It doesn’t manifest itself when I jump in the ocean, or a lake, or a river. It may actually be the artificiality of the swimming pool that conjures the experience. The precise dimensions my subconscious is subjected to give off a sense of order and security. There is nothing to be afraid of, no unexpected antagonists. It is only me and the water, chlorinated as a reminder that it was manufactured for me and me alone. Walking off the edge of a pool with closed eyes, you are agreeing to an alteration in your body. You entice the change in pressure, in viscosity, in surrounding matter. The trade of carbon for hydrogen is an immediate meditation, and I sink into tranquility as my head sinks below the surface. I stay there forever, time disappearing immediately upon entrance into this disparate atmosphere. Floating in place, newborn bubbles flow upward, rippling against my body. As I hang in suspension, some water finds its way inside me, rejuvenating my brain. Right now, it’s what I need. Streaks of light scurry around the concrete bottom, like a frenzied neural network, but I can’t see them – not yet anyway. My mind is empty, and my muscles haven’t accepted a message since my feet left solid ground. I float to the surface, lying on my back, keeping my ears underwater as I open my eyes and squint into the sun.
It’s simple up here. The tiles guide us effortlessly toward a natural state. We make our new home whatever we want, however we want. A clean slate, a fresh canvas. It’s a versatile, transformable playground and we are left here to create. Finally, material possessions are gone and never missed. Only a faint light remains. We are free to move, limited only by our own inhibitions. Our smiles collide – you immerse me in your breath. My thoughts evaporate. This moment is all I know. The universe lives in your eyes. Time has dissipated into the laughable nothing that you have always tried to tell me about. My only responsibility is to you. We stare at our new sky and see who we used to be, what we used to know. The memories remain but the future is ours to realize. The sun becomes the moon, but neither fully disappears. The view transforms to a charcoal haze, left with remnants of visions of what is gone forever. They might join us one day, but for now it is only you and me, infinitely searching, on an adventure for the illusion of truth.
We can always go back, but we never will.
What I see is clear. Not transparent, just clear, more a colour than a texture. Directionless, motionless. It doesn’t matter how I ended up here, what led me to this point. Maybe I brought myself. Maybe I never knew. I can’t see my body. I can’t feel it, but I know it’s there, a lingering phantom of what I once knew. I am lighter, drifting towards weightlessness. I’m alone, but I’m not lonely anymore. There are times when I float past an entity similar to me, but there is no communication from either side. The whites of the opposing eyes cover their skin. I’m scared, hesitant to accept where I am. I won’t ever be able to return. Not that I want to. There was nothing for me on the other side.