Folio Four/Edition Five
writers and editor.
Freedom Track Eleven
Did you know it's over?
And all the time it flashes, I'll just be walking
There will be no more fucking I Love Yous
(From Young Headhunters in Love)
blessed, then, are the quiet
When from our better selves we have too long
A Curtain of Green
After the silly proceedings of the calling hours, and the wake and the funeral, I was laid to rest in my hometown of Clinton, New York on February 26, 1995. I felt an odd sense of calmness as I watched myself being cried over at these pre-burial rituals, and had almost forgotten the undeniable fact that I was dead. Not unlike a dream, when you wake up right before you die, I have no recollection of just how or when I died. All I can remember is looking at my mom as she was poised ready to capture my flight off a cliff overlooking Corbet's Couloir, a trail at Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I was spending my President's Holiday Vacation. It was the last day of my seven day stay in one of the most challenging ski areas in North America, a fact I had chosen to forget. It had been sunny all week, and the conditions were perfect for my attempt. I knew that I probably could not make the twenty-foot cliff drop into the the Couloir, an avalanche chute less than ten feet wide, and on a sixty degree slope, but I never thought that the consequences of my foolishness would result in my death. As I looked at my mom that day, I saw mixed emotions in her face: happiness, excitement, and definitely fear. These first two emotions gave me the extra boost in confidence that I needed to complete my journey into one of the most difficult trails in the world. The adrenaline surged throughout my body; I pointed the board down the incline and smiled for the camera as I became airborne. I remember feeling the sun on my face, which had already been burned by its intense heat, and squinting to spot my landing, I heard people cheer, and the camera click, but already I knew something was wrong. There was an incredible feeling of dread and panic as I realized that I had built up too much speed, and would not land in the Couloir, but instead I would crash into its jagged rock side, and probably be badly hurt. I remember the rock getting closer and closer, and as I began to accept the inevitable I lost consciousness. I regained consciousness some time later, and felt very strange. My movements were slowed, and my vision was blurry. All I could think was that I was hurt and in a hospital. Then I heard a voice, "Relax, calm down, be natural, it will come with time, just let it." The voice was eerie, and seemed to echo within my head, instead of throughout the room as I would expect. My vision was getting steadily better, and I could distinguish shapes, bodies, people, and then finally, faces. To my horror, the first face I would see was my own, wearing a blank stare, and a large gash across its forehead. This startled me for a moment; the horror came back when I realized that I was not seeing my face
as a reflection, but rather as a separate entity, as if I was seeing through someone else's eyes. I felt out of place, like an outsider intruding into someone else's private world. I looked around the room and found myself to be correct, it was a hospital room, and I was the patient. I heard the flat line warning on the EKG monitor, a device that monitors a patient's heart rate, and thought to myself the flat line corresponds to no heartbeat! Suddenly everything meshed, it was as if there were still some part of me in my body that had not yet escaped, and my body's final breath had exhaled that last little bit of myself to make my spirit whole. Although I was now totally beyond life as I had known it, there was still some link between my spiritual self, and my physical body. I could feel my parents' tears rolling down my cheeks, and could feel them holding my hand; but it was a distant feeling, like the feeling of deja vu, slightly familiar, but still too far away to fully recognize what it was.
I followed my body from the hospital to the funeral home and then to the church, and finally here, to the graveyard. I was surprised at how well the workers at the funeral home had hidden the wounds from my fall, and also I was happy to see that I was being buried along with the half of my snowboard that my parents had found after my accident. When the lid was closed on my coffin, I moved as if to lie down in it, in my body. It felt so comfortable, as if I had re-established the link between my two entities. I lay peacefully, hearing the dirt being poured on top of my coffin, and began to realize that I could see into the beyond, past the coffin, past the green layer of grass that had been placed to cover up my grave, and past my world, and it was there that I saw the answers to all of my unanswered questions. At last I was comfortable, the curtain of green had been drawn, and once again I felt as if I was where I belonged.
Society's to blame
my heart used to tell me
just a statistic
--The Invisible Man
The tears he sheds are not his own,
He dances in darkness, his light is gone,
He sings our loss away, our misery embodied,
Lavender in my heart,
The cleansing rain is falling
"Eyes in the Dark" is published occasionally by:
Writers --Hunter Rose, The Invisible Man, Shadow, Sparrow, Chris Roach, Ava, Vega, Darkstar, Kuroi Ayame, Quinn