Updated: Sep 19
I felt a sudden surge of warmth inside and a bit of anxiety. I’m sleeping or awake, doesn’t feel like a dream. An old memory flashes, my dad, pushing me to the deep end of the pool, cheering for me, "Swim to me, Im right here", " you can do it, come on". I see my dad, a handsome man with long wavy locks of hair and a handle bar moustache, standing in the pool, encouraging me to swim to him. Time bends, collides into the past and I’m back in the pool, living in a long forgotten memory. Same anxiety that felt a few seconds ago was engulfing me in the pool, I flap my arms and legs frantically, as I sink. I hear dad and his confident but cautious voice, "Slowly, don't rush". I slowed down, took a slow deep breath then a few more, I can smell the chlorine in the water, feel the cool water. My body calms down, my arms and legs move in a slow rhythmic dance. I’m floating, I close my eyes, all the noises in my head and around me start to fade, while I float carried by the same water I fear wants to push me under.
I feel light now, strange, the entire weight of my body has disappeared. The only thing I hear is my heart pounding, anxiety's cold grip was now turning into a gentle warm embrace. I opened my eyes and see my mom, she kisses my forehead, says "It will be ok, you will be running in no time". My mom puts me on my bed, my leg feels heavily plastered. Did I break the fibula of my right leg again, just like when I was six. Or this was another memory, of another time. I feel no pain unlike like the past, just the warm arms of my mother around me, while I slip in to slumber, my mother's smile lingers on, I feel my heart slowing too and smile rushes to my face.
Was it a smile, happiness or ecstasy I can't fathom. It feels like a glass of hot chocolate, drank at the right temperature, 60% dark chocolate with a hint of cranberries. Yes that what it was not a smile nor ecstasy it was hot chocolate. The sweet taste of the drink lighting up my senses as it enters my mouth and slides down my throat in to my stomach. I remember this experience, this pleasure, the way I first had hot chocolate and here I was sipping the warm liquid again. Kissing the love of my life, my wife for the first time. The first time we made love and the first time we realised we were in love, I can smell her, how fragrant is her love. It all came back like hot chocolate, the surge of euphoria. My heart beats faster again and the anxiety returns wraps her wretched arms around me and chokes me again.
Again I move to a darker place, I’m being pulled up, but a boulder is pressing against my chest. I’m losing all senses, the sweet taste from my mouth has disappeared. I feel no pain or anxiousness, why don’t I feel anything? “Papa” her sweet voice, “papa” she runs towards me I carry her in my arms, I feel a spark in to my heart again. I’m carrying her in my arms and dancing to her favourite nursery rhyme. She laughs, “Silly daddy, you don’t know how to dance” Her giggles are infectious, I laugh with her. This was a long time ago, she was just three then, how did I come here. I am having so much fun, the more she says stop dancing, the more I jump and dance silly, the more she laughed. I love this feeling, its better then the hot chocolate, this is better than the other feelings. I was living it again, I didn't want this moment to stop.
The laughter starts to fade and I feel another jolt this time, it was like an electric shock. “Let’s go” she said, the voice was sweet yet unknown. Another jolt, I open my eyes, I see masked man screaming but I cant hear them, I’m in a room full of strangers, they look worried. I think I’m in the hospital, the hot chocolate taste comes back, along with the giggle of my daughter, hand of my wife holding my hand, my mothers embrace and soft kiss, my dad helping me float. I’m back in the pool floating? My body feels so light, I open my eyes and see me lying on the bed I look so old. My eyes, sinking in its sockets, my skin like raisin, wow, I look shrivelled. How did I become so old? I just remember being busy all the time, life just flew by? Didn’t I live all these moments just a few seconds back, how did time fly so fast.
The doctors are still screaming, one holds a paddle in his hands and delivers a shock. But I can't feel anything, just weightlessness and the surge of euphoria. Then she calls me again, “lets go” I hear a guitar riff in the background, the volume rises, “Ra ra rah, ra ra rah,” the song begins “Livin’ easy, lovin’ free…..