She had taken the tablets and the optional extra half bottle of tequila. She felt sleepy waited for the darkness she wished would soon cease to be an exclamation mark on history. She felt sleepy now and expecting there to be nothing else just the darkness.
Awake shit. This was not meant to happen. As I come to myself I can hear a distant melody. “da da da di diddly da da da. A song of childhood and trips to the circus. I become more aware of noises around me. I feel pressure on my hands. I am upright. I slowly open my eyes. My hands are clamped tight. I smell candy floss and hotdogs. When I open my eyes I see garish colours so I shut them tight again. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder. I peek out and see the grinning face of a circus clown. His eyes are sad though. I notice he has a clipboard in his hand.
“Hola Mirabel” he says. A faint hello is all I can muster.
I look at him more closely. If it wasn’t for the clown costume he could be just another suit. I know what to expect. I look at the pity in his eye and know he has seen it many times before but I am used to that and am ready to engage.
“The handcuffs, why am I here? Can you take them off they are hurting me”.
I lunge towards him but he moves his head slightly back so I can’t feel his skin. He is used to this.
He smiles with fake concern in his voice.
“Mirabel, Mirabel. I wish I could spare you this but this will be the most uncomfortable three minutes of your life”.
His adam’s apple gulped. I am worried now.
“You have to appreciate you see” he said.
“We have many different species to process.”
He took out a mobile phone and pressed a red button.
“We are going to take the ride of your life”
My eyes are opening wider. I can see that I am on a ghost train. When I was little I used to like the feeling of being frightened. This time it was different though. The car lurched ahead. We entered the tunnel. Darkness all around us at last but also the flickering fingers of loved ones. He could read my mind.
“Yes they are.” He said.
And we go through the doors into my primary one classroom. I remember my teacher and her expectations of me. Nada. I was an Sebastian after all. The next day the birth of my children. I cried and the handcuffs got tighter. I understood what was happening.
“Please no more”.
He looked at me again and put his hand in mine. I resisted but I could not anymore.
“Mirabel. You must watch to remember and be remembered.”
It came into my mind that today was el dia de los muertes. When we remember all that have passed so we can stay in the land of the remembered. We they. Was I remembered?
So I sat and watched and remembered all the good, all the bad and all the inbetween that was the miniscule of my life. It was hard. We exited the ghost train. I could see the administrator of the next life checking off all his tick boxes. As we left the tunnel I could see the queue that went on forever. He looked at me.
“So do you want to go back?”