Smoke fills my lungs and as I lie back and stare up into the swirling haze I see Jesus walking hand-in-hand with Buddha Gautama to the left of him, Muhammad to his right and in that instant, the time between the conception of the Universe in God's mind and its birth, I suddenly see and laugh silently to myself, something understood by only myself and God, He winking an eye at me thru the haze deep in the back of my brain from eternities hence and simultaneously eternities ago, infinity collapsed in the blinking of one eye and in the white smoky space in my lungs.

Exhaling, a near-invisible column of blue smudges the air. It will be hours before I realise that it is not enlightenment, it is a foggying of the Doors of Perception, an underwater state of bliss between and transcendant of emotion and rational thought but nobody cares, for now not a lot matters. For now, all is the living, pulsing God, neither chicken nor egg, at once both, and nothing, and everything. And for now I can wallow in the Tao and ride the energy of an electron, witness the birth of everything thru the vacuum, and also the death; the nova. But I feel no awe. All I feel is the dewy wet grass soaking thru the back of my shirt and the cold darkness turning my skin to chicken skin. I shiver lightly, and send more smoke moonwards.

I was first taken when I was eight years old, pulled through the wall of my bedroom by the lights. Eight seems to be a common age among people like me, a common starting point to something that changes the rest of our lives.

They say that when you're taken, you see the white light, and then you don't remember anything. They're wrong. You don't remember anything, but your subconcious does, and let me tell you, it scares the hell out of you. Out of the people around you, when they find out that you're not, in the truest sense of the word, a normal human being.

How do I measure the times I've been taken? Do I number them by minutes of lost time? Nosebleeds? Times I've woken up screaming from nightmares about the lights? Scars on my body that weren't there the day before? No. Those are all indicators, side effects. The real way I measure is the tears of loved ones. Every time I wake up screaming, crying, shaking, my wife shares my tears. Why? Because she's scared. She's afraid for me, and it hurts. Every time my children hear me yelling at the lights, they cry. Why? Because they're scared. Afraid, because their father, me, the one who is supposed to be the symbol of strength and leadership, is afraid. Fear. Fear and tears, that's how I measure my experience with the lights. The nosebleeds, the scars, those are all the side effects, they don't really matter, and they are not why I hate the lights.

I hate the lights because my wife is seeing a marriage counselor, trying to find the strength to deal with me. I hate the lights because I can't sleep anymore, can't rest without fragments of parts of shattered memories surfacing to torment me. I hate the lights because my neighbors think that I am clinically insane. I hate the lights because my children are afraid of me, their own father.

I hate the lights because they are tearing my family, my life, apart.

Wish I could've captured that feeling just now...

All it took was stepping outside my lonely apartment for a cigarette on a cool October night. The night sky seemed to float by silently. The clouds looked like they had been cut with a sharp stick and left to move as they please. I guess the wind decided to let me smoke in peace, because the blue swirl from my cigarette rose peacefully and undisturbed amongst the night air.

For the briefest of moments everything that had dominated my thoughts for the past several weeks sunk into the recesses of my mind. There was no school, no job, no troubles at all to unravel my thought process. Everything melted into a few minutes of bliss.

I suppose there is no way of bottling this state of mind. They say a man is an island unto himself, and it rings true for me more and more often.

Every now and then I have a good day...I heard that on a song recently. It's funny, I never really listened to the lyrics of any songs before, but now it's as if every song has a special message for me.

Hills and valleys...

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