Night at the Movies

It’s ugly, I have to close my eyes.
It’s cool, yet beads of sweat form on my forehead.
Nausea fills me. starting at my center, flows through my body
and ends as a giant burst of pain in my head.

I’m paralyzed, can barely breathe.
Flashing lights appear, blind me, then go away.
Somebody is talking, but I can’t understand what they are saying.
I open my eyes, and the world has turned red.

My breathing quickens, my heart is beating out of my chest.
I close my eyes again and wait for it to pass.
It always passes. Always. So far.

A minute. Ten? An hour? Surely not that long. Surely.

“Michael?”

“I’m here.”

“It’s only a movie.”

“I know.”

The world returns to focus, and the scene from the movie is over, and the nuttiness that makes everybody laugh continues, but I’m not laughing, oh no, no laughs for me. The guy in the movie who comically jumped from a balcony at a frat party and ended up in a heap on the floor us up and running, chasing his ex-wife. The guy in my head fell from a building at Providence College in 2003, the week before Christmas. Eighty feet. It was ugly, but I couldn’t close my eyes, and he died all the way to the hospital, arms and legs broken, teeth like chicklets pouring from his mouth when he tried to scream, his grip on my wrist as I drove an IV home as strong as a nineteen year old’s should be, but somehow wrong, all wrong; a death grip. His eyes met mine, but his were hanging on his cheeks, the force from the fall popping them from their sockets.

He’s not running. Or breathing. Except in my head, where he lives on.falling

Fuck it, it comes with the territory. I just wish he could find peace inside my head.

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