It’s the big day, the day I have been waiting for so many years. The day that I prayed would come, although I had no idea if it would. The day that I have had multiple conversations over with my closest friends. The day that I don’t just turn another year old, but the day that I fully and responsibly accept my adulthood. My 21st birthday, it’s finally here.
Now that I think of it, isn’t it a disgrace how we, humanity, act entitled? How we set up dates and make expectations about things and people- and then express pain and disappointment when things don’t turn out the way we want them to? How we plan and try and figure our lives out right from the start, when all we might be doing, is move further and further away from our true ways of life and create this new world that is suitable for us. How we’ve made sure that we are the focus, the better primates of the animal world and how, even within that, we have divided ourselves and think that it’s the most normal thing in the universe? I think it’s interesting.
Because, this day, I had seen it coming. I prayed about it and expected it to come. The fact that I prayed about it should mean something, right? Entitle me to be alive on this day. How silly. I saw all the good things happening on this day, right from the eyes of my fourteen-year-old self, things falling into place and expecting the world to do me a favour by honouring me and celebrating with me on this day, but things don’t always go our way. The universe has its own plans, and no matter how often we try and mess with that, she gets her own way at the end. I hope we have realised that by now.
My friends and cousins, acquaintances are here with me. I did get it after all, what was due to me. I also got my 21st key, one of the ideas that are created in our societies to show what rewards you get for living the way that is expected of us and how you are left to feel different, and less, when you do things according to your life. I guess I should be proud, this is what I wanted after all- get my key and see how success unfolds or unlocks itself. Feel blessed and everything. I stare into the mirror and realise that I’m not, is this what it feels like? Waiting so long for something and suddenly, the time and space ruins it all for you, creates other dimensions in your mind and you ask yourself that one philosophical question that has been blowing our minds for ages: what is life?
At dawn, we decide to take the party somewhere else. Always unsatisfied, ever wanting more. We do more basic human shit and pull up at the bus stop, waiting for somebody to pick us up. Which is an ambiguous setting, because you might be wondering if somebody else will be picking us up or if we are referring to the bus driver as the someone who will be picking us up, after all, he too is a someone, even if he might just be the human bus driver that we see five times a week- doing his job like everybody else does. Busy-bees, bloody humans.
Suddenly, my back is sore. I’ve phased out of the world around me. My mind alerts me one more time that it is my birthday, and then does something weird. It creates an image of the single anterior spinal artery, the one that mainly supplies blood to the spinal cord. This vivid image is just one of those things that confuse me, why would I be thinking about anything like that on this day? Another sign of how ungrateful we are, and always wanting to be in charge.
The picture fades, I laugh with a few friends and feel a sharp stab in my spine. That’s weird, I thought the spine was bone, dead. How can I feel that it’s hurting? Or maybe it’s the flesh next to it. As if I’m opening my back myself and peeking, I see that there is a hole in that artery. Suddenly it’s exposed and blood is running out. How dramatic? I warn one of my friends and she naturally starts to panic and alert the others. Why my mind still reminds me that it’s my birthday, I have no idea.
I feel my body drop to the ground, parts of my uncovered ears and face reacting to the cold snow that I fall upon. Everything else stops for a while, it’s just me and the snow, a moment of intimacy. I start to fascinate myself with how I find myself in this place, how I’m now in a world that was once far off, and far away. Why do these things amaze me so much?
A couple passing by call the ambulance, I’m not sure how I can tell you that now because I’m sure that I passed out- everything was suddenly vague to me. And no, I didn’t hear my mom calling me or I didn’t run across some field and be free. I was still there, and I wasn’t.
The ambulance showed up, one for my friends and one for me. You might be thinking, that’s strange. Why would a second ambulance be needed when only one friend could join the one, I was on? Well, imagine how stupid it sounds leaving all my friends and cousins behind in the snow, and laying comfortably in an ambulance bed. Still sounds weird. I guess it was not humans who picked us up, humans don’t reason like that, do we?
I’ve gained a weird sense of consciousness, that feeling that I am where I am and at the same time, I know that I shouldn’t be here because it’s not the right place in the universe to be, for me. The paramedic has a familiar sound, that soothing and feminine voice. Makes me wonder if I would still feel the same way if I had grown up around different voices, then this would be the strangest thing. I smile a little when I think of how we try and connect things from our past experiences in new situations to make us feel safer, more familiar. Does it get more human than this?
This situation is everything but normal, from my thoughts to the setting. Maybe during war, but I have never seen an open ambulance, as in with no roof on it. I start to question whether things seem strange and different to show me that I’m in another dimension, where I wouldn’t normally be. And if so, what am I doing here?
She (the paramedic) asks me my name and age. I’ve seen in movies that they talk to the patients to keep them awake; it must be true. I tell her what my name is and stop dead in my tracks when I realise that I’m not in the same place that I was before. For the next few milli-seconds, I ask myself three questions:
1. How relevant is my age in this situation?
2. If I’m in another dimension, would the same age still apply as it did elsewhere?
3. In this new dimension, how much of things can I dare to ask and talk about when I know nothing at all, and will she come to notice that I know nothing?
I only tell her my name, so I assume that that works too. I can’t see her physically, and now that I reflect on it, none of what has happened so far hasn’t been happening physically either, it seems. I’ve felt all these things, created images in my mind- and so I created a story. She keeps talking to me and I keep having these conversations of time and space in my mind, trying to figure things out.
We park and they take me out the car and into a compound with huts, just flat land and a few trees here and there. Strange, I say to myself. A few hours later, I’m warm and well taken care of, people are happy around me and they seem to care about me. I can tell that there are people from all walks of life here- mothers, fathers, the woman who sits and begs on the corner of the street, the bully at school, the girl who was raped, the grandmother who lived to 100, the cashier at the grocery store, the smart kid in the classroom- everyone is here, and something about everything amazes me: nothing about them shows the identity and/or the labels that they had in society. None of them have none of that- I just see humans in their purest form.
Skin colour, age, gender and race are concepts that do not exist in this dimension- and it’s hard to fathom that when you’re from a place that has taught you all these things. But no, I don’t see that, and I don’t hear that anyway. What blows my mind is that I remember that these concepts existed in our world, but I also know that they are not in any way applicable here. They are the strangest terms I’ve heard at this moment- just words with no meaning. I have a vague memory of the terms being written on a chalkboard over a thousand times each day, and we would read and read until their meanings faded, they just became words. Overtime, there was nothing special about them- just like a dog running off into the field and the more you watch him disappear, the sooner you eventually forget that there was a dog there in the first place. Something clicks somewhere, and I sit up, in that dimension, and in the real one- back to Earth.
As I’m writing this, I must go back two times into the past and two different dimensions to be able to make sense in words- to convey my ideas to you. I reread this text and realise that it also confuses me, what was it I wanted to say?
I dreamt about dying on my birthday, and I woke up with the strangest feeling in the world. As you would if you were to think of dying, at least for most of us. I would have said it in that way, simple and easy, but it didn’t occur to me at first. So, I used what was given to me and shared those thoughts and ideas.
Then I decided to look up what dying in a dream means, I still don’t know to what extend this is true but guess that if someone wants to believe it, go for it, if not; I won’t be selling you any ideas.
According to DreamMoods, to die in your dream symbolizes inner changes, transformation and, self-discovery and positive development that is happening with you or your life. You are undergoing a transitional phase and becoming more enlightened or spiritual. It usually means that big changes are ahead of you. You are moving onto new beginnings and leaving the past behind. On a negative note, it may also represent involvement in deeply painful relationships or unhealthy, destructive behaviours. You may be feeling depressed or feel stranded by a situation or person in your waking life.
Before I dwell on that, let me take a moment to appreciate the term ‘waking life’ that I have been trying to express previously with no success. Both these ways the dream is analyzed, could apply to me and could not, either way, it gives me something to work with. So, I will.
Finally, I like how I woke up at half past two and typed 2011 words about something as simple as this. Give me an assignment and I swear, my brain would be on strike.
NB: Ulottuvuudet is a Finnish word meaning ‘dimensions’.
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