Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beasts of No Nation

i used to have this really horrible problem with math.  i never really paid much attention when i was in high school and when it came to be that i needed even the most basic algebra course in university to complete my degree and teaching certificate i was actually in a pretty rough position.  it sounds silly but i had an agenda to keep up with and should i not graduate on time i would not be able to join the peace corps, something that had been my plan for about six years.  in those days i thought that the peace corps was my only escape from USA and it really tore me apart to ever imagine being denied entrance.

it came to be that a little loophole in the system of the university matematics exam i found would exempt me from taking further classes.  the exam was made of 40 questions and i simply answered 'B' to every question i wasn't certain about.  i got something like 26 out of 40 which was enough to test out of basic algebra (dont laugh) and allow me to graduate on time.  kind of ironic that the use of statistics is what saved me from math.  they have since caught onto this flaw.

when i was living in detroit i had this great bedroom in a house on trumbul.  i decorated it with plants and red chinese paper lanterns and the ambience was magnified by an amazing twenty minutes or so of setting sun that radiated through my windows making everything catch on fire.  i loved that room.  i used to sit in that room and listen to Fela Kuti for hours between studying algebra and reading about life in polynesia, the place where i was destined to lose myself only to find myself again.

it was the end of summer in 2006 when i left myself and all that i knew behind to awaken on an island that is farther away than anything else imaginable on the planet.  everything in between was like a dream and i felt my entire being reshaped into every form possible of the word 'incredible'.  that was the only word i could find to describe my life in samoa, incredible.  it was incredibly exciting and incredibly beautiful yet incredibly hot and incredibly simple.  i used to wake up at 4am every morning, without alarm clock, and feel this powerful sensation pull me to the ocean either to surf or to just sit between the waves and the sky to watch the morning sun incinerate the horizon.

i dont think i have ever really been the same since.  in fact it was a little difficult for me to assimilate back into life on bigger islands and i actually had a really hard time with simple things.  i never really felt depression or any longing to be back on the island however i did feel a powerful thirst to see more.  i knew that i had started from the top and begun to work my way in circular motion around the world on a path that has since taken me to dozens of countries that boast dramatically different cultures.

i still have dreams about samoa.  i had one last night.  they get more and more foggy every time.

i have thought about going back one day but ill have to wait for my calling, i do of course have many plans before that.

on dreams, i have had one of the strangest dreams ever a few nights ago and i promised myself that i would write it down.. it went something like this:

i was walking down some long dark road, as many dreams start, yet i was masked in a plain white mask with holes cut for eyes and expressionless mouth.  it looked a bit like a paper plate and i was covered by a large black shawl or cloak of some sort.  i felt my face below the mask peeling and bits of it were greasy like the skin of a person who has not bathed in many days.

i could feel the eyes of strangers on me as i walked be and it made me very uncomfortable.  i tried to hide my masked face in my shoulders but i could still feel them staring.  it did not last long though, when i looked up i saw another masked figure in the crowd wearing the same strange costume i was and it seemed to beckon me to follow.  more and more the ratio of masked creatures to normal people began to shift and eventually i was completely surrounded by those masked in the same way i was.

we had arrived at my parents' house and the first masked creature who had beckoned to me lifted his mask to reveal himself as my friend hytham.  it was such a blessing to see him and i was happy to meet an old friend.  i took of my mask and so did the other creatures one by one who aslo revealed themselves to be people i had come to know in just about every walk of life i could imagine in one night's dream.  i saw friends from detroit as well as the boyfriend of one of my current roommates who was playing football and knocking over tables.  i saw friends from my childhood who i had not even so much as thought about in many many moons.  they were all there and somehow the darkness had lifted itself into a very joyous moment.

i knew it was a dream, i could tell this whereas ive had many dreams of people from different walks of life.  i enjoyed the company of all but i knew it was soon time for me to leave.  i have never really been bad at that and i think it is greatly because of the encouragement i have come to receive from my friends and family after all these years to continue to travel and lose\find myself over and over again.

i do not have a normal life.  sometimes i need a little extra patience to sort through the over-abundance of emotions that come with the lifestyle i have created for myself.  it all started with the crazy dreams i once had while living on a tiny island in the middle of far far away and now im residing on the coast of a great continent.  to my east is the mouth of a water flow which pours fourth from the north in the amazon.  to my far west are the andes which ripple above the clouds and bashfully hide the remains of a great empire which we have dubbed the incas.  i live amongst the children of immigrants speaking a language i have always fancied.  i live again under the same southern stars that i once fell asleep staring at in polynesia.  i can hardly wait to leave this city and bathe in the silver glow of my stellar friends without the pollution of city light blocking my view.

for now i wait.  i gather my best knowledge of this language and muse myself with a dialect that i personally adore greatly.  i cant save much money but i can gather knowledge about the world around me and one day use it to draw a line through this continent and back to the place i come from.  next to the place i have come to call my home in istanbul and after that to the mother land from where we all come from.

No comments:

Post a Comment