I frantically twist and turn the knobs on my control panel, my palms sweating like the back of a marathon runner, not sure what year to forward or go back to. A spark I want to rekindle, a memory I wish to relive. A future I long to see, a scalpel I wish to hold.
I remember a simpler time, a time when my biggest fear was my upcoming mathematics test, a gigantic table of numbers multiplied, divided and complexed in a way only God knew was possible. I remember a time of GI-joe action figures, power ranger lunch boxes and fighting over who got possession of the football in my school’s playground. Like I said, a simpler time, when we were scraping elbows and eating dirt.
I look now at a more complicated time, an uglier time. I see friendships no longer being made by sharing candy bars, relationships destroyed by morals unfolded and life stomping the crap out of you. I see bullies not stealing your lunch money, but stealing your dignity. I see people with power, once then your English teacher sending you off to detention, now humiliating you and ransacking you of your dreams. I see competition turn into feuds, it’s every man for himself. I look now and chills runs down my spine, where have I ended up in?
My hands shiver now, setting the dials to 10 years back. I want to kick the ball around, fall on my chin and go to the nurses office, have her stick a Scooby-Doo band-aid on the cut and go right back out only to find it gone a few minutes later, my shirt all bloody from the habit that drove mom crazy, wiping my face with my sleeve. I want to call Hisham, my cousin who I spent hours on the phone with, either copying or giving homework to. I want to call Dina, tell her to get her coloring book tomorrow cause the teacher said we’re going to draw and color in class. I want to fall asleep at 8 p.m, while watching re-runs on cartoon network. I want mom to take me out of my school clothes, the white bloody t-shirt and the grey pants, which I never took off after coming home from school, tuck me in bed and kiss my forehead.
But I don’t press the big red button on the control panel, a drop of sweat now running off my palm and on to it. My life-long competition with my cousin Hisham turned me into his enemy. Dina’s married :). I don’t watch TV anymore. My mom’s back in Dubai, I get to see her twice a year.
I still wipe my face with my sleeve…
I wipe the drop of sweat off, making sure not to press the big red button, and I turn the dials 10 years forward from today. Here’s where I don’t see everything clearly. I see shades of a clinic or a hospital. I see the outlines of a man in a suit. I see a wall with certificates, too hazy to tell the writings. I see people waiting on rugged remains of chairs. I see kids scurrying around, following each other. I see something, yet I don’t see it clearly.
It scares me, yet it intrigues me. It makes me think, believe and have hope yet it makes my hands sweat even more, circles of sweat now form around my arm pits. I feel a bead trickle down my back and pop on the elastic band of my briefs. I feel a rush, a glimmer of light and once again, the button I do not push.
I live my life in the present, as I sit in the time machine looking backward and forward on what could and what can be. I life my life now to the fullest, lessons learnt, feuds put aside, hatred buried and dreams in the making. I work, study, eat and thrive. I play, for Johnny is not a dull boy. I settle my past, now engraved in stone, I cannot alter who I was. I long for my future, yet I think little of it for my hammer and burin cannot draw forward in time.
The light now glistens off my forehead, I wipe away the perspiration with my sleeve. I step out, the red button left intact. The dials read October the 12th, 2009. My time machine will lay at rest, not moving nor going, just lay at rest.
“When you’re stripped naked of all the ties, bonds, relations and artifacts, all that remains is yourself.” – Shadi H.
The complications that unfold as we grow an extra inch seem to grow an extra mile. The hatred seems to exponentiate, the faith seems to disappear. Dreams seem to shatter and wounds don’t seem to heal. The responsibility you can’t bear anymore as the tasks you cannot heave. I encourage you all to lift yourselves up, with nothing and no one but yourself. God created you in his finest image, and unless you’re a conjoined twin, he created you separated from all other mortals. He gave you your own heart, to love with yours alone. He gave you your own brain, to think with it when you can. He gave you your own set of hands and legs, to move yourself in any direction you please. He gave you your own soul, yours to have alone. You can share them all with people, but you can never give them away. At the end of the day, you chose to be content with what He gave you, or miserable longing for someone else’s items.
Mixed ideas, thoughts and memories, thought they’d make for a nice post. Tell me what you think :).