Archives for April 2013

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Excision

Thank you for trying the VRS 9000 visualization and relaxation system. This system is designed to allow you to visualize a more positive you and in doing so, eliminate any stress and tension that may have accumulated in your life. Please ensure you are in a comfortable position before you continue with this process.

As you listen to the sound of my voice, you will find that your body is falling into a state of relaxation. Breathe in deeply and then gently let your breath leave your body in a slow exhalation. If you were to visualize the tension and stress your body contains, you might see it as a bright color, perhaps red or orange…

The point of the knife enters just below my left ear. I barely even feel it pierce the skin, it’s so sharp. The tug on the thin flesh of my neck and the brush of my fingernail as I draw the blade down and forward is all I feel for a moment until the burn starts. There’s a sense of skin parting and the well of blood that’s just that much warmer. Warmer than the outer surface of my skin. It almost feels soothing. At this point, I know I must be crossing the…jugular? Carotid? I’m not even sure what artery would run up the side of my neck but I know it’s one of those. Artery. Vein?

As you visualize the color red that’s accumulated inside you, you will observe that it is gradually melting away. Watch as it is slowly fading…fading…it’s lightening into a washed-out pink, and then into a lightly tinged white until all color has fallen away from your internal landscape. This is the accumulation of tension leaving your body. This is the old you: the palette of your old self washed clean, ready for a newly visualized image.

The blade begins a more horizontal motion. Moving across a more level plane but here’s where it hits a roadblock. My voicebox. My larynx? Like a car across a speed bump, the knife jounces slightly: biting deep before it skims the front of my throat and the tip catches once again on the other side. I’ve lost momentum though. It isn’t just the topography of my throat that did it. My arm is now at an awkward angle so I raise my elbow above my shoulder in an attempt to regain pressure and velocity.

Your eyes have drifted closed now. Without your anxiety to support it, every part of you is now relaxed and at ease, drifting in colorless sea of stillness. Take some time to absorb the peace and the calm that permeates your inner self. In a moment, we’ll begin the steps to visualize a new and better you.

The pain is biting down hard now and I can feel the collar of my shirt starting to cling to the bones that sit at the top of my chest. The blood soaks into the shirt and leaches downward. Just a little more. Four more inches and I’m done. This was the right way to do it…wasn’t it? I try to speed up the motion of my hand but it’s shaking now and even though it won’t matter in another few seconds, I want the cut to be straight, smooth, even. It has to be done right. I begin the upward arc.

Now we begin the process to construct a more useful and successful you. Imagine the presence that is you slowly rising from the sea of tranquility that supports you. What form will this manifestation of your inner self take? Begin to visualize your head as it slowly emerges from the –

Consciousness hits me, heralded by a spasm that jerks my whole body and then my muscles lock up with fear. For a moment everything is dark. Seconds pass and gradually I can see the faint outline of the room emerging. There’s a table to the left of the bed with a lamp on top of it and a thin shimmer of light around what must be a window directly across from the bed I’m in. It’s marked by lines of light crossing back and forth: the slats of window blinds. To my right, I can see the outline of the middle of the bed in what must be a mirror. With a sharp inhale, I raise my hands to my throat, fingers fluttering over the skin in search of a wound. Nothing.

Slowly, so very slowly, I roll to my right and slide my legs over the side of the bed until my feet are planted in the soft nap of the carpet and I’m sitting upright, gazing down at my bare feet, my bare legs. I push myself up and walk to the mirror, watching my feet shuffle forward without any real sense that they’re attached to the rest of me. Head still lowered, I raise both hands and brace them on either side of the mirror – a mirror that seems to be attached to the back of a door. A bathroom? A closet? The door to…?

Fine tremors roll through me and I can feel anxiety building up again. I lift my gaze and realize that the light slipping through the gap between the window and the blind has been steadily growing. I can see the room more clearly now: the rumpled bed with its tangled sheets and forest green comforter rucked up into a pile, the tan parchment of the lamp shade that shelters the bedside table and its array of books and smaller, unidentifiable items.

A picture is hanging on the wall directly behind me but I can’t make out the details at this distance and…. Behind me. The bed. The picture. All directly behind me. I keep my gaze focused on the room, afraid to admit what I already know, pretending that my attention is just centered elsewhere. Pretending that if I did look directly into the mirror, I would see something more than just the room reflected back at me.

 

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[or if you prefer a slightly more spec-fic ending, substitute  the following three paragraphs in place of the last four]

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Consciousness hits me, heralded by a spasm that jerks my whole body and then my muscles lock up with fear. For a moment everything is dark. Seconds pass and gradually I can see the faint outline of the room emerging. There’s a table to the left of the bed with a lamp on top of it and a thin shimmer of light around what must be a window directly across from the bed I’m in. It’s marked by lines of light crossing back and forth: the slats of window blinds. To my right, I can see the outline of the middle of the bed in what must be a mirror.

Everything converges in a rush and blind panic propels me out of bed to stand in front of the mirror, gaze focused on my neck as I run my hands over it frantically searching for a wound that isn’t there. The contrast between the peace and sense of surety I felt in the dream and this terror – this adrenalin-fueled need to move, react, run – that woke me is so jarring that my stomach twists and roils while my breath comes in sharp pants and my hands shake.

I sink to the floor in a crouch, balanced on my toes, head bowed and arms braced between my knees, hands pressing down into thick carpet. I stare at them: knuckles white with tension, long narrow fingers with nails cut almost to the quick. My head snaps up and I lean forward a little. I concentrate on my reflection in the mirror, hoping for an answer to my unease, looking for reassurance or at least a sense of the familiar in the dark brown reflection of my own eyes. Eyes that aren’t brown at all. Eyes that return my searching gaze with an unblinking shade of green that merges into hazel around the pupil.