The Memories of an Addicted Mind
Sensations rush into your mind. It’s always like this. Sound crescendos in your ears, starting from the softest of whispers that caress and tickle ears like those of your younger sister when you were 6 and she told you all her secrets before disappearing with him; and grows to a deafening roar that gets it loudest right before muffling out of existence. You are haunted by the explosion that almost killed you but killed so many others … And the noise, how it never ended, only changed into a persistent ringing that remained through those years of struggle afterward. The sounds begin and end in a blink, but are intense enough for you to always feel compelled to clasp your hands to your ears and shudder. You are never sure if you shudder from the sounds itself or how they bring up the image of little sister’s haunted eyes in your mind.
Random images, sounds and smells plague your senses and your mind molds them into memories that change with each experience. The hands of a forgotten lover grasp you firmly and they smile teasingly at you, the air smelling like sea salt and vanilla. They turn into those of a friend stabbing you repeatedly with a knife in the shadows of an alley that smells of something rancid, the red polish of their nails grasping the knife hilt are illuminated by the light of passing cars. In the distance a sign for a diner blinks neon light into the darkness of that cold night. Later on those grasping hands turn into the tiny grasping arms of the baby you retrieved from her mother’s stiff arms. You were merely scavenging and had no idea that the still bundle could be anything alive next to something so long dead.
The images fade and only sounds remain. You hear the screams of joy that time when you snuck off and had your first experience, so high pitched and stupidly young with that annoying nervous tremor of youth. You hear the sobs of your father after the weight of the news hit him. She was only 4. You hear the coos of that baby again. She was so innocent and so skinny. She didn’t survive the night and you felt so relieved and so hungry. Yet again you are always compelled to vomit but your stomach is empty so your dry heaves only produces saliva and air. And then darkness and silence and another few seconds have gone by.
Before you can recover you are savagely beaten by everyone with whom you ever laid a hand on, and there were so many - the kid you picked on in grade school who looked like what you sister could have grown up to become had he not taken her; the poor wretch for whose few crumbs of food were worth beating him to death. Each punch a reminder of the pain you inflicted on others and each kick in the gut a dire warning that with each time you go through this there will be more waiting to inflict more damage. You relive the torture that led you here - your eye balls are plucked out, each finger nail peeled off, each tooth ripped out, each bone broken, set afire and burned to death. She smiled so hard while they were doing it, yet another friend, and she smiled so hard when you returned the favour. While this is all taking place you are electrified with intense pleasure like a drug to dull the excruciating agony. This is always your favourite part of the experience. One time they found you begging for the pain not to end, just so you can be jolted with pleasure longer. Perhaps one day you will never recover from this part.
And then everything is as it was and it is all over in less than a moment. Mercifully, everything happens one at a time, as if your body is a machine and this is all a biological systems check. After your first time you emerged a whimpering ball, wracked with sobs and screaming for someone that later on, when questioned about, you had no recollection – just a figment from your stressed memory. Yet you do it again, and again, and again ... Haunted by the memories of the past. Dying is just too sweet; being reborn even better; staying alive – merely a matter of staying alive long enough for that life to have meaning.