Yesterday, I was born. I opened my eyes and it occurred to me that I was lost somewhere in a haze, seeing shapes and hearing sounds that made no sense. Nostalgic, like maybe I’d been there before, but not concrete like a memory. It was at once brand new, and reminiscent in a vague sense, but not so much dream as nightmare. I started pulling my eyelashes and pressing my fingertips deep into the cavernous dark of my eye sockets, begging and pleading and throwing myself on the floor to see anything else. I came into this world screaming. Kicking, and screaming.

It’s at once horrifying and tranquil, as if you’re watching a hollow round enter the body in slow motion and from behind. The tearing muscle is so loud that you can taste it, so loud that it somehow escapes your ears and you’re screaming for someone to turn it down – TURN IT DOWN! PLEASE GOD, TURN IT DOWN! It’s like silent movie reel in that it’s silent but it’s not a movie. It’s real.

I’m torn between realities, groggily veering from the real I think is real to the real I’m learning I can barely survive thinking about. I see the ceiling above me and I’m trying to focus but it becomes mutilated, and as it turns into something else, suddenly, I’m running… I’m running in a tiny pink coat, and I know there is fear inside my head but I can’t feel it, all I can fathom is the seething rush of information I’ve never had before. She has a hammer in her hands, and he has head butted her and she has called the police and they are not coming fast enough and I saw it all from behind the corner and he is SCREAMING and we are running, and the garage door is closing and we are running and we don’t have enough time to get underneath the door before it closes and we are scared, we are so scared it will trap us with him and we scream! I scream, from inside my tiny pink coat, and she screams and she grabs a hammer and we are running…

It’s cold, and that’s why I am wearing a tiny pink coat. It’s completely logical.

I notice I’m breathing so shallow I’m trembling, trembling so much I’m shaking the bed, worried I might shake my partner awake as I sweat and bleed and ache. I came into this world covered in amniotic fluid the first time, and the second time I was covered in shattered illusion.

I spent so god damn long packing the bags, threw them over the bridge with such fucking calculation. I used a paring knife to make rudimentary incisions, cut the cord from my self in order to become myself. I ran as fast as I fucking could away from who I’ve been to find who I’ve become. This, I realize, is the first time I have ever been able to understand even a single connection…

When something happens that changes you, you’re a child twice. Once, when you’re nothing but an infected mangled mess of trust and sheer terror, and once again, many years later, when all the blurs and all the blood suddenly translate into words you never realized you didn’t know.

I remember everything I’ve ever seen, and now that I can comprehend it… now that I have the words to understand it… it brings me to my fucking knees.

Ashley Wylde
December 3rd, 2014

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