You are present. Wholly present. Here. You know that. Aware that only minutes ago you were conscious of sitting on the hard backed chair, your feet grounded, the draught at the window, the tripod supporting the light bar.
But you are absent now too. Wholly absent. Elsewhere.
And you don’t notice the lights.
You’ve talked about it with her. She’s explained that you need to be in both places at once. You need to connect with both. Then. You need to relive it. You need to be there. More than a slow motion replay – catching glimpses in your peripheral vision, suddenly noticing furniture, curtains; hearing the sounds outside, the whispers, the breathing; and the smells – the short sharp stench. It’s time travel. And you cannot alter it. Not one line. You know what will happen. You know how it ends. And that hits you now. Feeling. The catch in your throat. The tension in your body – shoulders, thighs, calves, gut. Breathing speeding. The tightness in your chest. The rhythms erratic. You feel.
You felt. You feel.
Then and now merge.
And when they do you don’t notice the lights.
Trapped in your head, knowing how it ends, you cry. For you now. For you then. And you can’t see the lights.
Or you try to escape. Closing your eyes against your past. Clenching them tight.
Or the memory. No, not memory, memory is wrong. It is time travel. But with no sound of thunder. You are reliving. Re-seeing. Re-feeling. Re-experiencing. You are experiencing. Sometimes the experience is foregrounded, so dominant, you don’t notice the lights.
You are there. You are. Then.
The pads continue to buzz in each hand though. Sometimes sensing their vibrations against your thighs as you grip tighter, nails in palms.
You are here. You are. Now.