At The Bottom – M L Noonan

This is what it feels like:

You are falling.

You’ve been falling for a long time down an ever-darkening hole. At first, your descent was a gentle downward drift, like floating, but now your speed calls to mind the words ‘terminal velocity.’

If someone were to ask why you’re falling, how you came to be here, you would only be able to say that you deserve it. The details are complicated, and fuzzy. All that matters at this moment is what’s coming.

This is what it feels like:

You’re a rustic, hand-thrown stoneware mug with a durable glaze, stained on the inside from years of coffee and tea, a few small chips along your rim, containing the sludgy remnants of yesterday morning’s coffee.

You are falling.

As you tumble through the air, you spill the bitter liquid over your sides. It splashes across the linoleum floor, sending drops flying onto two people standing nearby, staining their pants. One watches helplessly. The other will be oblivious until you land with a sharp crash. Later, both will fret over whether the spots will wash out while asking each other how this could have happened. You were so sturdy. You weren’t even close to the edge of the counter. It doesn’t make sense.

This is what it feels like:

You have time to think, I’m falling and I’m sorry.

You feel yourself emptying out, everything draining away to leave you hollow. You focus only on what’s coming, the inevitability of it, the necessity.

As the ground rises to meet you, fear arrives. Not the piercing terror of facing a grizzly bear in the wild, but the dull anxiety of walking into a dark, unfamiliar room. You brush this away and settle into a numb calm, become an open ocean beneath a heavy blanket of dead-still air. Acceptance.

In the final fraction of a second before impact comes a flash of relief mingled with a mournful yearning as vast and deep as the universe itself.

You shatter.

This is what it feels like:

You wake to find that someone has put your pieces back together. You feel every crack, the stiffness of the glue, the weakness of your structure. You’re whole, but you will never be the same.


Cabinet Of Heed Contents Link 24

Image via Pixabay

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