The Church Basement — By Sydney Ouwinga


If I was so fortunate as to choose between Oxford and Cambridge, I would choose Cambridge. I don’t know why, but I have always liked it a little bit better. Unfortunately, when everyone else went to see the school today, I remained behind in the hopes of seeing a doctor and recovering my health. What I got was a very odd day.

Today marked the first time in my life that I have ever fainted, and it was not an experience I hope to revisit. It doesn’t feel like falling asleep, which is what I expected it to be. It is much more terrifying. You can feel the body and mind being forcible torn from one another. First the body gives out, leaving the mind, just for a moment, suspended and alone. Then, even the mind fades away. There isn’t dreaming or even slight awareness, only a gap and the nagging sensation that time has passed. The fading away induces fear, but so does the return. For a time, you don’t know where you are. You don’t know what happened. You don’t know who the people around you are, or why they are asking you questions. Perhaps the worst fear is that it will come back like a shadow lingering in the corner, waiting for the chance to claim you once more.

Perhaps that’s why I am glad it happened in a doctors’ office in a church basement. I am not a particularly religious person, but there is a strange comfort in knowing you are on holy ground.

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