Falling is a funny feeling. One of the few times in your life you’ll ever be completely helpless.
And all it takes is so little – just the small, effortless act of letting go, before succumbing to the invisble that binds us all.
Some time ago, I fell.
With nothing left in my life and nothing left to live for, I walked off the cliff and fell, tumbling head first into the oblivion. No one would even notice I was gone. No one would ever notice.
In the first moments of my freefall, my voice acted of its own accord, and cast a full, terrified scream into the open air. It was equal parts plea and battle cry, some combination of fearful resistance and hopeless prayer, offered as if the sound could suddenly carry me back to safety.
Within seconds, I would find out just how useless that act was – my voice, my words were drowned out by the air running through me, a current of cold that snuck through and blanketed every inch of my body with numbness.
It did nothing to stop gravity’s painless, unyielding grip.
The wind around me would become my only companion on this flight, growling an initial greeting, and then roaring as my body picked up speed, becoming louder and louder until I could no longer hear anything. Its sounds, I eventually learned to ignore, in favor of my own thoughts. Its piercing, icy touch – that, I could not escape, and the light fabrics of my suit could do little in defense.
Everywhere I looked – even when I angled back to face the direction I had fallen from – there was only darkness. The sky had long ago closed up behind me, its shade of bruised blue, the last Earthly sight I would ever see.
Now, there was only down.
Down, down, down, and the darkness that followed.
They say that your life flashes before your eyes right when it ends, in a highlight reel, a pre-selected montage composed of your deepest regrets and your fondest memories.
Being helplessly suspended but still completely conscious, I did not receive that luxury. My mind had decided to loop a different, more twisted film, one in which I was both protagonist, villain, narrator and audience. I was left to watch it all, with sleep serving as the only real intermission.
As I saw my childhood self crying after another beating I had done nothing to earn, I broke away long enough to peek down at my wrist, trying to gauge how much time had elapsed since I first fell, but the numbers – now blinking 4:11AM – told me little of note.
Hadn’t it blinked 4:11 last time, and the time before? How many cold sleeps and frigid awakenings had I endured? How many times had I relived the mundanity and misery of the life I once lived?
I could no longer tell.
I would have the rest of time to remember. The infinite depth of the abyss awaited.