There is only darkness, absolute and all encompassing.
No reference point, no thought,no awareness, only the blackness of infinite space.
Then a tiny spark of consciousness flares in the massive void,impossibly tiny and far away.
The spark grows rapidly into a small point of light,there is warmth in the blackness.
Then it begins.
I want to go back to the darkness, I do not want the process to start, I am happy here.
Alas, the process will not be ignored,one by one they start coming online in the back of my consciousness.
First it is the ache in the upper back,my body trying to stretch while I slept to alleviate the ache is what caused me to come awake at such a slow rate that all of my all day, every day aches and pains started registering with my mind individually like someone walking through a giant building complex, turning on the lights in each room as they pass.
First it is the upper back and neck, stiff and sore from laying on the concrete floor under a truck, straining and stretching into unnatural positions trying to get bolts started in the bell housing of a transmission yesterday.
This morning the legacy of landing headfirst with my arms stretched out in front of me, flying through the air at forty five miles an hour and slamming headfirst into the pavement after high siding my motorcycle in a curve twenty some years ago comes rushing to the fore.
My mind revolts and I roll onto my side determined to seek out the bliss of unconsciousness.
Then the next one lights up like a neon sign in the recesses of my cave.
The BIG one.
My lower back.
The big red flashing light that is forever and ever destined to be lit up in my pain center.
After blowing out the bottom disc in my spine twenty eight years ago trying to move a four inch gas line with one inch thick walls that was twenty feet long and living in excrutiating pain for five years and fifteen doctors, thrice weekly chiropractic visits and every test modern medicine could possibly devise, They finally knocked me out and rolled me on my belly and opened me up.
The doctor spread my back open, scraped out the entire disk at L7, part of the disc at L6 and then proceeded to saw a two inch chunk of bone out of my pelvic bone, break it into little pieces and then stack those pieces around the vertebrae so they could slowly grow back together like a broken arm mending and then sewed me up after five hours .
It never grew back together like it should because I was young and very active and couldn't stand laying around for two years waiting for it to fuse together.
I have lived in constant misery since that day.
This is only one of the bright lights now starting to register on the pain board in my mind.
As I lay there, barely aware of where I am, the process continues, next is the left wrist, also broken while landing on my head in that one wreck, one of well over fifty car and motorcycle wrecks I put myself through in my younger years when the Death Wish was upon me.
I had no fear.
Then I broke it again, two years later in the same exact spot.
Next to come rushing to my dulled senses is my left ankle, twisted so badly so many times from skateboarding as a teenager, that doctor told me that I had permanently re arranged the bones in that foot.
It aches and it pops when I walk.That one is my personal barometer, I can always feel nasty weather coming when that starts throbbing.
Suddenly another old wound sputters for my attention, the big toe on my right foot.
I hate to even tell this one on myself.
My last year of a very troubled existence in my learning avoidance program.
I am in the locker room at the gym, all alone, stoned out of my gourd as usual.
I am just finished getting dressed and heading for the door.
The door is open and has the divider in front of it so people can't see in as they walk by.
I get about fifteen feet from it and a small orange ball comes rolling straight at me from under the divider.
Instinct says to kick the ball so I take two long steps and swing my leg back and lay a kick to send that small, orange ball into orbit.
Imagine my surprise when not only does that ball NOT go anywhere, it just stops as the bones in my big toe and the one next to it explode inside my shoe!
It was an indoor shot put.
Oh MY GOD was that painful.
That took weeks to heal, my big toe healed crooked and twisted and the best part was that the school I was going to had three main buildings, all going up the side of a hill.
I can vividly remember going up and down one set of stairs that had one hundred and twenty five steps in it, several times each day, on crutches!
Next comes the right knee, I have had Bursitis in it for years now, the slow throb matches my beating hearts pace perfectly.
Oh, the right shoulder lights off like a rocket. I separated that one when I was six and then again when I landed on my head and broke the other wrist.
Yes, there for a while I had a cast on one and the other in a sling, my father replied to the doctors response that he was afraid I might get constipated by taking pain medicines that that would probably actually be a good thing seeings how I currently couldn't wipe my ass with either hand!
The next old reminder is my right hip, I think that one is degenerating because I carry all of my weight on it, favoring it because of my back pain.
The joys of aging.
By now I am almost completely awake but my thoughts are fuzzy because I am slightly hung over.
I roll over again and my neck cracks.
I finally am awake enough to realize I have to get vertical and get to the bathroom. More popping and snapping, it sounds like I am stepping on dry sticks as I shuffle the two freaking steps into the bathroom.
Stepping back in and laying back down the cacophony of my ailments settle into their usual daily routine and they shuffle off, one by one, into my subconsciounce again as my mind starts taking up its task at hand, where are my cigarettes?
When I was a child my dear departed and much loved Grandmother used to occasionally make this statement to me,one at the time I could not grasp the meaning of, "Son, if I knew how much it hurts to get old, Ida never done it."
I certainly know what she was talking about now.
Welcome to my world.