The Longest Moment

‘There’s nothing to do and no one to do it,’ said the voice in my head cheerfully, but somehow the gist of this little nugget of wisdom was lost on me. I got up to leave, ill at ease and unwilling to pursue the matter any further. ‘There’s nowhere to go and no one to go there,’ the voice chirped up immediately. I sat bolt upright in bed, the sweat running down my face in little rivers. For a moment I didn’t know where I was. My heart was beating loudly, my mouth painfully dry. I couldn’t remember the last time my mouth had been so dry. I tried to go back over things in my head so I could put everything back into its correct sequence. I was trying to put everything back into its right place. ‘This belongs here and that belongs there,’ I said to myself. I was trying to put some sort of order back on the world. ‘This is one of those and that is one of them,’ I told myself. Nothing made sense anymore. For a moment I didn’t know who I was. It was a long moment. It was the longest moment I had ever known – it stretched on forever. It was a forever moment. It was the Fifth Second of Forever. I couldn’t remember the Fourth. ‘Let me just go back over things a bit,’ I said to myself. Put everything back in perspective. Put everything back into its proper place. I had to work out what’s what and who’s who. I had to get some things straight in my head. Work out where I was and what I was doing there. Work out who I was. Get a bit of narrative going. A bit of a narrative, a bit of a narrative. And perhaps someone to narrate it. To put a bit of order on things. My heart was beating louder than ever now and my mouth was the driest thing in the whole wide world. You could have fitted five major deserts in there with room to spare. I never knew it was possible for a mouth to be so dry. I made a titanic effort to swallow but all that happened was that my throat stuck together. All that happened was that my throat adhered drily to itself. I gave up the attempt. I could hear the blood rushing through the capillaries in my brain. It felt like the loudest thing I had ever heard. I sat bolt upright in bed, sweat running down my face, my heart pounding loudly in my chest. For a moment I couldn’t remember who I was – it was a forever moment. It was the longest moment of my life. It had no duration – it had no beginning and no end. ‘There’s nothing to do and no one to do it,’ said the voice in my head, amiably. I got up to leave, uneasy with this sort of talk, unwilling to pursue it any further. For a moment I couldn’t remember where I was….

 

 

 

 

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