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As I took my seat in the front section of the Conference Center of the Mormon Church (not sure if that is the actual name), I looked around at the thousands of people streaming in from several doors. The hall was huge and full. The number of people concerned me and I felt a measure of panic rising, but I was confident that things would be fine. I had taken as much of my medication as I could get away with and still walk around.
The concert was important to Dave and his daughter Meagan. It was her graduation celebration. How could I turn down the invitation? What was I to say? That I was afraid all the people would make me feel strange? So I settled in and concentrated on relaxing as the pianist took his seat.
As the strands of Rachmaninoff began to move through the hall, I remembered the music with some nostalgia. My mother used to play some of these selections when I was little more than a toddler. She would sit me in the living room, put on the music, and leave. I was content to listen and build my own world.
I started feeling dizzy about fifteen minutes into the concert. My eyes wanted to close or rather roll back into my head. It was an effort to keep them open. How could I be sleepy all of a sudden? I propped them open, determined to stay awake. I started to focus on the audience instead of the stage. There was a man, about five or six rows in front of me, who stood up for some reason. It seemed he was reaching down to a child. That is unusual, I thought. They don’t like you standing up during the concert. The man wore dark navy slacks with a white and navy polo shirt. He had short dark hair. As I watched, he evaporated into the air. I closed my eyes and opened them quickly. I was losing a sense of time. Chances are, I saw this person for an instant but my mind stretched it out. Even then, what I saw wasn’t where I saw it when I saw it. Was it even real?
Then, I noticed the woman in front of me. A hand grew out of her head. As I looked at the hand, it waved at me. At first, I wondered if the hand hurt the women, until I realized the hand was not real.
Dave turned to me and asked me if I were all right. I stared into his face, then into Megan’s. Yes, of course, I told him.
The music continued. My eyes felt like they would close of their own no matter how hard I tried to keep them open. The more I tried, the worse the distortions became around me. Then my head began to hurt and the electrical shocks started down my body. I wondered if I were moving with each jolt.
The music stopped and people rose to leave. Now I was really in trouble. I had to walk out of the Convention Center and down three blocks to the parking lot. But the ground was moving underneath me, tipping and swaying like a carnival funny house. I concentrated on keeping my eyes on the ground and walking very carefully. I knew that Dave and Megan thought there was something wrong with me, but I could not bring myself to tell them what was going on or ask for help.
Ask for help you idiot or they will think you are on drugs. No, I can’t explain and I don’t want to explain this to anyone right now, it’s my choice.
We finally arrived at the building, and I somehow got myself into the condo. I went into the bathroom and downed several seizure pills and a painkiller, then lay across the bed with my clothes still on waiting for the pain in my head and the voices to subside.