May 21, 2020:

At the worst moment of the worst moment I literally left my body.

We've all heard of perceptions like these associated with trance states and near-death experiences. I'd been frankly skeptical, with my Materialist intellectual formation and generally rebellious stance. Still. I found myself looking down at myself from a position above and outside, near the ceiling, while from my body seated crosslegged on the floor tears streamed and my mouth worked convulsively, crying out silent words.

I remember thinking, dispassionately, with clinical remove: Well, he's going to die, then. People can't live like that.

The image reminded me of a photo I'd seen in Life or another of the photo glossies. A man in a burn unit, submerged in a tub of what I assume to have been saltwater, lit from overhead with a single streaming light like a beacon of Heaven in the darkness, with his head lolled back and a scream of unimaginable agony flying out from him, flying away from that light, somewhere toward a darkness he wished he could find forever.

People can't live like that, I thought.

Later the weeks that followed were fragments. Like looking at the world through panes of broken glass.