It was one of those days when feet hit the floor, oystery light seeping through the blinds, and there is a staggering realization that today won't be much different than yesterday. Yesterday, reflection of all the days before, a rippling countenance the color of an ashtray filled with water.
The faint metallic tang of desperation gently poisons the air. Breathing suddenly becomes a weightlifting contest, as the sluggish eddying in the lungs attempts to shrug off something that feels like diver's weights around the neck. Hands involuntarily reach for the throat, grasping and pulling, only to drop rapidly at the embarrassment of finding nothing there.
How can that be? It was so hard to sit upright, waking from a feverish dream of predator and prey. The dream dissolved into the fog of half-sleep, and the nacreous light made it impossible to drift backwards. So habit takes over, the limbs move, the mouth widens in a yawn...the brain recoils at the thought of lather, rinse, repeat.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
For a long minute of vertigo, the body screams to be back under the sheets, head under the pillows. As if goose down could be like the tin-foil hats deranged people wear to keep out the mind-reading waves. Only this time, they would keep out the Fear and the Panic, that insidious reality that sometimes leads one to believe that, in some ways, life is over. It isn't dead, it's just over.
There is nothing quite so heavy on the head as the crown of thorns one creates for oneself, crafted from the thorny vines of insecurities that thrive in the dark, and tied together with the barbed wire made of that peculiar fear that says "There are things you may never feel or experience again."
That itself creates an ice-water bolus through the heart and into the gut. Fall forward or backward, perhaps it doesn't matter, but the consequences are not so harsh if inertia is allowed to take over, forcing the body up and off the bed.
The cold is sharp, insinuative. It bites, gently, and never seems to let go.
A few turns of the blinds rod, and the slats are open to allow the thick winter light to ooze into the room. The scene gets brighter, but oddly not clearer. Four heartbeats' worth of staring out the window confirms what the heart knew before the brain pretended to be awake.
It's just another day here, at Ice Station Ego. Time to check the instruments, record the data and pretend that heat and warmth are more than just memories.