Am I awake or asleep?
Lately I can’t tell one from the other, my mind is useless - I’m uncertain who that woman feeding me medicine is, if this room really exists or that stiff and rotting body is mine. Some days it takes all my mental strength to remember my name. Most days I can’t. I lie on my back and wonder where I am, I wonder when my life has ceased to make sense, where all my memories of yesterday have gone; I lie and try to bring back reality, but everything is so messy and tangled. I feel utterly lost. Every day I falter through the jungle of my thoughts and every night I lose my way.
Sometimes I see my dead mother standing by the bed. She’s young again and smiling at me, she’s lulling me back to sleep and I feel this is what matters, this is what’s real. But then somebody is calling me “Grandpa, grandpa!” and the voice beckons me to follow, forces me to open my eyes and return. Where to, I wonder? Is it life or is it death I return to?
I hear them talking. They talk about the pills that make me sleepy and inadequate, they click their tongues, whisper medical conditions and hospital names. Slowly I drift away, observing them from the corner of the room and suddenly there is light everywhere, blinding, magnificent light. Then I remember being born, I recall pushing my way out of my mother’s body, I recollect such strength and determination to live that it’s almost painful.
A young woman is looking down at me; her face is illuminated by unconditional love. “Mama,” I murmur softly and the woman starts crying.