The night drags on. The walls seem to huddle closer and closer. Like your very freedom is being slowly squeezed out of you. Each breath becomes laboured because this mysterious pressure sits on your chest like a heart attack coming. Except, you’re kept in this almost ecstatic agony for hours and hours and hours. So quiet that you could literally hear your synapses firing as your mind races. A background hum of disproportionate angst. Your legs draw up tightly to protect your heart from breaking free from your chest. Tears escape the corners of your eyes, but thoughts cannot escape the edge of your sanity. And the screaming that is inside of you almost bursts forth because it is deafening to breathe in this stifled existence.

Then you hear it. One drop of water. A short-tempered fall that echoes metallic and stainless. Just as the echo starts to fade, the expectation of another drop crashes through the mental gauze… a cymbal clang in the still of the night as the dichotomy of silence becomes unbearable. Like a deliberately slow hammer strike. Over and over. Unbelievably, your heart starts to sync contrapuntal, and the sweat on your brow cools with the soft touch of rhythm. You can stretch. You can breathe again, and your spirit, once stifled and imprisoned, is set free by the driving of the nails. One resonating drop at a time.

I know what it’s like to sit in that stir and lean towards subtle insanity. There is a beauty after the fact, because on the other side you know what it is to be alive. But during it, you hold onto whatever you can to stay in the here and now. Like a frantic person holding onto a line dropped off the side of a boat in the middle of the sea… You feel you’re drowning with your head still above the surface. The terrifying place your mind goes is also one where sometimes you leave a piece of your soul, of your essence, behind.