“Anything. Anything. Anything. Anything.” I chanted in an attempt to ward off my anxiety. The needle was in and the drugs would soon follow. I silently watched as gravity brought the blue fluids into my arm. All feelings of unpreparedness and tension rapidly faded into a soothing warmth. Anything would be possible. Anything…
I felt a ripping, searing sensation course through my veins. I tried to release an agonized scream, but nothing escaped my lips. The lava continued to flow within me and I remained paralyzed. Nothing was under my control. I was left to endure the pain.
Suddenly, an aura of colors exploded before me and the pain ceased to torment me. I slowly relaxed and began to look around. My land of anything was, in fact, nothing. I was surrounded by nothingness. My lungs took in no air and my eyes found no sights to gaze upon. I couldn’t fully perceive myself among the vast emptiness.
I could sense some surface under my feet, but its cold, blackness was unfamiliar. I threw myself onto it as grief racked my body with relentless sobs. There was nothing I could do. My tears formed a puddle; my sorrow allowed me to create something in the land of nothing.
I laid there, in my creation, and waited for something in nothingness. Time was irrelevant and incomprehensible; I couldn’t measure it. I could only hope that the medications would wear off soon.
Although the need for air was suspended in this purgatory, pain was not. The surface that I had sprawled out on was unforgiving. My shoulders and hips ached and the inconceivable cold left me in shivering fits . I yearned for a bed with warmed sheets and fluffy blankets. I would have to suffice without. Fortunately, the bitter cold and my rhythmic shivers lulled me into a light sleep.
While my slumber had made me oblivious to my condition, my state had not improved. The infinite darkness still surrounded me. I peered out into the nothingness and hoped that I would catch a glimpse of something, anything. Then, I felt a radiating warmth on my back. I turned to see a room, my room, with a bed in the center. It was just as I had imagined it.
The warmth became overpowering and it reminded me of a day in Haiti when the breeze didn’t blow. My mind wandered to memories of that mission trip and resting on the beach after our work had been done. In an instant the sun was glowing over my head and my toes squished into wet sand. A gentle wave rolled over my feet. I looked out over the water and only saw an expanse of ocean. A few palm trees swayed in the wind a couple yards behind me.
But the beach had not vanquished the nothingness. My room was beyond the palm trees with a strip of nothingness separating the two existences. I had two pieces of anything, but the nothingness began where anything stopped. I stared at the ocean and then at the nothingness behind me.
Where would I start and when would I end? Nothing but lost time would tell.