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Chapter 1

The Bridge


By the time I was finally able to get up off the floor, I was still disorientated. The pool of vomit I was laying in smelled like sour milk and bile and the pain was slowly creeping into the elbow I landed on when I blacked out. 

I staggered to the bathroom to get a something to clean myself up with. When I caught my reflection in the mirror it took a moment for me to recognize my own face, I wasn’t an albino when I woke up this morning, but the face staring back at me was as white as a linen bed sheet. All the blood in my skin was sucked into my internal organs to protect them from damage due to oxygen deprivation.

I went back to the rancid pool of vomit and fell to my knees, then began to clean up the mess. I never realized how much the human stomach could hold until I saw it spilled all over my kitchen floor and I had to sop it up with a washcloth; it wasn’t nearly big enough to absorb the mess. I did what I could with it then switched to a dishtowel that was hanging on the handle of the dishwasher.

I never saw this one coming. It had been years since anything like this happened to me, and back then, I had no Idea what caused it. Now I knew better. Eight years can teach you a lot, now I understood.

I was walking back from the office that’s in the front of the complex where I live, my wife works there. Everything had been fine with me for so long that I had almost forgotten everything I went through to get here, I actually felt normal. On my way back to my apartment I happened to pass by one of my neighbors who was sitting on his patio, smoking a cigarette and staring at the floor. (I say “Happened to pass” but the reality is that there isn’t much that just “Happens” to me anymore. Everything is for a reason and I spend a lot of time figuring out what that reason is)

His daughter had recently passed away and he was in bad shape, really bad shape. I had been counseled in the past to wear, or keep on my person, a dark colored stone to protect me from absorbing other people’s negative energy. But being me, I figured I could handle anything. Boy was I wrong, and what a way to find out.

I walked over to his patio, greeted him, shook his hand and asked him how he was holding up. That was all it took. He started out slow at first, telling me about the funeral and all the people who came to show their respects. Then he went into the arrangements he made for her estate and how much his ex-wife was selling off and keeping the proceeds. He sold and gave away, well donated, most of his own assets because material things no longer meant anything to him.

It wasn’t until he described the hospital room where she died that I got a strange tingling sensation down the center of my body (that was the warning that I didn’t heed) or understand. I guess it just like when an epileptic feels an aura right before they have a seizure.   

I was absorbing all of his pain, and fast. When he described seeing a coyote just minutes after she passed I felt a shudder course through my body which caused most my muscles to twitch. As he kept talking, pouring out all of his pain, I started to feel light headed and nauseous. I felt like I was going to pass out right there in front of god and everybody.

I cut the conversation short and headed the few hundred feet to my front door. Barely making it up the stairs still upright I pushed the door open, staggered in. Everything was going black. I made it as far as the kitchen before I passed out and hit the floor. I guess I’m lucky I spilled my guts as I was falling, or at least I think I did,  or else I would have choked on my own vomit.

I don’t think I was there very long before I came to. The last thing I remember hearing was the thud from my body hitting the ceramic tile floor, but I didn’t feel anything. When I opened my eyes and could finally move, the first sensation I could feel was the warmth of the slick, gritty vomit between my face and the cool floor. 

Everyone calls being an empathy or psychic a gift, that’s a bunch of b*******. It’s a burden you learn to live with like being born with one leg shorter than the other except that no one points and stares at an em-path, they just think you’re a weirdo. That’s why I haven’t told many people about it, just a few trusted souls that understand what it’s like to be different.

That was the bridge I crossed, the one between the five physical senses and the sixth. The only example I can think of to help someone relate to this experience is that I felt like I was John Coffey in The Green Mile.  I took in this man’s pain to the point of overload on myself. I can only hope that in some way I was able to help him or eased his suffering with this curse of mine...

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