Butterfly Effect

butterfly-effectI can hear everything, but I see nothing. I want to move, but I can’t. I feel as though I am restrained and yet I don’t sense anything binding me. I turn my head left and right to ascertain my surroundings, but it is pointless. For a different reason than I think. My brain is instructing the muscles in my neck to exercise, to move such that my head will swivel. But, the message is never received. There is some gap in the communication between mind and body, and I don’t like it.

Footsteps, mumbling voices, and the distant sound of cars passing on a street. It’s as if my sense of hearing is working just fine, although slightly muddled, but my sight is failing me. I can sense my chest moving up and down, Slowly, but surely. It is some indication that I am, in fact, alive.

And even though I cannot see the world around me, a movie begins to play inside my head. It’s one of those times when you wish you could grab some paper and jot down what you are seeing and feeling. This would make an incredible story. Usually, I would just chalk it up to laziness. I’ll remember it later and write it down then. But, this time is different. I want to write down these thoughts, capture these images, desperately. But, I can’t. That gap in communication between brain and body is affecting the muscles in my arms, hands, and fingers just like it is affecting my head.

I begin to sense movement, as if I am somehow becoming a puppet in my own movie, my strings being tugged to play out my part. I begin to dance around the set, seemingly unrelated objects passing by me. It is all so surreal – a notebook, a paper airplane, an acoustic guitar – they must mean something, but what?

And then, I can feel the fluttering wings of a butterfly alight on my nose. My real nose, not my puppet nose. And light begins to filter back into my consciousness. What was once a dark room begins to become an expansive space filled with daylight.

The voices around me become more audible. A sense of clarity and understanding washes over me. “Are you okay sir? What is your name?” The first thing I see as the light returns is Joseph, at least that’s what his name tag states. The paramedics are stabilizing me, strapping me down to a board, deeming my body physically immobile.

The connection between my brain and body has begun to function once again. As I swivel my head to look left, I see the mangled twist of metal that used to be my car. And I finally realize, there is so much more to do. I look beyond the wreckage to catch a fleeting glimpse of what looks like a butterfly just beginning to disappear from view. And I whisper to it in the faintest voice possible, “Thank you.”