by God himself. I finally unclench my fist, and let go in sweet surrender.
EPILOGUE: The character above who you’ve come to know is Nameless, and she had it all wrong. I’m here to tell you about Nameless because she cannot tell you the rest of her story. You see, Nameless had been in the hospital for quite a while, complaining of hearing voices, feeling extreme anxiety and having frequent, severe headaches. So, the doctors in the facility agreed and decided upon a miracle procedure to help Nameless. The nurses with their caring, nurturing voices, all dressed in gleaming white, retrieved Nameless from her room and told her how much better she would feel from that point forward. That she was lucky; that many of the other residents didn’t have the privilege of making their way down the long, white hallway with the magical door at its end.
Nameless doesn’t recall much, and she can speak even less, but if she could, she would tell the other patients not to go down the white hallway. That down there, they will project an ice pick into your eye socket. Nameless would tell them her headaches are worse now, that she has permanently black eyes that never recovered, and that she couldn’t remember her husband or recognize her grandkids. That she no longer crocheted. However, Nameless can’t even speak.
The truth is, Nameless thought she was going to heaven, but instead came out having barely survived the depths of hell, only to live in that hell everyday, parked in a wheelchair in front of a window with a view of a parking lot drooling, and utterly terrified of what resides along the other hallways.