Moments of Permanence

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Death doesn't happen to you. Death happens to the people who love you. May. 23rd, 2014 @ 11:02 am
Once upon a time, I had a nightmare.

It was a very vivid nightmare, too. It felt as real as waking reality does, and it hurt.

The premise was simple. I dreamed I had killed myself. I dreamed my death, but that wasn't the bad part. The bad part was that I didn't end because my life did, and amid the drifting peace of the afterlife I saw the pain I'd caused.

My mother sobbing in the arms of my father, whose face was twisted with grief as tears tracked down his cheeks. My closest friends crying, falling apart, all of them wracked with loss and guilt, all blaming themselves for something I knew was entirely my own fault.

I watched people hurt, people I love, and I knew I caused it. Knew I could have prevented it, knew it didn't have to be that way, but that it was too late now to prevent it. I saw that I had left wounds that wouldn't heal, but I couldn't go back and fix it...

... but then I woke up. I woke up crying, at first with the indescribable pain of it, and then with relief because it hadn't happened after all, and I still had the chance before me not to make that choice.

If there is anything of truth in the doctrine that suicides are condemned to Hell, I think that that is it. I can imagine no torture more painful. Physical pain is nothing, not really. I broke my leg in three places once, and it very definitely hurt, but it didn't hurt nearly as deeply. Remembering my broken leg doesn't hurt. Remembering this dream does.

Sometimes I wish everyone had had a dream just like it.

Apr. 7th, 2009 @ 07:46 am
I'm almost grateful to the person who fired up a very loud chainsaw (I think) outside my window at 7:30am. It pulled me from a dream which had become a nightmare I was desperately trying to scream myself awake from.

I was part of this secret agency thing, and I and a friend were out picking up a required item.

Except suddenly everyone around me was acting strange, intense. An old woman had me holding her purse. A massive black man was telling me about something that was going to happen, but I couldn't quite hear him, because people were talking, and then he hugged me and left the crowded room we were in. A pinch-faced blonde asked me what he was saying, and said I didn't know. And then I looked around and most of the people around me had no faces.

Amid a rising clamour of faceless people pressing closer I heard my friend say: I'm sorry, I gave you a bag that calls dead lovers who surround you and call you without faces.

I dropped the bag, but it didn't change anything. Suddenly, anyone who'd ever loved me, even a little, was there - except it wasn't really them, it was fragments of their minds and feelings in bodies that seemed real. And they were bitter like ghosts facing people who could have saved them from dying, because they were people whose lives I'd forgotten. All pressing in on me, hurting and bitter and angry because I hadn't loved them back enough.

I ran, but everywhere I went, I would find someone already there, filled with pain and rage. And I knew it was a dream and I was trying to wake up, trying to scream, to wake myself or get the attention of someone who could help.

And then I woke up to a chainsaw and blood on my face, because my nose was bleeding as I slept.
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