And in that same way that my inners had exploded and burst like a split atom from my gut when Tycho initially propelled me into the third, I exited with the same force, through wormholes and fourth, fifth, sixth dimensional passageways, through space and time, on the border of reality and the Pleasure Garden, only to arrive in a void of darkness, where my memories of the surreal, of Tycho, Adolf, Adnan and Omar, of the match of Tug-o-war to decide my fate, of my vantage point in the third, vanished in a single instant, where all I ever knew and would know turned the color black, as if I was in a darkroom, or dead, but obviously not dead, but simply asleep, where I could dream vivid dreams, but where a fine distinction lay between dreamworld and reality, far away, far away from the pureness of the Pleasure Garden. What stayed with me was nothing tangible, nor concrete, but rather a feeling of having lived important experiences, having met important people whose names I did not yet remember. Of having learned that I have much more to learn—all this accompanied with a firmness of character.
I opened my eyes in the fluorescent hospital room and jolted my torso forward only to be denied by the array of tubes attached to me. No longer was I the wind. There he was, my father sitting in the corner staring at me with his owl gaze, ready to tell me a story about two men, Adnan and Omar, who wipe out a baker named Momin clean of his stock. A story that takes place in Ottoman Beirut at the end of the 19th century. Dad will then tell me that these are my ancestors, that I am related to them and that my experience, my actions, were in accordance with tradition, and he will look at me with frightening eyes, owl eyes, perhaps in disbelief. I won’t understand him. Not yet. I won’t remember Adnan or Omar, Tycho Brahe or King Adolf Frederick of Sweden, the original martyrs of food. Nor the Pleasure Garden. I will listen to my father with curiosity. I will enjoy the deep tremble of his voice; I will smile at his story—that I will—but it will not make any sense. Not until later. Not until I begin to write down all that I can remember per Anne’s instruction. Not until I pick up the pen and begin to pour everything I knew into three Okinawa notebooks. Not until I begin the therapy that would last one full year.
But on that day of my revival, my new birthday, I knew nothing. I was reborn, a blank slate.
An excerpt from my novel, Ashta.