All of a sudden my ears were split in two by a sound, one not unlike the shattering of thunder. Close by me, near me, and from all around me came the sound of rushing, falling water. For the life of me I couldn’t see where it was coming from, but the way it shook the ground was akin to a seizure, for that I knew the sound was real. I could never describe the rumble for it was unlike anything I had ever imagined, let alone heard for myself. I thought that some titan, some colossus whose might was herculean, may have taken the entire seven seas within the cup of its hand, and was slowly pouring it out, sending the torrent cascading into an abyss of ten million fathoms, its darkness almost shining with the colour of death.
I shook my head, throwing aside the fiends of my imagination, and clawed desperately for a handhold on reality. I listened, my breath trapped far inside me, as the sound slowly stopped. Gradually I felt as though I was alone, like whatever force I had encountered had finally left. I was wrong.
I waited; fearfully certain that I would be ripped from existence on the Devil’s hairy back. I expected the sound to begin again, to draw closer, to find me. I listened for death on his horse but he did not come. I was left alone, all alone.
The isolation I felt in the darkness hacked at me with panic. It was a new, foul tasting fear, one I had always dreaded. All through my life I cowered at the idea of being on my own, clinging onto relationships with people I did not want just so that I would feel desired. I was sick and I needed help but at that moment, as I listened to the sound of silence, I was more alone than I had ever been.
My mind drifted; my past, my present, and the idea of my future, all passed before my eyes. I saw faces I had long forgotten, and all the wrongs I had ever done. They say that men who look into the eyes of death see their lives staring back at them, doom was nowhere to be seen, but my life was there. I felt all the feelings I had had through my existence, my heart soared and fell again and again.
I didn’t understand time, especially then when it seemed to have stopped. I didn’t jump for things, I fell into dead ends, always hoping that the right life would come along if I just stayed where I was. Maybe that’s why I was an old man with nothing to show for it. Maybe that was it.