No signs of the Maker. There’s no crash of cymbals as I make my entrance. No Muses or orchestrated choir and strings to announce my presence. There’s no sign of religion.
No sensations of sound or smell. No feelings of remorse, loss, happiness or fear. There’s just me inside this random nothingness. There’s no color, nor light, nor darkness. I feel my own presence but unsure if it exists. I am here, but not. This is not Heaven, Hell or any Purgatory. This is an afterlife and I cannot remember how I arrived.
There are no monster baddies such as vampires, werewolves and certainly not any zombies. So the zombie apocalypse theory is now out the window. There was no shining light to float up to, nor any pain. No hospital that I can remember. No one telling me that I would be alright. There’s none of this which makes me wonder what truly happened and where I am.
Without any signs of burning suns smashing the earth, zombies eating my flesh or a calendar running out of time, there’s a sense of knowledge that shows common sense shining through. The information gained prior to this place really has no meaning other than ruling it out of not existing.
Coma? Possibly. Death? Likely. Pre-birth? Unsure. There aren’t any pearly gates that suggest any of those things are possible. I’m not in any sticky wet womb of feeding tubes and blood vessels that detail how I’m born. I feel no uncomfortable hospital bed that could be a casket. Confusion isn’t even setting in as the deciphering of my whereabouts is floating through my mind. Quite honestly, I cannot tell whether I’m sitting, standing, or lying down. There is only that sense of being, a soul with no form like that of a smoke cloud. I cannot prove this theory either for there is no vision other than my thoughts.
No gruesome gore that shows an ugly demise, no white robe and halo that proves me an angel. None of this exists. No other being around, at least not communicative, to provide answers. No other person, rodent, or insect to give me a clue of what or where I might be. I try to call out, but again the sound only rings through my thoughts. Telepathy maybe? The ancient ones spoke only through telepathic surges learned by the aliens. Now I’m sounding absurd.
This euphoric state of mind, the sense of weightlessness, the inability to hear or make sound forces me to use the one sense I know I have: remembering.
I can hear the piercing thoughts in my head that wonder what is happening. I push forward trying to remember, but forcing memories to happen causes a flood of voices and randomness to occur inside my brain. I do my best to break through the flood and begin to make out silhouettes of my surroundings. Everything is cloudy and distorted, but I push forward, straining the thought to focus.
Finally, I’m sitting down ready to have lunch. This is not your typical deli, I get the sense that tuna on rye will not be on the menu. There are many people around sitting, talking, and eating lunch but I cannot make out their faces. They are all just a blur and the only focused items in my view are the table in front of me and the wrought iron gate that I sit next to. Nothing physical about this place is familiar but the sense of being there is all too habitual. Difficult to explain, but the forced thought of déjà vu pouncing its way through my thoughts is all too recognizable. I do remember having such sensations of being somewhere before I actually arrived quite often. This I remember.
However, the place I am in now does not bring on a déjà vu or any type of sensation. It must not be focused on now. Back to the bistro table.
Again, no tuna on rye, there is only a cheese melt on the menu, a fancy term for grilled cheese. It is made with three cheeses and served with a small cup of tomato soup. I order, yet there is no waiter. There is the disappearance of my menu and then my food arrives piping hot. Suddenly, I am cold. A shudder comes across me as I realize I’m wearing a light jacket. This could indicate the climate of my whereabouts. The steam from my soup is visible. Yet another clue that my location could be very cold and yet I am only wearing a light jacket outside. Clues to take in audibly for there are no limbs to write them down. For that matter, I wonder if I even have flesh at this point. For if I have no flesh there will be no fiery pits. And no fiery pits means no steamed heat and heated passionate deadly sins. It also means not having the rolling hills and green pastures to run through long crops of grain passing by the tree of life.
Foretold through memories I remember what dangers I was warned of if lived by ways of sinning. That by living a fruitful life with an open mind to love all people would bring me to a place of peaceful tranquility. I wonder if these are all lies. All of them. Fictitious tales told by parents and worshippers to have codes to live by, putting the Bible as stone tablets carved with lightning bolts. Yes, a life lived by stone.
If this is death, where are my loved ones that I’ve lost during life? My grandparents, siblings, and long lost ancestors that I’ve never met? If this is an afterlife, where is the meaning to all of it? Am I to exist in this clouded state with nothing but my thoughts to recall memories from life? To relive greatest and worst moments over and over? Questions remain.
With my mind wandering into different directions, I realize that I have been taken away from my lunch at the deli and pushed into another scenario. I have no sense of time travel or physical travel, just some questions rolling around in my head and then like a slap in the face, I’m somewhere else. Although by the looks of the scene, I’m not displeased but comforted by what is clear and sharp in front of me.
I stand at open waters, crashing waves at my feet. The sand is grainy like salt and sticks to my toes. With each wave that crashes, new granules of sand find their way to my skin as the old granules are washed away. I wonder about the sea life inside the water. I wonder where the colors that are in the water are coming from. They are numerous and change often as the water body moves over itself combining reds and blues and greens. This place is euphoric and my memory does not feel the same familiarity as it did on the patio of the deli a few moments ago. No, this place is new, unfamiliar and comfortable.
Hands in my pockets, a slight breeze brushes the back of my neck and sand on my feet. I can feel all of these things inside of my memory as if they were real. The colors here are iridescent becoming more lustrous the longer I stand here. I close my eyes hoping to keep this place. Then it is gone. I am back in the nothingness.
The sensations of the sand, the colors of the water and the tickle of the breeze are all gone. I am back to my thoughts yet again. I do my best to move, but feel nothing, a struggling effort to make no effect on the environment around me.
Looking for something to feel physically and emotionally still seem to be lost and I cannot even feel the need to become frustrated for there seems to be no emotions here. I only feel the emotion inside my head when I smell the steam from tomato soup or feel grains of sand on my bare feet.
I think again about the Tree of Life. A wonderful notion that we as people are all stemmed and thrive from a tree springing life from branches reaching out to help our blood flow and providing oxygen to breathe. With thoughts of a physical thing, I’m thrust again into another scene. A cool spring breeze and a magnificent tree are in my view.
I sit on the grassy hill in front of the tree and wonder where it came from, how old it is and a curious question arises of who it is. It moves and bends slightly with the strong wind that blows at the top of this hill. The wind pushes away the strong sweet oxygen out of the tree into the life of nature around it, the grass I sit on, the crops on another rolling hill, and my lungs. I can taste it, feel it filling up my lungs with the freshest air, giving me life, an afterlife.
Reminded of my true presence, I’m taken away from the tree without exhaling. The fresh air is trapped within me, it can never leave. Or at least until I’m sitting in the audience with an exhale of relaxation as the orchestra begins.
Here is the ensemble I looked for and expected upon my arrival. Here is the chorus on center stage ready to bellow out my presence. As the orchestra pit warms up with uniformed scales, my heart pounds awaiting the music to begin. Unsure of what piece of music I am about to enjoy, my anticipation gets the best of me. My heart pounding, my ears perked and my eyes soaking in the long evening gowns and tuxedos, I’m thrown back into nothingness.
It is becoming apparent to me that my thoughts are not the only trigger for the changing of scenery. I had no thoughts of an orchestra before arriving there. Nor have I ever been to see an orchestra in real life, or have I? Full memories are leaving me, but the senses are being aroused by other forces unknown to me.
There are no known medications to describe the state I’m in for that must mean I have no real illness. I hear no gunshot in my mind to interpret that I’ve been shot. I feel no pain in bones that don’t exist that suggest a broken neck. I’m at a complete loss of what is happening. And if panic does exist, I have to recall thoughts to remember it.
I’m running. Chest filled with panic as the moonlight provides the only light behind a flickering streetlamp. The streets are cobblestone and my sneakers make little noise as I turn my running into a slow jog looking behind my shoulder to see what it is that I’m running from. There is nothing there aside from a pair of eyes at the end of a long tunneled alley. I cannot tell if they are high or low indicating an animal or a human, all I know is that they are hungry. My jog turns back into a sprint once more until I realize I’m at a dead end, backed up against a brick wall. My chest heaves with anxiety blurring my vision and causing my hands and face to go numb.
Nothing. Thrown back into this reality with no indication of the five major questions. I have no idea who I am anymore. I am in no state to tell you what has happened. My memories are serving me different time periods. The where is definitely the main mystery. The reasons why I’m here can only reveal itself over time. A voice!
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