...Judgement Day... (Death Express (or) The Quit Smoking Express)
Tiny flames dance around your ankles as you try to reach the top of the staircase lined in stars and threads of clouds. You are afraid of heights but you are even more afraid of fire. You sprint up into the sky towards a swirling black smoke portal that is pulling you towards it. You are aware that the stairs beneath you have vanished. You are floating, and your body is no longer.
You are Spirit now and you merge with the Universe. Your thoughts are full and you understand the answers to everything. You have wondered about this your entire life and in the split second between Life and Death, you are here. A female spirit approaches.
"What have you done?" She circles around you, swirls and sighs as you feel a terrible longing. Your essence becomes tight and constrained. You are not sure what she is asking. She knows what you are thinking and says, "You are missing a vital part of yourself. You have stolen breath from the life you were living and have not completed it. You must go back and start again. Reclaim your lost breath. You are banished from here until you have accounted for every breath."
You are filled with dread and become heavy. You begin to fall from the sky and you are plummeting towards the earth. You don't want to go back. You didn't care enough to do the right thing by your body this time around and you thought it was over, finally. A better place is what they said when you were dieing of the Black Cancer that ate you alive. You were never so hungry, never so pitiful.
You smash against the earth and become liquid. You are vaporized and become part of the ocean. You are no longer you. You have nothing to remember or to forget. You are being made to start again. How long will it be that you must wait? You are a drop of water.
Before the Blackness Came
The smoke covered the pain and shame. The punishment was misdirected towards yourself. You took the guilt and the embarrassment and rejection and sucked it in. You made it a point to shut your mouth and ingest the poison to make you feel better. You had no idea this would last your entire life, these tiny white and brown devils hiding under the seat of the car or in the back of your junk drawer. You were happy to take the time to nurture this unnatural thing until it became a presence you couldn't control. IT became an entity unto itself. IT became bigger than you and dictated your every thought.
You thought IT was your friend in times of "Oh, I will never get sick or oh, I really don't give a shit what people say about me or oh, I can quit anytime I want to." IT became the hardest thing you ever had to do to leave it behind. IT became something you were greatly ashamed of and IT made you an outcast. You had to hide it, steal it, conceal it from your loved ones. You spent literally thousands of dollars and hours on it. You definitely lost precious time and life hanging out with IT.
You never felt anything wrong, you got sick and that was because it was cold, or you were just susceptible to being sick more often. You coughed and your throat was dry, your teeth turned colors and so did your fingers. You stunk and lied and hid. You felt like a fugitive in the company of those better than you, stronger than you. You could NOT STOP.
You didn't stop after all the cessations, all the patches and gums and fake plastic cigarettes. You said you would stop when the baby was born, when the second baby was born...when your friend died, when your parent died. When they turned to be $5.00 a pack or $7.00 or $10.00...
Nope...you had not stopped yet.
Before the Lights Went Out
Finally it happened. You became sick because of it. Even then, you stuck the cigarettes in your mouth and continue to love IT, love that Death was coming for you as quick as it could get here. You would die happy as long as you didn't have to be divorced from IT. Little did you know that you would have to come back and face IT again until you got it right.
You lost physical parts of yourself...teeth, hair, lung function and the lights in your eyes went out. Your skin turned yellow and gray and wrinkled way before the pain inside began to sizzle its dark acid inside you. You felt that black creature creep into your bloodstream and cells and felt it walk around like a thousand fleas biting you as your organs began to sizzle with disease. You gave up, you gave in, now its too late.
No one can help you now. Not all the money in the world, no doctor, no loving mother or father or child. You waited too long. You had no dream worth chasing and you felt that you were immune in your weak flesh, boiling and covering the insecurity of your life with a screen of smoke. You dreamt of death and then you walked around in it for months. You waited and wished for it to arrive and finally just when you thought it was over, the fires began. You still do not escape. You still have to be strong. You still have to try to be a better more courageous person. The window of opportunity has slammed shut and glass has smashed out everywhere. There is no safe place to step here as you head for the staircase to Eternity.
She is up there, waiting for you. She will tell you the same thing. You must reclaim your breath. This place where you stand reading this will give you the time and the the chance to change it. But Will You?