When I was in sixth grade and living on Tanglewood Drive in Tacoma, I woke up one day and felt different. Puberty? No, that happened a while ago; my family has a long history of reaching that state of development very early. Truly, I only know it felt like a permanent activation of my fight-or-flight response system. How does one react when detached from reality by a impenetrable wall of chemical fortitude?
Everywhere I went, I felt outside of myself, seeing from behind an invisible veil, hearing normal sounds muted by nothing. I was at the controls of someone else’s body, numb yet alive. The universe had shifted out of balance and thrown me dimensionally across the void; I was an intruder within my own body. Every single day I would awaken assuming the feeling was temporary, a mishap from lack of sleep, perhaps too much caffeine. I kept expecting to experience a similar situation each morning, reversal of strange fate and unknowable fear.
I have no idea how long this lasted, when or if things became as they were. To this day, I honestly can’t remember resuming life before things changed. If asked now whether I am myself, I’m not sure of the answer. My memories allow a certain liberty to the past, but their elastic nature leaves certainty a shadow of mirages.
Why does any of this matter? Maybe all of Rob’s speculation inspired my own inner searching. In his case, he fears the ghost has caught him and his ability to escape is questionable. In my own, not only was I caught at the age of thirteen, but I’ve never felt normal since that single day. Do I have some kind of chemical imbalance in my brain that caused all of this? Probably. I can’t say I’ve learned to live with it, but simply assume it as part of who I am, mostly because It’s been over a decade, and it feels normal now.
That old memory of how things were has faded from 14 years of passing time; who knows if it ever happened at all?