Chapter 10d

Then again, perhaps I've already denied fate. The world is slippery more and more these days. I hold what I know close but the things that are even a little foreign get mutated and distorted. Is this the natural course of things? Is all of this fated?

From my understanding we are all fated to grow old and die. It occurs to me in the glow of my questioning that I have thus far done neither. There is a mystery to be solved here. At least, I like to think there is. Everything has been a mystery or an adventure or a romance or a tragedy so I assume this must fit the status quo.

How is it possible to lose my whole concept of time? That used to seem so natural, so innate. It was cold so it was winter. It was dark so I knew that it was night time. Those things don't matter anymore and I don't know why.

I want to retrace my steps but I can't find them. When did logic fail? I remember something, a thought that maybe I just had or maybe I had years ago. How old am I? I do know the answer to that. I am twenty-five, I have lived a quarter of a century, I have been here on this Earth for two and a half decades. I was born in 1963. So why is it so hard to do the math to know what year it is?

For a moment I suspect that I am losing my wits. I sometimes feel like I'm dreaming when I'm awake. I feel that way now, like I'm having some kind of lucid dream and can tell my nightmares that I know they're not real so they can't hurt me. They don't listen.

What was I doing that night? I was at home, wasn't I? Just thinking by myself about time and space and life and what any of it meant. That was the night the levee broke. I was safe enough but I could watch the flood waters rise through my window until I was submerged. The pressure had the doors held shut and if I were to open a window I would be forced back with a rush of water and left to drown so I just waited. I waited and I thought. I don't know if I remember quite the thoughts I was having, I've tried to reproduce them when I can manage, but it's a hard task to complete.

What I do remember is the infinite mystery of existence and the surge of rage I felt at being so completely trapped beneath the rolling flood waters. How long did I stay trapped there? I could ask somebody but they would only give something cryptic or nonsensical. I could sit and muse the answer but what's the point? So yes, I was angry.

My rage must have drawn them to me. The shouting, the fighting with whatever I could find, the noise and motion, they must have seen that persisting under the surface and come to eliminate the odd survivor of the great flood. I don't know, really, but I know that after having been trapped for some time the beasts descended upon me. They do not believe that they are not real.

I was torn to pieces that night, shrieking all the while even when I was nothing but a head being gnawed on by the darkness. When I woke up in my own bed something had changed. The house was still submerged but otherwise normal. She was asleep beside me still. Paul and Darren had both come over to seek refuge from the flood. We ate breakfast and drank vodka with our orange juice and things seemed well but they weren't right. They looked at me now with some forlorn countenance of knowing. I would miss them, I thought at the time. Next I thought, why? Why would I miss them? They're trapped with me.

The world outside turned to the ocean floor. There was nothing left in town, just some dark coral silhouetted in the faint light of the sun far above. This was all I had left of the world I used to know and I intended to hold on to it. I would not miss them because I would not have cause to. So why would I even think that?

Something changed when I was torn apart that night and something deep and ugly has remained behind to make sure the damage was sufficient. I wanted to know about it without having to think or talk about it.