It's cloudy inside. The day does little to break through the mist of the mind. I swim in the oceans looking for land. Something, anything solid. The fish nibble at my toes, I can feel them, but when I turn around, they're gone. It seems like days, but it has only probably been minutes. I'm tired. I hold my breath and float for a moment, letting my arms rest. The water is cold and it laps up my skin as if to claim me. There's a feeling of struggle and a temptation to give up. There's that nag in my stomach that says that I just can't go any further. My mind contemplates defeat. The first bit of water that goes down my throat throws my body into a violent struggle for life. I won't give up. I cannot be defeated. I must continue to swim. Land must be just ahead, it has to be. With a newfound strength and energy, I kick death behind me. With every stroke, I grab onto life itself and pull myself forward. I swim with my head down, my eyes closed, hoping and praying that the next time I open my eyes, I'll see land. I turn my head to the side and take a breath. The air is warmer now, I can feel the warmth in my lungs. I swim harder. I can't look yet. I don't. My muscles start to burn. The second wind is nearly exhausted. I don't know how much farther I can swim. I take another breath. The air is almost tropical. I can feel the sun on my back. I hear a bird cry. Now. It's time. Look.
The water is warm. I can float on my back without trying. The clouds break in the blue sky. It's tranquil. I close my eyes. I can almost fall asleep. I move my fingers upon the surface of the water. I play it like a piano. Something touches my legs. Seaweed? I don't want to get up. I don't want to look. Just let it happen. Whatever happens, just let it happen.
I look up to the surface. I can still see the sky but the clouds are gone. My breath is bursting in my lungs. My lips are getting tired of holding it all in. I let a bubble go. Then another. The seaweed embraces me like a certain couch I know. I'm sinking. Shapes block the sunlight from the surface. Hands reach down and grab my arms. I'm violently wrenched out of the water and dumped onto something hard. I cough and sputter and spit up water. The wind is cold and harsh on my skin. I hear people talking, but I don't understand. Someone strikes me on the back. Again. Again. I have no energy left. I sleep.
It's cloudy outside. It's been day for hours and the sun has yet to show itself upon the earth. I stare at the clouds from behind glass. The bed is hard. The sheets are stiff, and this tube in my arm is too short to allow me to turn over. The one in my nose is uncomfortable, but every time I remove it, someone comes in and yells at me. I don't yell back. I don't say anything. The sea has stolen my voice.
She walks back into the room. I don't know what she's saying, but she's not happy. She scolds like a mother. The clouds are still angry outside. She checks tubs and dials on the machine and she leaves again. I wiggle my toes so much that the sheet that covers them falls off. The air in here is stale. It tastes funny. The taste gets stuck in the back of my tongue and no matter what kind of face I make, I can't get rid of it. If only I could reach the window. If only I could get it open and stick my head out. Maybe I could climb out and fly away, into the clouds. Push them away to reveal the sun like pulling back a curtain on stage. Here it is world, the one you've been waiting for. Put your hands together and welcome the sun.
The clouds are so white. It's like God has a blank canvas and has not yet painted the sky. The window doesn't open. I tried yesterday. The nurse had to come back and put the tube back in my arm. I hate the tube. I think if I could, I would just float away. Not fly, just float. I would float to the clouds like I was under water, floating back to the surface. I would reach the top and then see the sky for what it really is.
They don't know who I am. I don't know who I am. They talk and they talk to me and all I want to do is go outside. But I can't. So I just stare out the window, waiting for the clouds to break. They talk loud and use their hands to gesture. I leave my body and walk around them. They can't see my spirit. They are still talking and gesturing, but I'm not there anymore. I'm down the hall. I'm riding the elevator. I'm walking out the door and feeling the breeze on my face. I feel a smile coming on. But it doesn't come. I open my eyes and I'm still back in bed with the same people talking to me and gesturing at me. Freedom is a dream.
I can walk now. I could always walk, but now I'm allowed to. I can eat food and drink liquids and I don't need the tubes anymore. I never needed them. I eat what they give me, but it all tastes the same. Some looks like chicken and other looks like beef, but they taste the same as vegetables and rice. It must be a miracle to get so many foods coming into that kitchen and turn it all into the same stuff. I'm still not talking. The sea has my voice and I haven't been allowed to go get it back. They gave up talking to me. They try every once in a while, but for the most part, they leave me alone. I'm allowed to walk the hall. There is one window there that can open. I stand beneath it until they push me back to bed. I can taste the freedom when I'm there.
I have a name, but no one knows it. They gave me a name, but I don't respond. I turn invisible three times a day. I see it when they look at me, and then their eyes lose focus and they look right through me. I move around as I wish, but the doors are all locked. I still can't escape. I stand under the window, sipping the freedom.
My back itches. I think I'm sprouting wings. I can feel them beneath the skin by my shoulder blades. Any day now, they're going to break through the skin like the sun will break the clouds. Any day now.
I can see through time. I see the past in my room. An old woman who broke her back died in my bed. She had family. They were here when she passed. It was the first time they had been together in fifteen years. Her death brought her sons back together. She died happy.
Today, I'm hiding under the bed. It's my escape day. I will hide under the bed when they come to give me food. When they see me missing, they will unlock the doors to look for me. Then I will turn invisible and just walk out. Once out, I'll take off my shirt, spread my wings, and fly away. I'll go up to the clouds and I'll be home. The sea can keep my voice. I don't need it anymore. I don't want it. I'm going home today. I know it. I saw the sign. The sun sent a beam through the clouds to my window. I'm going home.
Setting Sun - Sun Setting in SoCal...I forget where exactly.....
3 months ago