And so you get out of bed and remonstrate with them, but they ignore you. They don’t even look at you; they continue looking in the direction of the bed. And so you look at the bed too and see yourself lying there, pale and apparently lifeless.
You have enough presence of mind to realise that your consciousness has left your body; you’ve heard of this happening in accounts you’ve read in which people have described near-death experiences. And so you try to get back into your body, but without success. You watch helplessly as people place your unresisting form into a bag and zip it up. You follow them as they take it downstairs and place it in the back of an ambulance. You climb into the vehicle beside them, expecting that any second you will feel a jolt as an invisible piece of elastic pulls your mind back to where it belongs. You will it; you wait. You will it harder, but to no avail.
You continue to accompany the body that you know as home, and by now you’re feeling desperate. But still you hope. It’s only a matter of time. ‘It must only be a matter of time,’ you say to yourself as you watch your body being taken into a white painted room and placed in a big drawer. They close the drawer so you can no longer see yourself. What do you do now?
Suddenly you find yourself back in your house. The bed is empty; the house is empty; the world feels empty, even though you can still hear the wind in the wires, the birds singing in the trees, and the hum of traffic on the road outside. And so you go outside and walk the lanes that are so familiar but now feel strangely remote. You don’t know what else to do.
A car approaches and you instinctively step off the road and onto the verge. The driver is somebody you recognise and you wave because old habits die hard. You know it’s only because old habits die hard. You don’t expect them to wave back and they don’t. Someone else you recognise is approaching on foot, accompanied by a dog you’ve petted a few times. The dog looks at you with curiosity in its eyes, but the human ignores you.
And then the scene begins to fade and darken into a grey mist which hides everything from view. You can no longer even see the road beneath your feet and begin to acknowledge that the inevitable has finally happened.
What do you do now? You wait because there’s no other option. But for how long?