Spoilers: coda 5.22
Disclaimer: Not mine or it never would have happened this way
He was enveloped in velvet blackness and he strove to touch the boundaries of his cocoon.
He had no arms.
The pulse of his own heartbeat vibrated in his inner ear. Like tinnitus, he thought. A metronomic swish that let him know he was alive.
Eventually he realized with great puzzlement he didn't know when he had stopped hearing it.
For a while he pretended he could discern shadows in the darkness and he struggled to identify the patches of blacker blackness.
The subtle distinction evaporated the more he tried to solidify it.
He felt nothing around him, not even the surface upon which he must be lying. There was a faint memory of what it was like to float in a lake, muscles completely relaxed, letting the water support him.
This was not like that. No slight swaying with the ripples, no feathery demarcation of where his body rested above versus below the wetness.
He thought perhaps he no longer had a body.
He fought for memories. He got echoes of emotions: fear, sorrow, grief, fear … resignation. Relief. Pride?
He remembered physical pain as something terrible but could no longer recall an actual sensation to go with the word. It bubbled across his mind that was probably a good thing to have forgotten.
The moments he was a separate thing from the nothingness – moments he was aware of himself – were both precious and painful. He had no way of telling how long elapsed between those times. There was nothing to remember about those interludes. Just a flash of knowing he existed to question what is.
He knew it had been different once.
Sometimes, between the snatches of being awake? aware? there were images, whispers … dreams?
Protective black chromemetaltireshome
Dark eyes stubblefiercetiredangrygone
Tilted head puzzledfacefaithangeldead
And the one he saw the most and this one was the hardest to hold on to, it kept changing
Green eyes …
And whenever that face would appear in his memory it was trying to speak to him. He was sure if he could only hear it he would know why he was this way. He could see the lips fullchappedbleedingscreaming at him but he could not hear the sound.
The visions faded. A word drifted before him. Eternity.
This was pain.
The body he did not have was
bleedingrippingtwistinggutted and he couldn't breathe
And then he could breathe
He had a heartbeat pulsingthumping and a body and he could feel weightroughfabricclothing and he moved his musclesbicepsarmshands across his body chesthipsthighsface and he
Opened his eyes and shut them again.
And his heart was poundingthuddingracing and he was afraid to move again.
He would breaksplintershatterfall and go back to blackemptynothingforever so he stood immobile and focused on inoutinoutbreathing like he knew that was the way to gain control a voice was telling him just breathe and when he had mastered that he listened to the noises until he could distinguish traffic power line bird dog voices people and he realized his hands were clenched in fists and his body was coiled to fight or flee and he made his fingers uncurl and his muscles relax and his heartbeat slowed and then he slitted his eyes open again
Close them. Breathe. Try again. Focus.
Street cars sidewalk grass squirrel
Stairs door window woman boy man
He was Sam.