I awake to a darkness that is indescribable. At that moment, as a child does, I wanted nothing more than to close my eyes and pretend this was not happening; that is not an option. I am here, I am not alone, and I can do nothing about it. I can faintly make out the shape of two large creatures in the corner, they stand motionless. The heavy clank of iron brings light, and for the first time since this nightmare began, I can see.
Without hesitation I wish for the darkness to return. The creatures are standing guard at some sort of door without a handle, and the larger of the two is talking to someone, or something, through a small slot that appears to have been opened from the other side. As I look around the room I see 3 other men. Like me, they are bound hand and foot to a cold metal table. The light fades as the small window is closed.
The door opens, and a tall, frail, creature steps into the room and motions in my direction. He is pale and bald with bright blue eyes, they are deceivingly hollow. No sooner had he motioned in my general direction than the two who formerly stood guard were at my back. I am loosed from my chains, a rough bag of some sort is placed over my head and we begin to walk. I recognize that we are walking in the direction of the door, and as we cross it the guards shove me to the ground. The door slams shut and ungodly screams fill the room I have just left.
The tall, hollow-eyed thing helps me up and removes the bag from my head as he begins to tie my hands with a long rope. We are alone in some sort of dimly-lit passageway, and though aged, the creature looks frighteningly human. “Where am I” I ask. “Ama” the creature says, “Ama” as he places his finger on my lips. He is cold to the touch, and there is something deep in his eyes that is pleading for me to follow quietly.
For years I have carried this knife, and for years I have been afraid to use it. Situations have arisen, as you can imagine, in which I probably should have reached into my pocket, unfolded this blade and used it fearlessly. Now I sit almost motionless in this chair; excited, terrified, regretful, hopeful, freshly impaled.
Many fancy guns but the blade and I have a bond. Its simplicity and effectiveness appeal to me in a way that no gun ever could. It is personal and pure; nothing about its appearance or application is arrogant or overdone. The knife is perfect; it has proven itself to be an earnest and loyal companion, and in return I have allowed it to be the vessel in which I begin this voyage into death.
There is a short time in the process of death in which you are not quite alive and not quite dead; something akin to an exhausted drive home on auto-pilot, this is the place I sit now. A bloody shell of the weak and fragile man I used to be is fighting with every breath to cling onto the prisoner within that I have just set free. Freedom has been the dominant emotion in this endeavor, and while I take my first breaths as a new and better person it is blatantly clear that however tough, this was the right decision.
It’s funny, in those moments immediately preceding certain death what goes through your mind. The pain and intensity in which I had imagined this particular event happening was completely non-existent; in its place was an eerie calmness. I can only relate this feeling to something like walking alone through a vast and fog covered field just before daybreak, and seeing in the distance the skyline of the Roman Empire. As unsettling and unfamiliar as it may be, this place is beautiful. In the midst of total commotion, I have found unadulterated peace.
I killed the man I used to be. As I write these words I am overtaken by foreign emotions that seem to spill out from within. It feels, quite literally, as though the blood that makes me who I am today is running rampant from some place deep inside, down my arms, off my fingers and into the deep crevices of this keyboard.
My life is true; this is a powerful and liberating statement.
MIND’S EYE – NOUN – THE MENTAL FACULTY OF CONCEIVING IMAGINARY OR RECOLLECTED SCENES.
THERE IS A STORY THAT BEATS THROUGH MY VEINS. IT CRIES FOR ME TO WRITE IT, AND I OFTEN FEAR I AM NOT CAPABLE OF DOING SO. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN COME TO VIEW THAT STRUGGLE.