Wow, that stinging I’ve been feeling on my left arm, under the elbow, on my right leg, just under my ass, and those two spots on my back, as well as all my other cuts and grazings on my neck and arm…it’s all hurting more and more…they’re sharper pains now.
My ketamine high must be finally wearing off.
Though I’m hurting more, and I don’t feel quite so stoned, I don’t feel more awake. As I lie here, prone on the road and soaked…in my blood?…I seem to be hovering between wakefulness and sleep.
Wait a minute…those weren’t large insects that smacked into me. I’m hearing more and more intense gunfire all around me. That pain I feel…those are bullets inside me!
Oh, my God. I’m going to die.
Estranged from my family, I’ve no way of contacting them. All of my foreigner friends have left the island, so I’ve no one to help me. Those Chinese men who were leading me to safety, I see them lying dead in pools of blood no different from my own growing pool of blood.
I’m dying, and no one is here to help me.
I’m getting light-headed. My K high is wearing off, but it hasn’t gone completely. My semi-conscious state, almost like hypnosis, is replacing my high, in keeping my mind in a dreamlike state…
BOOM! A huge explosion just rocked the area I’m lying in. It must have been close, for I just felt a shower of pebbles and dirt fall all over me. The flash of light from the explosion blinded me for the moment.
My whole body feels like it’s vibrating…I’m drifting off…
Wait!…No, that isn’t my blood all around me…it’s just my melted form again, merging with my surroundings…My surroundings are merging with me, too, all those pebbles, and that dirt…
Everything within me, and outside of me…we’re becoming ONE.
That pain I feel…it’s just the last remains of my suffering ego…as I merge with the Absolute…
I don’t want to lie like this, on my chest and stomach anymore…I’ll shift and lie on my left side…There’s that’s better.
I can barely keep my eyes open…Everything’s a blur in front of me…Sometimes flashes of light break up the darkness of the night…Some of the light is glowing…it seems like flames…Am I in Hell?
No, it can’t be Hell…I, Sid Arthur Gordimer, may be about to die, but as a saint and spreader of peace, love, and social justice, I’m leaving this world of pain and entering nirvana…Yes, that’s it!
I can hear the faint mumble of voices…people running by…Maybe some of them are staying here, by my side, wishing to help me and keep me company…how kind of them…They must be my surviving followers!
I should say something to them before I die…I have so little energy left…Can I think of the right way…to say it in Mandarin?…Let me see…
“All things,” I begin mumbling, in my surely broken, if not totally inarticulate, Chinese, “come to be…then they are no more…You must strive…to end the wars…help everyone…find peace of mind…feed, clothe, and house the poor…with all diligence.”
Was what I just said…at all intelligible?…I doubt it.
Whoa! Another blinding flash of light…with a deafening boom!…That was the closest explosion yet…More pebbles and dirt…are dropping on my body.
Everything’s black and silent…for the moment, at least.
Wait: a faint, but growing glow…and an indistinct hum…moaning, unintelligible sound…Getting clearer now…
Hey! Is that my father, the king?…I’m having a vision…
“Son,” he begins to say. “You are about to enter the realm of the Absolute. I must warn you, though: it won’t be pleasant at first. Recall the Unity of.Action, how all opposites are united and flow, each from one extreme to the other. These include Heaven and Hell, pleasure and pain, good and evil, love and hate, peace and war. To experience true nirvana, you must first endure the most excruciating of pain. To know the mastery of the biting head of the ouroboros, you must first know the pain of its bitten tail. Prepare yourself.”
“Yes, Father, I’m ready,” I say in a hoarse, weak voice that I can barely hear. He is showing me a father’s true love, for the first time in my life! This is so cathartic! Am I healing my wounds with my family? Is this the end of my estrangement from them?
“Also, remember the Unity of Space,” he continues. “In your union with the Absolute, you will also feel your ego merging with everything around you. It will be painful, but only insomuch as you are still attached to your separate state of existence. Allow your body to be scattered into an infinite amount of infinitesimal pieces, and you will feel minimal pain.”
“Yes, Father,” I say. “I’ll remember.”
“Sidney,” a familiar female voice rings in my ears.
“Is that my stepmother, reconciling herself with me?” I ask.
“No,” she says. “This is your mother, who never died. There is no stepmother. You imagined that. Stop splitting your living mother into good and bad halves. Accept me as one, with all my imperfections.”
“Yes, Mother,” I say. “Sorry.”
“Your life is done,” she says. “You wanted nirvana, so we as a family didn’t stand in your way. Before you enter it, we wanted to say goodbye to you. We all love you.”
“Thank you,” I say, teary-eyed. “I love you, too.”
“Goodbye, my husband,” Jessie says. “Raoul wants to say goodbye, too. See him waving to you?”
“Yes, I do,” I say, waving back to him. “Goodbye, my son.”
“Goodbye, Sid,” David says. “I’m sorry for all the fighting. I was in the wrong. I shouldn’t have been so envious.”
“Goodbye, David,” I say in sobs. “I’m sorry, too, that things ended so badly for you. I never meant you any harm.”
“It’s my fault,” he says. “I brought it all on myself.”
“The time has come, Son,” my father says. “Go in peace.”
Suddenly, a huge explosion blasts right in front of me, like a giant, fiery mushroom, burning my skin and blowing pieces of rock all over me. It stings with powerful blows on me, jerking me back a bit; but amazingly, I’m still lying in my reclining position, as if it had been only a gust of wind.
Still…I really feel…as though…the end…is near.
The end…not only for me,…but also…for all of the world.
I knew it all along…We’re all going to die.
My eyes…are barely open…I’m lying…limp…on the ground, but still…reclining…on my left side.
I’m looking up…into the night sky. Is that…a bomber plane…right above me? It’s so dark…Is something…dropping from it?…A black angel…coming down from…Heaven…to take me up…and carry me away…to paradise?
I’ve experienced…the flames of Hell…so now,…I should be going…from the one extreme…to the other…to Heaven.
Yes, that’s it!…Before the extreme light…of bliss,…I must be enveloped…in extreme black…like that black void…I swam into before…
The dropping black object…is getting closer…and closer…
Everything is…infinite black now…it’s just about here.
The black angel…is just upon me…almost touching…
Wow! Bright light everywhere, burning, scattering me all over the–