I am lost.  I remember very clearly eating at a throwback diner with my family. We frequented the place on special occasions, and being a creature of habit I had ordered the same thing I always did, a BLT on hearty bread, onion rings and a chocolate coke. Life was good– I had just turned twelve and was starting to find myself. My out of state grandmother was visiting, and so it took some persuading to convince her to stay over at a friends house, but after the diner I was dropped off, and it would be the last time I was alive for many years.

There was nothing particularly special about our stay-over. We chatted with some people on AOL, jumped on a trampoline, and played video games.  I stayed up later than the other guys, trying to figure out a small, handheld game system.  I don’t know what it was in that moment that caused me to go numb, to cease experiencing emotion, pain, senses… what stopped my metaphorical heart.

In the next moment, I smelled a strong chemical smell, like bleach but with a lemony twist, and it must have jolted me awake from my deep sleep.  As I woke up, I looked around for something to give me bearing- a familiar sight or person perhaps to jog my confused mind. I see a college aged student standing at the front of the room, teaching graduate level statistics… a clock on the wall ticking past 4, a room full of computers and students that I don’t recognize.  My first emotion is fear, then confusion. It was in this moment, at age 27, that I first realized I had been asleep, for all purposes, for the last 15 years, almost to the day.  Sure I had been conscious on some level, but I hadn’t been present, not until then.

It is a scary thing moving from a trance state into the world of the animated. This would be the first of several moments of clarity I would experience over the course of the next several weeks.  All I knew is that I was completely lost. This blog will be a story of my journey home.

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“This is not the sound of a new man,
or crispy realization.
It’s the sound of the unlocking and the lift away
Your love will be
Safe with me.”
Bon Iver, RE: Stacks


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