Monday, July 19, 2010

Final Phase - The Ghost in the Fog

There is a point where the boredom of surrounding your head with televisions tuned in to static melts away. After fighting it off for so long, you resign yourself to the world around you. Your mind blanks for a while, elements of focus are all lost. The static blots out your eyes and stuffs your ears full.

When I came to my senses again, regained the ability to think and focus, it first came as an extreme awareness of the static itself. The television above me, I saw, moved its static like an extreme fast-forward of cells dividing under a microscope, constantly organically reproducing outward. To my left, the television static grew like fireworks. To my right, it moved like mud in a swirling current. Behind me it flashed around and I got the impression that it was like 30 different frames of static, flipping in a sequence faster than I could track. I heard the static differently as well -- one flat and calm, one sharp, one wavering in and out.

After some time of this, I found my thoughts plodding along, occasionally leaping from here to there. It's difficult to recall exactly what went on in my head. I thought about everything I could, all of it seemed to connect. I thought about my grandfather, my family, the church I grew up in, dogs, amoebae, whales, dentures, heartbeats, angels. In my head, I wrote the first chapter of a novel, in a fleeting frenzied pace -- like the words in your head when you're on the fringe of sleeping, or waking up from a dream of isolation, the ones you draw out to gorgeous, thrilling conclusions, one word birthed perfectly from the last, convinced you will remember them without writing them down. Of course, you never do. I wanted so badly to be spoken to.

When my roommates returned home, they found me motionless on the floor, head in TV's, flooded by white noise. I couldn't hear them enter or feel their footsteps. They stopped at the edge of the room, ready to call 9-1-1. Finally one of them decided to check my pulse, snuck in and grabbed my ankle. I woke up, energized, ready to tell them all about it. But when I sat up, any ghost I'd known inside that box stayed there. There was nothing to say, just the maniacal gaze of a man who had invented a masterpiece, the haunting thirst to take it further.

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