Note: Genderless pronouns, instead of He/She “Se” is used. Instead of Him/Her “Hir” is used.
A dirty window with half open dusty blinds is the only source of light that comes through in to the room, outside the yellow bulb from the pole shines through soft rain. Inside the air is heavy with particles accumulated from weeks of neglectfulness, se lies on a couch naked, getting cold, hungry, unwilling to move. The soft sound of the “Magic for Beginners” podcast coming from a cellphone’s speaker resonates softly in the room like a mystic prayer in a tiny filthy temple.
It is a cold end of summer, the radiators wont work and the old windows can’t keep the cold breeze out of the bungalow.
Se shivers and reaches down on to the floor for an over-sized royal blue stinky hoody, putting it on walks in to the kitchen over the sticky floor to find the pile of dirty disposable plastic containers that block the kitchen’s sink, opening the fridge to a blinding yellow light, in it; pre-made Colombian food is staked in one side, rice, beans, grilled meat in its vegan version, fried plantain, vegan bacon, genetically modified avocado (so it doesn’t ripe after been sliced) and small flavorless arepas, all in one dish, sealed in a vacuum mass produced fashion, on the other side a big stack of Kirin Ichiban beer six-packs.
Reaching with delicate bony hands se grabs one of the containers and a can of beer, placing the food in the microwave, four minutes on the clock, then opening the beer to the satisfying metal and fussy noise, then sipping. “What day is today?” wonders as se walks back in to the living room to pick up the jeans that lay next to the underwear, pulling out the phone from its pocket. In the screen that turns on illuminating the room and projecting a big shadow over the wall behind hir the display proclaims: “Toronto, September the fourth, two thousand twenty tree, eleven thirty three pm”.
The podcast still plays, now louder: “…to feel as if magic is not real, as if is product of imagination and ignorance is the consequence of the scientific dictatorship that we live on…” and it goes on until the beep of the microwave calls for attention, se presses pause and puts the phone in the hoody’s kangaroo pocket.
With the steamy plastic container in one hand and the cold beer on the other se walks in to the bedroom and sits on the messy bed, turns on the light, gives a couple of bites to hir bandeja paisa dinner and a long sip of beer that builds up in hir throat resulting in a laud resonating burp. Then putting the food a side reaches in to the drawer of the old wooden nightstand, from it pulls out a worn cardboard box of oracle cards, on it with golden Sanskrit letters and its correspondent English translation under in red letters, it reads: “Oracle of the Brahman”.
Opens it and shuffles it, then spreads them face down on a semi circle, on the back there is an intricate design of arabesques, lotus flowers and a tilted crescent moon, takes a deep breath and with closed eyes picks one randomly. On the card is Vinayaki, sitting down with her legs crossed, one hand with the palm open, the trunk of her elephant face that at the beginning is turned to the left but at the end goes to the right side is reaching to a laddu that is been held by another hand, the other two hands hold a lotus pink flower and a trishula, on the bottom of the card it reads in golden Sanskrit and in smaller shiny red English letters “Mistress of Obstacles”.
Neon purple, yellow and green waves in a dark ocean, or is it maybe deep in outer of space? Thousand of voices calling hir name in a strange infinite echo, the waves start to disperse as if they where clouds and split letting a moon light like shine trough, a gorgeous black sky behind. How long is se been drifting? Hir body feels numb and ticklish the same way an arm feels when you sleep on it, and then se feels an incredible force pulling hir up, hir body shatters in to a million tiny pieces and is absorbed by tender blackness, and back to the neon waves.
Slowly se feels her body again and pain in her lower back.
“Oh fucking shit…”, Se thinks regaining conscious bent over face down on the bed, beer spilled on the sheets and a hand in the now cold food, incorporating se feels the oracle card stuck on hir chest and pulls it away, is been there so long it makes a sticky noise as it is removed, the kind of sound a band-aid makes when you pull it off.
Looking at the nightstand again with eyes of resignation, se spots it, there it is, on the top, the white plastic jar of methylphenidate, grabs two pills out of it and reaching to the half empty beer can it swallows them with the bitter and delicious beverage.
Then presses the home bottom of the cellphone to check the time, “September the fifth two thousand twenty tree, six twenty pm, eight missed calls, one voice message” shows the display.
“Alex, you Ok? call me when you wake up, do you have enough food? I can stop by next Saturday… let me know”. Se cleans hir hand with the bed linen and walks to the bathroom, wash hir hands and splashes water over hir face. Looking at hir own reflection, dripping water down to hir chin on to hir hoody, se feels numb, weak, skinny.
Then walks to the living room, on the coffee table there is a sketchbook that reads on the side “dreams” on top of it an almost full notebook with curled pages and a pencil, grabbing the notebook se sits on the couch, hir weight creates a cloud of dust that makes hir cough, the notebook is hir log, hir “Diary”, flipping through the pages se gets to the first empty spot and writes:
“I am starting to loose the notion of time, day or night makes no difference anymore, Its scary sometimes, is getting worst and more frequent, more random. I am afraid at some point I will spend more time sleeping than awake, I keep losing weigh… still I keep having the most amazing dreams, lucid experiences and even sometimes beautiful conversations, I am starting to have some level of control in there.”
Se closes the notebook and sighs, leaning back, letting her head rest on the cushion of the couch.
Miguel Angel Montoya 2020