What do I feel?
Yes, what do I feel? What do I feel?
I feel my heels lift, my toes tighten. Whoa! Everything screams, No no no no!
Yes, I say.
There’s an upsurge of everything in my body that I hold dear; heart, lungs, blood, brain. My ribcage is a cage around my skull. What else? Thoughts. The things that go on inside me that don’t have a name. My soul, if you like.
I am let go, finally, falling. I thought it would be faster than this, and yet there’s a little gap of time in which everything catches up. Perhaps I’m being pushed back, infinitesimally, by the force of a million exhalations far below, keeping me buoyant, floating like a cloud.
Of course it can’t last. Thoughts whoosh – they really do that - through me in a quite unnerving way, as if this, this falling, wasn’t unnerving enough.
I see him, quite clearly, like he’s there beside me keeping pace with my freefall; my father in his 1970s days; safari suit, cigarette, dark hair long and side-burned. Waving goodbye from the car window, smiling then saying something that I couldn’t hear because I was inside, behind glass and he was outside. He would have known that, so maybe it wasn’t important, but I would have liked to hear it anyway.
I see my first lover; the one I didn’t think mattered that much, so I’m surprised she’s turned up. What was it she said? You’ll regret this, you bastard. And perhaps I do now, adding it to the long list of other things to regret: the Glastonbury I didn’t go to that was the best ever; the two years wasted at the wrong university, the wife I’d had once, the job I was offered in Japan that I didn’t take, because I...well, because I couldn’t be bothered. And I regret my dad of course. What did he say to me, that last time?
It’s not all regrets, of course. But I’ve left it too late for anything else. Should have thought of this earlier, shouldn’t I? Before the falling.
There’s only enough time left to land, in one way or another.