Mr. Blue, you did it right
But soon comes Mr. Night, creepin’ over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind, I’ll remember you this…
I’ll remember you this way…
— Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
After the sound of the skull cracking, and after the soft sound of my flesh finding the desert floor, I assumed that all the world would go silent.
I lay there in the midst of my own shards, assuming the great white light would appear.
There wasn’t light, only a parade of broken memories. And their soundtrack.
I counted muffled explosions until they stopped long enough for me to forget about them and to start to wonder if I had gone to sleep or even gone somewhere where hearing wasn’t relevant.
Nothing was certain. Except shattered pieces of me — bone, teeth, memories, white blood cells and forgone giggles — dusting the strange country around me. I could move my right arm, so I caressed the hard earth, swimming in a slick of my own discharge.
I felt exposed. A gaping hole opened and music flooded out, songs that I hadn’t remembered knowing.
“I’ll stop the world and melt with you..”
“You do, something to me. Something that simply mystifies me…”
“I close my eyes. Only for a moment and the moment’s gone…”
Pairs of arms cradled me, lifted me, carried me. When it hurt, I cried, and stared into my mom’s face. She crooned too.
“Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.“
Terror and I slid in and out of sleep together. An alternate self, peering over at black emptiness beyond concussion, constantly poked me to revive.
I gripped the cotton sheet in the cool dark room and stroked it like skin. The comfort of it ate at me.
I held as still as possible.
If I shook or even shuddered, the last thin layer of this strange dust on me might fall away. What held me together was as fine as a moonbeam.
All the imagined places I made to hide began to disappear.
“If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here ’til the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?”
— The Clash