- Vol. 08
- Chapter 05
I am in vertigo season, head in a fishbowl disappearing down a ravine. When I shake my head no the world swims. When I nod my head yes scenery jumps out of its frame and blinks back at me.
These are real hallucinations, real, the really real! I mean, really. Please. The picture is not askew. No symptom knows where to point. Believe me. If up was out I'd have clambered out of this fever dream long ago instead of seesawing the hours away.
Instead I swallow my pills and close my eyes and pray without believing, just like I fear ghosts I know don't exist.
Some years ago S and I were on an ironic pilgrimage when we discovered a hidden pool hundreds of feet below our mountain side. Steep cliff's drop. And marble hued water looking at us, one cyclopean eye. What dizzying depths did it hold? As if crystal but opaque with chasms, mud settled into brilliant moss into a reflection of sky. S clambered down goat-like and I followed, holding onto tufts of grass to keep from free fall.
Next to the pool finally, we peered in. It seemed to have caverns and secrets, an underwater lair. We peeled off our clothes. S jumped in and did a neat lap of it. I sat on the edge with only legs inside, kicking the depths for clues, making spiders glide away across the surface, a flurry of fish. S stood up at last, nudging pebbles with toes. Water only up to the chest. We laughed and laughed.
That is how things were then, even though they looked otherwise. Then S and I could travel together, even if irony filled the gaps between us. If now we tried to, whole bodies would fall through the cracks.
Now I know our pool was an omen disguised as a mirage. It is the world which is wholly out of focus, not I; we are submerged and treading water, and time swims through us; maybe I see a light at the end of the tunnel but is it the sun's glare trapped in a glacier or a house being set on fire?
I am in vertigo season, I swallow, pray, fear.