Last night, I died. I felt the transition from life to death. I did not struggle. I did not want to. I came out of myself, felt my skin; it was cold. I looked around my room. My roommates were sleeping peacefully. One of them turned and opened her eyes. I thought she saw me. But she turned again and continued sleeping.
I would miss my bunkmate. I touched her face. She was so warm. Warmer than my body. Then suddenly I heard her voice. ‘Yes ma. I came to check my results. No ma, it’s not online’. I could hear my lecturer’s voice in the distance. She was apparently dreaming and I was privy to it.
I touched my other roommate’s face. She was having a nightmare. She was breathing fast and running down a never ending hallway. I could feel her giving up. A woman was pursuing her with a syringe. She had often talked about her fear of needles. I gently pushed her and she woke up. She looked like a ghost (and that’s coming from me).
I went round most rooms and did the same. Oh, there are so many dreams. It’s just a word; Dream. But there are so many kinds of dream. Some dream scary dreams, some funny dreams, some dream about obscenities, some dream about their dreams, some are bolder in their dreams, some are timid in their dreams, some come alive in their dreams and some just don’t dream at all.
As I wondered what to do and where to go in my current state, I saw a girl on my floor. I had seen her one or two times. She normally had a happy face. She greeted people a lot. But now, she seemed so lonely. She sat outside her room, on a chair, just staring at the wall.
I walked up to her and touched her face. My fragile hands almost broke. It was a chaotic mess, her mind. She was breaking down
If her mind was a race track then her problems were energized athletes. They ran and ran and ran through her mind. She couldn’t control them. She pointed her gun to the sky and shot several times; calling her problems back to the starting line. She wanted to organize them; to prioritize them. But they just kept running.
Her grades and carryovers handed the baton to her financial problems. They, in turn handed the baton to her mother’s sickness which handed the baton to her father’s drunkenness. Her father’s drunkenness ran for a while. It tried to hand over the baton to another problem I could not clearly see. But she would not let it. She kept screaming for her father’s drunkenness to keep running. She’d rather let that run through her mind than the next problem. But soon, her father’s drunkenness got exhausted. It ran out of energy and substance and handed over the baton to the next problem…
Rape. Rape by her father. That one ran slowly but painfully. It took every step with caution clearly bringing detailed flashes of nights better forgotten to her race track mind. Finally, it got tired and handed over to her weight problem. That one ran pretty fast… surprisingly.
Her weight problem started to get tired. She started to slow down. There was no other problem to hand over the baton to. Everything seemed to calm down. Almost.
Suddenly, her grades and carryovers jumped up and started running. All the other problems saw this as a competition and bolted too. Oh, her race track mind was vibrating. Spectator problems saw this disorder as an opportunity and joined in the run. Suddenly, little problems like what to wear to class, her next hairdo, her slightly sore throat, her lost earrings, began to stamp their little feet all over her race track mind.
She held up her gun to the sky and kept shooting. No one listened to her. They were all running through her mind.
Her race track mind was strong. But not strong enough. It was constructed to handle problems alright, but not this capacity of problems. It was breaking down. Everything she had used, over the years, to build her strong mind was crumbling under the feet of these problems. All of these problems were supposed to come one after another. She needed to do something fast. Or she would collapse with her mind into a hole of energized problems.
She looked down at her hand and saw her gun. The sky had had enough of her bullets. She had been shooting at the sky hoping it would, in turn, talk to her problems but the sky had only echoed back her shots. She had hoped the heavens would listen to her cry for help and in turn, talk to these athletic problems. But they had just echoed her cry in mock response.
She would put her bullets to good use this time around. She would end everything for good. Why had she never thought about it this way?
She lifted her gun
I took one last look at her and closed my eyes
The gun went off.
Everything went deadly quiet.
I opened my eyes and there she was… smiling.
Oh, she had shot down her problems.
Gunned them down… every single one of them.
I came back to earth as she stood up from her chair. She was talking to herself; ‘You do not control me. I control you. You are not stumbling blocks. You’re stepping stones. I would find a way. I would not break down. I break you down’.
I woke up this morning. I do not know how. Maybe my luck.
I only hope the energized athletes do not get as lucky.