“There’s a ghost in my lungs and it sighs in my sleep
Wraps itself around my tongue as it softly speaks
Then it walks, then it walks with my legs
To fall, to fall, to fall at your feet”
– Ghosts, Florence Welch & Isabella Summers
One, two, three… in and out. Today is everyday, and everyday is flashing fast. We don’t realize, when we are out there floating, how insignificant we are, like motes of dust dancing in a stream of sunlight. I didn’t realize my world would change so suddenly, a rapid ascent with an equally fast plummet. I regret not shining bright, like a supernova. There were chances not taken, steps mistook, and feelings hurt. But mostly I just lay here, one, two, three…in and out.
If I look to my right I will see Matty. He is ever present, ever at my right side, ever in my life – I worry about not being in his. My twin brother is handsome. He has my dad’s shaggy brown hair and silver blue eyes. I’m jealous – obviously. I don’t see him right now, as much as sense him. Sense the calm exterior, cool and collected to the outer world. I sense his slightly elevated heart rate – this one time where it is not matched with my own rhythmic thrumming. I smell his scent, a mixture of Armani Gio, lemongrass soap, and sweat. Mostly, though, I feel his hand. He slipped his fingers through mine an hour ago and hasn’t let go. His soft skin providing warmth to my cool fingers, giving strength to my weakness. He drums a melody on the back of my hand. Matt is not my soul mate, he is my soul.
Seriously? Seriously, Anna – your soul? I think the drugs are starting to get to me, making me forget that on a normal day sarcasm is the undertone of most thoughts. Well, I always wanted to get a bit more centered and one with myself.
The questions one asks in these moments are gobsmacking. Gobsmackng – is that even a word? One might think the questions would be of existential importance, like “what is it all about? How did I get here?” However, what floats through my head is, “Anna, did you unplug the iron?” I don’t even remember plugging it in, but in this moment, that is the question that plagues me. A giggle, bursts through my lips, like a damn breaking, and I lack the power to stop it. At first Matt thinks I’m crying, but the truth is I never started, I’ve never been good at it, so I laugh. The discomfort others feel when you laugh inappropriately is enough to make the act worth it.
“What?” Matt asks, the bass of his voice gives way to treble as the giggle becomes contagious. It starts at the corner of his mouth, a small twitch that quickly gives way to belly laughter. This is the best kind, a laughter that makes you lose your breath and pangs your stomach as you double over, not even making a sound anymore. “This is ridiculous, Anna,” he manages to get out between gasps for air, “I don’t even know what we’re laughing at.”
I pull my hand from his, wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. If all the world had to go away right now, this would be a perfect moment.
The sun has moved behind a cloud and the room darkens. “You gonna tell me why we’re busting a gut?” Matt asks catching his breath.
“I don’t even know. I had a fleeting worry about leaving the iron plugged in and realized how ridiculous it was, I don’t even know the last time I used an iron. These are the things that make me laugh,” I say. This has been happening a lot. They say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes. What they don’t tell you is that its more like a Netflix marathon, back to back episodes of “Anna Emerson, this is your life!” Each moment playing out on the big screen in my mind, a soundtrack of mixed artists ringing in the background. Flashes. Blinking one, two, three…in and out.