October 11, 1947

[continued from the previous entry]

Last night I visited that deep end again, and then some.

Stared too long at the ceiling and allowed oppressive thoughts of never seeing my family again soak far into my brain. Images of Amanda’s smile rushed through my head, followed by the cheerful chatter of my two sons cheerfully shouting “daddy” as I arrive home from work. So now I must try every desperate option to get them back in my life. My mind was spinning. I’m alone, a castaway in this strange yesteryear island where I don’t know a soul.

I snapped. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I tied up my bed sheet like a rope and snugged it tightly around my neck.

Then I tied the other end to a heavy dresser leg in the corner of the room.

The second-floor window beckoned. Not only did I leave sanity, but whatever rational thought process I had reasoned that if I “died,” perhaps my soul – or whatever it is that makes me me – would snap back to my future reality. That is, the 2018 version which I left. Once I leave this 1947 existence, nature would force my other body awake.

And if it doesn’t, well, it is what it is.

Sounds like science-fiction, but I’m not sure what constitutes as either science or fiction anymore.

I heard the pitter-patter of shoes and shouts down the hall as I struggled to fully push up the window. But it was futile. Silly me, thinking a psychiatric hospital would allow a second-floor window to open wide enough for a human body to crawl through.

“Donovan!”

“We need help!”

“Call someone!”

I didn’t get far in my plan to end it all. I was soon accosted by grabbing hands of nurses and counselors draped in white. One set of hands pulled me back toward the bed as the other set tried to remove the makeshift noose from around my neck. All the while I’m thrashing around, howling for my wife, my boys, my mom. They just have to exist. I visualize a memory of my sons rushing into my arms as I feel the stinging puncture of a needle enter my shoulder.

My flailing arms begin to calm as my vision blurs, my voice slurs.

Belts fasten around me as I dive into a funnel of unconsciousness.

Off to the infirmary again.

As I fade, I’m still holding out hope that this is all some psychotic dream-state, and perhaps I’ll awaken not on a mental institution’s bed or gurney, but on a more comfortable bed of some sort back in my time, in my own home. My smartphone’s alarm would chime its wake-up jingle and I’ll wipe my brow and take a deep breath, fascinated with the epic story of a dream that I’ll share with others. The mother of all lucid dreams.

Instead I awoke this morning to a crackling radio in the administrative area down the hall playing the new-ish Andrews Sisters’ “Near You” song. Its lyrics seemingly taunting me…

There’s just one place for me, near you
It’s like heaven to be, near you
Times when we’re apart
I can’t face my heart
Say you’ll never stray
More than just two lips away

If my hours could be spent near you
I’d be more than content near you
Make my life worthwhile
By telling me that I’ll
Spend the rest of my days near you

There is just one place for me, I’m happy when I’m near you
It’s wonderful as heaven, a special kind of heaven, but only when I’m near you
Times when we’re apart I wonder how I can face my heart
Say you’ll never stray
More than just two lips away

Oh, to be near you, my family.

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