When I was little, I had a gerbil. He was cute as a button, and used to crawl all over me. Then he died. He stopped existing. He had once existed, but then he stopped existing. Living, breathing. Being. He used to be an ‘is’, now he is a ‘was’.
It frightened me, how he suddenly ceased. My mom had thrown away all his toys, so I wouldn’t get sad seeing his things. He just stopped being there. I had to ask my mom about the gerbil, just so I’d know he hadn’t just been a dream. I had already been explained death, but that had been the first time I’d ever experienced it. My family being atheist, had told me that after death came nothing, and I just accepted the answer without thinking much of it. You were, and then you weren’t. ‘Is’ and ‘was’. It wasn’t until my pet died, that I gave it some thought. If after death came nothing, then was the gerbil now nothing? The tiny creature I had held in my hands, the one with intelligence in his eyes, was now nothing? What even was nothing? I pondered the question, and imagined what nothing would be like. No light, obviously, you wouldn’t be able to use any of your senses, right? It was nothing, no-thing. I researched an experiment in which man had numbed all his senses for a week, no seeing, feeling, anything. His goal was to have been able to speak to ‘god’, or ‘the powers’.
He came out insane.. and I realized I was afraid.
Is it even possible to have a fear of ‘nothing’?
A situation in which you can’t tell whether your eyes are closed or open, because there’s no light. No noise. The thrumming of your heart is gone, and you start imagining sounds. You can’t take a breath in. Your chest constricts, there’s pressure. You can’t take air, no matter how much you want to. You are completely numb and can’t feel yourself, or anything around you. Maybe you just can’t move. If you can’t feel yourself, are you even there? There’s nothing supporting you, it’s like floating on air. It’s
not cold, but heat is absent. No breathing in. No sounds. No light.. because I’m scared.