The Art Of Losing Myself

I was an ordinary kid. Just look at the kids around your neighborhood, playing and laughing - I was one of them. But somehow I found myself different, someone whom the world could not accept.

That was when I felt isolated from the crowds that surround me. I was a part of them, but never fully them. I was in the crowd, yet strangely I was alone. They surge and move as one, and I, I was inevitably drawn along.

I tried many things to fulfil myself as a person. I tried physical exercises, I tried excelling in studies. But I didn't feel satisfied. There are days I wake up, times I've wondered why was it that I had this sensation I was the only one alive on earth.

I found solace in doing stunts. I didn't know how I got into it, but once I did, I was addicted. All these were challenges to me, not impossibilites.

My life was nothing. Friends came and went. Acquaintances I had aplenty, but not really close people. My family and I didn't really have what most people would call a normal relationship. Heck, not even a strained relationship. We had nothing going on, period.

I lived fully for the stunts. Some friends I told my desires to, laughed and said I was stupid. Some called me crazy. Yeah, perhaps I was. Perhaps I was out of my mind. But within these acts, I found solace. An emptiness that I clung to that was strangely familiar, in this fast paced world.

There was once I tried cut off my oxygen intake by submerging myself underwater, and also to break the world's record of eight minutes of living without oxygen. I failed at the eleventh hour. But before I lost consciousness, I felt a sense of what most people would call pride. But I call it contentment. There was something I was good at! Something I could claim for myself.

I loved the way the things I do could somehow make a difference. I remember once I attempted to stand atop a pillar in this city. It mattered not where, because after so many years every city was the same. The difference was that there was this huge pillar. I stood on top of it, held up by nothing but my legs. Gravity didn't attract, and I felt on top of the world.

Night came, and I was still standing. There were some reporters around, and this kid in baggy shirt and pants with a cap on backwards. He was interesting, I had to admit. It was lonely standing up there, and he was someone I could focus on and wonder about.

The funny thing was, I found out later that I had somehow reunited him and his family. They had come to watch me, perhaps in a fit of idiocy, and a sadistic streak in waiting for me to fall. But they had found instead their missing child. It was with guilty pleasure, that in trying to find myself I had in fact patched up a family.

Then there was this other time, I decided to enclose myself within a block of ice. Doctors I went to gave me a lot of reasons as to why I could not, and should not do it. Hypothermia they said; frost bite could occur.

They were valid reasons, but to me they were just excuses. I'm not boasting, but I just wanted to see how far I could push myself before I snapped. And so I found a bunch of people who thought I was crazy, but decided to be crazy with me. I went through months of exercises, to build myself up. I practiced by dipping myself into a tank full of ice and water.

To tell you the truth, it was torture. Exquisite torture, I must add. I felt somehow then, that it was the big one.

The day came. Before I went to the scene where I was to be enclosed in a block of ice, I visited the doctor. His last thing for me to do was to sign on a piece of paper, that if anything happened to me he wouldn't be responsible. Responsible sure, but a load of crap. I wanted to prove him wrong.

I stood in between two blocks of ice, and waited as the people pushed both towards each other. The noises slowly muted, and finally, I found myself trapped in an ice prision.

It was alright to stand for the first few hours. But it was hard afterwards. People came and went; gawked at me, whispered to their friends and scurried away. All these were meaningless to me, I could not hear them nor could I feel the tones.

I was then, truly alone in this house I had told myself to stay in for the next three days.

Seconds felt like minutes, minutes felt like hours, and hours; they felt like eternity.

My mind stopped thinking after awhile, and I just stood there. The emptiness was crushing and it rang loudly in my ear. The time piece directly in front of me seemed to be mocking me with every blinking digit. There were times I drifted in and out of consciousness. It sincerely felt like forever.

Then it ended. The technician came to chip away a block of ice for me to pass through. Gradually I could hear the outside murmuring evolving to multitudes of overwhelming voices. It was hell. And suddenly I was cold. Very cold. They wrapped me up in swarms of blankets, but I was still shivering and trembling all over. I didn't understand the crowd and there was an increasing urge to shout at them to back up. I didn't need the voices. For a moment, I wanted to move back into the prison I came from. At least I didn't have to deal with these.

To cut the long story short, I was in the hospital and was treated for shock. I couldn't walk properly for one month, and there were complications. But all these were minor, when compared to the reality of death.

It was something I knew I couldn't do ever again. I had to move on, to push through other boundaries waiting for me.

And somehow this time, I'm longing for more of the silence.

A/N: a somewhat fictional look at life from david blaine's viewpoint.