Wendy, My Savior
By Aston Davis
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There she is. My nighttime companion. Wendy Chesterfield. My savior. She talks to me every night around eleven and tells me about who died today. She’s a beautiful blond in her early forties with those blue eyes that can see through souls. Her English accent turns me on whenever she speaks. Tonight, she tells me about the fifty people who lost their lives in tornados in Oklahoma. Yesterday, she told me about an elderly couple that was murdered across town. The day before, a car accident that killed five on I-95. Wendy always tells me about the death toll with a smile, and then goes right on to the next story. She never sheds a tear for anyone who has died. I wonder if she’ll cry at her mother’s funeral or if she’ll just go on to her next appointment.
Tonight I’m thinking, and I’ve thought this before, what am I doing here? All I ever hear about is the list of people who died today, the possibility of war, and then some random useless undercover report. Most of the time I’m not really even paying attention to the stories, I’m just staring blankly at the TV. Just so I don’t have to do anything, I can be in my own little world and not have to get up and do the dishes or anything else productive. I can sit here and expend no energy at all. I guess it just became a ritual and I never got out of the habit. Maybe I watch the news just to have some background noise so I don’t have to think.
I pick up the remote and push the power button. The television turns to a black silent box. With no other lights on in the apartment the entire room is black. There, now isn’t that better? Calm, serene silence.
Peace. Liberation. Salvation.
You can do whatever you want right now, total freedom. I close my eyes to think about how wonderful this is. True silence is one of the only things to have ever achieved perfection. You’ve given yourself the liberty to do whatever you want. Be whoever you want to be. If this could only last forever.
Meditation, I think. I can talk to God, see if he’s really there. I can see if he still hates me.
Concentration. Breathing. Tranquility. Harmony.
I Close my eyes, breathe in… breathe out. Slowly. Deliberately.
Others have communed with God, why can’t I? Because he doesn’t want to talk to me, because he’s sick and tired of me, because he’s thrown me away? So why am I doing this? Sitting here in silent darkness, no matter what, I’m going to die anyways.
The brain is a dangerous thing if it’s allowed to wander unsupervised.
Salvation leads to perfection leads to harmony leads to God leads to rejection leads to death.
Breathe in… breathe out. I’m serene. I’m peaceful.
In my dark apartment, I know that death will be coming for me sometime. I’ll be lying in bed, wrinkled and gray, and the darkness will come and close in all around me. The first thing to leave will be my eyesight, and I’ll see exactly what I’m seeing now, with my eyes closed in my unlit apartment. I won’t be able to open them if I wanted to. There won’t be any white light at the end of a tunnel, my relatives won’t show up to greet me. All that will come is darkness, slowly closing down on me. And it will come. That’s the only thing in this life that I am one hundred percent sure about. Death is coming and I can’t do anything to stop it. The worst part is that it will last forever. People often talk about, but never think about, eternity. Once my eyes close for that final time, I will never see light again. I will never see the sun, or the sky, or anything. This will be true finality. This will be the end. One day I will be dead. I’ll die. This I can be sure of. Say it again… one day, I will be dead.
My heart is thumping faster and faster, harder and harder, I can feel it in my chest, leaping to get out. One day I will be dead. No, no, no, think about something else. I am going to die. Think about baseball – that works during sex, make it work now.
Baseball. Innings. Darkness. Pitchers. Death. Infield. Corpse.
No, no, no, get this out of your head. I’m taking short panicked breaths. Gasping. In, in, out, in, in, out, in, in, out. My eyes spring open, I can see the shapes in my apartment from the light of the moon. Ok, ok, there’s light, everything’s ok, concentrate on surveying the apartment, concentrate on counting the tiles on the floor, count the books on your wall, enjoy the silence that you finally have, enjoy the peace, enjoy being alive, calm yourself. You’re serene, you’re relaxing, you’re getting away from the mindless garbage that you flood your mind with. You’re supposed to enjoy this vacation. You can do anything you want. Ok, ok, everything’s fine. You just got a little scared, that was it. Everything is fine. Breathe in… breathe out. Enjoy silence. I’m looking around my apartment again, making sure I’m still alive, slowing my breathing. Calming down.
That was horrible I think to myself. I know that everyone is afraid of death, of the unknown, they just don’t think about it so much. Avoid the subject, millions of people do it.
Liberation leads to silence leads to contemplation leads to death leads to panic leads to panic leads to panic leads to avoidance.
Let’s try this again, you’re here to rid your mind the garbage you’ve accumulated. Dumping some call it. Try and be creative. Try and think of something productive. Don’t just waste your life away staring at a lighted box. Better yourself, become one, become Zen. Leave something behind for others, make your life worth living. Carpe diem. Seize the day.
I cross my legs Indian style and proceed to close my eyes again. I breathe deeply in through my nose and then hold that breath. I exhale slowly through my mouth. My thumbs are slowly circling around the tips of my middle fingers that share the same hand. I don’t need television, I don’t need noise, I don’t need stimulation, I don’t anything. Feel all the stress and worry of the day pass out of your body. Breathe in… breathe out.
Breathe in… slowly and hold this energy in your being.
Breathe out… exhaling all the stress and toxins in your body.
I need to leave a contribution behind, I need to be a savior to society. I need to do something with the time that I have here, so that I wouldn’t have just existed, I would continue to live, immortality.
With the time that I have here before I die. Before my life is taken from me. I know its coming. One day I am going to die. Who knows how old I’ll be, maybe it’ll be in a car accident when I’m 25, I will die though. Everything will just get darker and darker around me, like a computer slowly shutting itself down, fading away.
My stomach is tying itself in knots, I feel as though I’m going to vomit any minute.
I hear nothing, only the soundless air is here with me now. This is the same sound I will hear after death, nothingness. After I am laid to rest under six feet of ground. After my mind has faded away to black. No stopping it, it’s on a crash course for me. I’m getting closer and closer to dying everyday I wake up in the morning. I will be dead someday. I must die.
I gag as my abdomen wretches, I can’t catch my breath, my eyes are wide open, but no matter what I look at, I’m still thinking about the fact that I am going to die. I lunge toward the couch, grab the television remote and spin pointing it directly at the TV. Wendy comes to life, she’s telling me about a robbery that happened this afternoon at a bank on the east side of town. A robbery I’m thinking. She tells me about a fire at a church on the other side of town. A fire I’m thinking. Coming up later, do the blades on your ceiling fan really move air efficiently? Hmmm… I’m thinking as I look at the fan. Death I’m not thinking. Wendy, thank you for this, my savior, my salvation.