Is this what I am?
It doesn't sound so terrifying, spelled out like that. Maybe you had to be there...
In any case, the thougt was: Is this what I am?
As in, if I were to lose an arm in an accident, i'd still be me. Nobody would say I wasn't me. They wouldn't say, He used to be Carl, then he lost an arm, and now he's John.
And if, in another accident, I lost the other arm, the same would be true. Likewise with my legs, my sight, my hearing, my speech, my sense of touch. You could keep going, keep stripping me down, until I was only a consciousness, suspended in a void.
But take away the consciousness, and suddenly I'm gone. Carl is no more. And take away the consciousness but leave the body, leave the full complement of arms and legs, and I'm still gone.
So: whether dreaming or waking, this is what I am. Whether dreaming or waking, this is what I am? This?
From that point, it was only a hop, skip, and a jump to the lonely meaninglessness of everything. And having already lost my body, I now lost my mind.
In The Coma by Alex Garland