Magic Realism In The Morning

Karim Kassem
Apr 18, 2016 · 3 min read
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Hello? Am I there? Yes, I am. Thank you for asking, whoever you may be. Can I hear you? Yes I can hear me quite well thank you. Besides, why are you whispering like that? My ear tingles and it jolts me when you do that. Because I don’t want to wake you, me. It’s late, and you must be ready. Tell me what you see, what you feel. I want to know, so stay right there and show us. Calculate it in your mind so it makes less sense. You are the only one that knows absolutely nothing yet. Soon, it’ll all make sense. You see? Well I sat there, pasted to my chair to the sound of piano and rain married together. My laptop’s brightness encircled my existence in the darkness. Nothing appeared to be on the screen, I’m not entirely sure why. Couldn’t tell the time either.

Mute, I stared above the screen at the nothingness. The nothingness stared back above the screen, mute. With my arms folded and legs stretched out, I caught a ghost leaning against the wall in the corner on the opposite side of the room. From the corner of my eye, I was unable to fathom the form and its locus in the absence of light. I assumed it was human-like as opposed to a triangle. I watched it ­meticulously, and it watched me as well. It probably folded its arms too as it reclined against the wall. It almost seemed as if it were replicating my position, except it stood vertically as I lay horizontal against another plane. A vertical horizon. For some reason, I did not try as hard to squint and register what it was. I thought to myself, let it be. My head slowly rotated involuntarily and I glanced at my shadow on the wall behind where I was situated.

My neck, completely twisted to the other side of my initial peripheral vision. An elastic neck, a silhouetted soul and a concrete body combined to create a thing called actuality. My body remained there, like a bottle remains in place when the cap is twisted. I stayed in that position, attentively studying my outline. And suddenly, I spotted the ghost traveling on the ceiling as if it were a dolphin saturated in the vast ocean. It swam against the walls and my eyes carefully followed its movements. I didn’t move, but my heart did. Every artery, allowing the blood cells to bathe in my core. ‘It’ soon reached a point on the wall where it was side by side with my shadow. Without hesitation or thought, I raised my arm until it almost ‘touched’ the apparition. My shadow followed, and the ghost steadily began to merge with my shadow through my arm until it dissolved entirely into ‘me’. My eyes slowly looked away to the ground and fixated somewhere in the darkness as if I was commencing a process of daydreaming and its arcane denotation.

A beeping sound roused me at dawn. Mute no more; I looked away to the direction where the sound emerged. It was my phone buzzing. This time, a screen showed 4:30 AM. I had previously set an alarm in order to wake up and head to the airport. I was still home, in Beirut city. It was time to go, to voyage over the oceans with the shadows and dolphins. I shouldered my backpack and dragged my suitcase to the front door. I paused and looked back at what I was about to leave behind. However, I couldn’t really tell what it was. Perhaps it was some sort of energy, a sentiment I could not puzzle out. Whatever was behind me looked back at me and we both walked in the opposite direction. The sound of the wheels against the wooden floor. The music of a new beginning, the tone of goodbye. Hello? Are you still with me? Yes. Well, let’s go then.

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