[This is another passage from my short story Belly. To start from the beginning, click here.]
“When I close my eyes, I don’t see black, or I don’t see only black. And the black I do see, isn’t a dead blackness. It’s not a black of nothingness. It’s alive with shapes. Not geometric shapes, but irregular shapes. They’re splotches, or swatches of colors. Bright colors. Forest green, and magenta, crimson and cobalt blue.
“They move through the black as if it was water. Not swimming as much as floating, or gliding, as if their sides were covered with tiny bumps, or little hairs, or something small to channel the liquid past them.
“And the strangest thing is, I know these shapes are a part of me. Or, not a part of me as much as they’re others like me. Not physically, obviously, but somehow, we’re the same. I may not be seeing their actual, physical selves. Or what I see as me, or you see as me, may not be real. I don’t know. I may be seeing their essences. And these essences are my essence too.
“And when I go into that black, when I can close my eyes and escape into it, I can escape from the voices too. It’s not that the voices don’t still frighten me, it’s that the voices can’t frighten them, these shapes.
“Whoever the voices are, whatever they ask, it doesn’t mean anything to these shapes. And they tell me, not with words, but with a pulsing of their color, that the voices shouldn’t mean anything to me either.
“That’s when I start to let them, the voices, go. I feel myself, for a moment, dissolving into a colored shape, like the others. I feel myself becoming one of those shapes of color, someone, or something beyond the voices’ reach. Someone the voices don’t matter to. Someone, or something that knows they’re not real.
“But that feeling only lasts for a moment, at least so far, and then I slip back to reality. Or this reality. I’m not ready to completely let go yet, I guess, but I know I need to.”