He sat immobile, his body and mind exhausted from fruitless effort to move, to break free from something that he had known in his unconscious state should not have been holding him so snuggly as he regained consciousness in an upright position, seated as he apparently had been just before everything literally went black for no reason . . .
A web of incredibly strong, yet almost invisibly fine threads that held him fast almost prevented his ribs from expanding as he inhaled — miraculously, he seemed to be able to inhale just enough air so that he didn’t feel like he was suffocating as long as he was able to remain calm. The nanosecond he started trying to pull free from the stands of steel that bound him, his heart would start pounding in his chest, and he would start to feel like he was drowning in the sea of air that enveloped him in this incalculably large, dark space. He could just barely discern in the light that fell from somewhere overhead how the light, a soft, full beam, a sharply delineated shaft of white, just faded into dusk somewhere in front of him. He heard only a hollow, high-pitch sort of sustained moan rise and fall in pitch slightly yet regularly somewhere in the space; he couldn’t even speculate about where it came from. He just knew he had never heard anything like it before, and it made the skin on the back of his neck crawl. It neither approached nor withdrew —it just was.
How had he gotten here? Damned if he knew. The last thing he remembered, he was in an airplane flying from Seattle to New York: It was about mid-flight somewhere over the mid-West. He had been leaning back in his Business Class seat gazing out the window to his left at the cloud tops, as he sipped his glass of Scotch, savoring the sting he felt along his tongue as the liquid slid over his taste buds towards the back of his mouth. He loved Scotch, nice, solid, full-bodied Scotch that made no apologies for what it was — it had to made him grimace and inhale sharply through clenched teeth as he swallowed it, otherwise it just wasn’t Scotch. He felt nothing but unbridled contempt for something that called itself Scotch Whiskey whose only effect on him was a let-down. The plane had hit a patch of turbulence a few minutes before, prompting the captain to turn on the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign and request all the flight attendants to take their seats. He recalled that he had been relieved that he had almost finished his Scotch before the shaking started — he hated to waste good liquor by having it spill out, unconsumed, onto whatever indifferent surface happened to be beneath it. Then . . .
Then what? He tried to focus his thoughts, to jog them into life among the shadows of his mind. He had been trying to . . . trying to . . . think of something. What? What?? Someway to do something, right?
It all came rushing back to him — he had to think of some way to dig himself out of the mile-deep hole of debt that he was at the bottom of, as he saw the walls of the hole start to disintegrate above him, before he lost everything. LOST EVERYTHING!!! He had to find some way to make some money! Quickly!!!
He woke up with a gasp.
He was still in his seat on his New York-bound flight, the seat belt fastened across his lap. Grateful that the seat next to him was empty so that nobody could witness his starting awake and his utter horror at his predicament and his complete lack of inspiration for getting out of it.
He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes in hopeless misery — he was never going to figure out anything in time . . .
“Fuck it,” he thought. “Fuck it all! If I lose it, then good riddance!!”
Motionless, like one of those stone statues on Easter Island, he sat there in the plane still shaking from turbulence as it passed over the Great Lakes.
Then . . . suddenly . . . an idea came it him. At first he didn’t even recognize the thought that popped into his weary head as an idea — it just sort of strolled out of his mind before he knew what was happening. By the time he knew that it was an idea, another had appeared magically on the tails of the first. He was dumbfounded. But there they were — ideas. Not yet fully formed, to be sure, but a reasonable proposal worth pursuing both of them.
There was hope after all.
~ TheHyperLinquist ~