Altered State

I am loopy, not drunk, not high, but my brain chemistry is all out of whack, and the world feels like it’s alternating between spinning too fast and spinning far too slowly. Images blur, becoming the indistinguishable Dali-esque crowd of parents watched by their children on the carousel, as they check between giggles to be certain Mommy is still there.

My sleep patterns are skewed crazily, and I found myself awake at 6 AM, then all abuzz from high notes and weird meter in songs at church, then caffeinated, antihistamined, wired and tired all at once, and now, after a failed nap, intense afternoon lovemaking, and a nap that succeeded, I have merged with the sky.

When I woke at 10 PM to the ringing of the phone, the air felt taut like the skin of a drum in the split-second before the mallett makes contact, and the boom resounds. In the two hours that passed between then and my ultimate succumbing to cravings for protein (peanut butter toast and cold milk), there were murmurs of thunder, non-committal lightning, and rain that came and went with such stealth that only wet dog footprints on the kitchen floor and a mating pair of geckoes on the deck were any evidence at all.

Sometimes I feel as if the eyes I’m looking through are not my own, but not anyone else’s either. Watching David Duchovny on Inside the Actor’s Studio, I have a name for the feeling, a definition, rather, it’s the feeling of looking through a mask.

If you rip the mask away, do you find another mask, or do you see only muscle and bone?

Have you ever had a moment of personal Epiphany, when your mind and heart and soul are in perfect accord, and you click with the universe and all creation, and experience a moment, a flash, a microsecond of total enlightenment and just when you realize that you Get It and It Is Simple, you breathe or move or blink, and the moment is gone, and you are bereft, left with the memory of the clickage that had occurred, and a gaping hole where the elegant solution once resided?

I have.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Altered State by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.