Good morning, Jamie.
At least I think it’s morning. This place I’m in, our business (our home) – but not – is always dark. Night. It’s so quiet outside. The street empty, not even that fucking dog from next door barked and barked and barked all day. Just the October wind, a little chill, smell of the high tide. That’s how it was the night I found you.
The night you were murdered...
Something’s happened to me. Something about this blue light I constantly see, just behind my eyelids. It flicks like fire in my brain, keeps me alert, helps me to remember.
Remember. That this is not a dream – not some nightmare I can’t wake from. This is my reality now, and it doesn’t make any sense.
That woman, the angel – Maggie is her name, she told me that this place is called the Asylum. She said it was the place lost souls went to figure out their shit, kind of some metaphysical halfway house. Or a prison...
She said I’m in one of their cells. That it was built by both the angels and the demons who created this place. That this is one of billions of these types of cells that other souls are sitting in, rotting – facing their screw-ups in life.
Mine was not taking my life sooner, Jamie. If this kind of stuff really exists, if we move on to some other place, I should have followed you as soon as I could.
But I didn’t. I waited until they foreclosed on our business and I couldn’t pay the rent anymore on the apartment and ended up on my sister Marcy’s couch in Detroit, where her three kids -- kids I’d never met before -- asked questions like: “Does she ever stop sleeping, Momma?” and “Why does she cry so much?” and “Is she a drug addict?”
I wonder which one of them found my body in Marcy’s tiny living room, filled with Detroit Lions bobble-heads and framed crochet sayings (EVER SO HUMBLE) and that giant bass tacked up on the far wall. I hope I haven’t scarred the little ones for life. It wasn’t my intention. I just needed to end the day to day. I was living off wine, vodka, and pills. An endless supply of pills, provided by Marcy who had equally been raised to drown out problems with liquid and chemical assistance.
When I decided to do it, my last thought -- before I let the blackness take me -- was you: how disappointed you would have been with me. How weak you’d have thought me.
Is that why you won’t respond, Jamie? Are you disappointed in me?
Maybe, maybe I can find you. Maggie said that there is something like a heaven and a hell beyond this prison. I can’t imagine you’d be anywhere but the better of the two. You were just an open heart, kind to everyone, the sweetest smile. You were a flame everyone gravitated to. I’d never seen walking, talking love like that. And your strength, Jamie. Even when we were knee deep in all that debt. Even when this place, our place, was about to get yanked from us, you kept that smile.
Not me. And here I am...
This pulsing in my head, this blue light. It keeps trying to talk to me and I can’t hear a word it’s saying. Just a whisper, a woman’s voice for sure, but it doesn’t make any sense.
And I feel like I’m on a kick. Like when we’d take those 10-hour jobs and have to sit and tat and suck down those tallboy energy drinks and dance to whatever jam was on the Bluetooth speakers just to stay awake. We’d get to the point that we were going off sugar and caffeine and adrenaline and pushing beyond our limits.
That’s what I’m feeling now.
It has me climbing the walls, though. Pacing, waiting. I haven’t even felt like killing myself, get at least a few seconds of peace. Whatever is firing up my brain won’t let me. It wants me to stay sharp, it wants me to feel everything.
I just want to feel you, Jamie.
Can’t you hear me, wherever you are? Won’t you say something?
I’ve never prayed to anything. I wouldn’t know how. Is that what I have to do, to get out of this place. Is that this voice in my head. Some “god.” Something else.
Or is this eternity? Running in circles, staring down at your blood stained into the floor. A stain I can’t get out, no matter how many times I scrub it. And I’ve tried! Am I supposed to feel like this forever. Is this my limbo? This Asylum...
There’s a light, Jamie. All of a sudden. I feel warmth...
There is that angel with the sweet back ink. Maggie. She’s all about business.
What does she want now?
Pray for me...