I won’t claim it was as easy as just packing your bags and leaving them behind. If only it was that easy. There were memories associated with my mind. Things like rationale and common sense. The rudiments of my meager social skills. They all had to go out the window. And believe me, convincing yourself that you don’t need them is slightly tougher.
But it can be done. Consider me living proof. On that fateful autumn day, my mind was clearer than it ever had been. A perfectly conducive state for leaving it behind; no attachments, no guilt, just pure freedom.
There I was, lounging in my brand new pink futon, inhaling an eclectic mix of smoke and vapor, absorbed in a phantasmagoria of chemical sources. For some reason, I was feeling exceptionally free that day, and my thoughts went careening back and forth across the span of my sparse lifetime. A few incidents splattered across my consciousness, the only ones worth remembering through the sludge of drug-induced haze. My eventual expulsion for spraying super-glue across the college façade. The time when I was caught driving my aunt’s minivan on the county fair roller-coaster. But for some reason, my mind drifted to that almost miniscule (but as it would turn out to be, highly significant) incident with Karen in the college cafeteria. Maybe it was because it was one of the first few times I had felt truly in control of myself, master of my destiny, king of all I perceived, blah blah and so on. Freedom, not very much unlike what I was feeling that moment. And I thought to myself. I’d like it if I was always free, unfettered by the retentions of my mind, unchained from social mores and customs. Everything I had done till then were mere reflections of my rebellious spirit, feeble in their effort and transient. I needed something more …permanent. A smile played on my lips; through the fog, I looked around me. And there it was, the way out. Till that point of time, till those exact circumstances had been in place, it had looked like just another commonplace item. But then and there, it became my exit. The long road out of my mind.
I stood up, shaky at first, then with a little more resolve, and staggered forward, in its direction. Inside my mind, a plan was being wildly concocted, which as it turned out to be, was also the last one ever made there. By the time, I had reached the window, I had gathered enough momentum to take me sailing out into empty air. I savored the breeze that seemed to uplift me like a bird, just for a few seconds. And then, gravity claimed me.
You know how they say, that your life flashes before your eyes when you’re about to die. Well, I’d just had that video played and I wasn’t much for reruns. So I admired the rush, the exhilarating thrill of losing control and not being able to do a damn thing about it. And then, I felt something hit me. Not the crushing pain of the macadamized road outside my apartment. Something softer. Like eider down. At the time, I thought it was heaven.
Much later, I found out that it was definitely not heaven, when an irate truck driver dragged me out of the back of his open-end truck which had been carrying several eiderdown mattresses. There was a large me-shaped hole in the middle of them where the mattresses had cushioned my fall, and saved my life. My mind however, coward that it was, had fled the scene.
And that’s how I left it behind. Quite literally threw it out the window. I walked away from the truck driver, covered in duck feathers, cackling like a hyena. There was no more mind. The shock of near-death had been convincing enough to make me believe I didn’t need it. Only my spirit, my will to live and whatever random thought felt it good enough to reside there, remained in my head. I was free.