Someone was in the kitchen. A headcount. K, G, Flapjack, Secrets, Toki, Dayglow. Who's that other one?
Everyone else had gone home. There was no one else here.
But there is.
But there isn't, idiot. No one else could be here.
But there is. There are shadows moving in the kitchen.
It's your half-blind eyes in the dark. No one is there.
Then why do I hear screaming?
You're tired, I tell myself. Just tired. It's 5:30AM. You checked. Close your eyes, go to sleep. Your friends are here.
High pitched whistling, screaming. Pounding.
I'm whimpering. I feel myself being dragged away. Dragged into darkness. My body is but a membrane. My viscous soul is seeping out like a wound. Dragged by hooks-for-hands.
I am crying and screaming and shaking. My body feels so hot and my head so heavy, a hundred pounds. It's as if it takes all my strength just to hold it up. I want to go outside, into cool, fresh air. Away from here.
I have a hard time understanding what's going on. Diego is trying to sit me upright. My whole body is cracking mud and stone. My face is covered with my hands. I'm shaking and crying. I couldn't hear anything but screaming.
I really don't want to die. I am being so loud. People are trying to sleep.
I'm sorry, I say again and again, as if it even means anything anymore. I'm so sorry.
All I feel is blackness. I don't want to die.
I don't know how long it went on. It felt like hours. My friends help me back.
I check the clock. 5:21AM. It can't be. It was 5:30. It was...
I love my friends so much. It's 9:40AM. I've had trouble sleeping, as I always do after these things. I'm very embarrassed. I don't ever want anyone to see me like that. That is my most vulnerable. That is my least human state. It is wallowing, narcissistic, and uncontrollable. It is shameful for me. I know I can depend on my friends, but it is a state in which I feel I am always asking too much. It feels that, every time, I've got to wring myself free of the Grim Reaper's grasp. To ask my friends to help me with that, to reach out and wrestle me free, feels I am asking too much. It is not their place, and I am mortified that they must come to my aid against a completely unprovoked situation time and again.
I have a big mouth about my personal problems. I feel that if I speak of them out in the open, they aren't so enigmatic and humongous as they appear looming over my head. But, last night I realized that no matter how prepared I think I am, no matter how much I flippantly talk of all this like it really doesn't matter to me or it's no big deal, the greater a deal it becomes. I was not prepared to have a panic attack—no one ever is—but I most certainly was not prepared to subject my friends to such an indiscreet window into my verbally-dwarfed issues.
All I can think about now is how thankful and lucky I am to have such supportive, loving, and understanding friends. No one told me to shut up. No one told me to just go to bed. No one told me to go outside. No one chastised me for being loud. No one even cast a sarcastic aside once it was all over, like "Guess we're not getting any sleep after all".
I might end up being very quiet today, which is unlike me. Lesson learned: speak softly and carry a big stick.