I’d like to make time my Horcrux, place part of my soul in the fourth dimension, willing it to stop and start at my convenience.
My second Horcrux would be the wind. I’d travel the world on the easterlies and the jet streams, stay still and take some rest at the equator, then on again to push the westerlies, bring the monsoon on time and make the farmers happy.
I’d place another part of me in the oceans, make friends with the deep sea crustaceans and ride on an ancient turtle. He’d tell me stories of the places he’s been and the changes he’s seen like a wise old sage and I’d tell him about how we try to touch the stratosphere with concrete and steel.
The fourth would be the tip of an iceberg in Antartica. I’d watch my family sink into the oceans, great giants brought to their knees by mere heat. I’d gaze up at the sky as it spirals further away from me, wondering when I’ll plunge, cursing the humans and the industrial revolution. I’d say goodbye to my little penguin friends, bid adieu to my black and white movie.
But if time were my first Horcrux, I could save them all. I’d rewind it to somewhere before the rise of Ford. My fourth Horcrux would never sink, My second wouldn’t have to worry about the onset, the third could talk about more pleasant things with Mr. Turtle and then maybe I could skip a few centuries and find out what happens next.
Or maybe I’d be none of them; I’d make a black hole my Horcrux, sucking in the part of the universe around me, playing with each planet, searching for aliens and intelligence, then store them away in shelves like orbs.
His breath rattles like skittles in a tin can, his mind no longer a computer, reduced to useless mush and faded memories. He doesn’t think, doesn’t feel, his only companion, the IV unit, each drip ticking like a clock trying to buy him time he shouldn’t have. He sees glimpses of past moments, happiness visualized but not relived. White walls, emotionless faces, metal beds and a permanent air of pain and misery, how much longer in this hell? The pastor said euthanasia is a sin, terrorism that’s what it’s akin to; do it and you’ll be sure it leads you to hell. ‘But isn’t that already where I’m at?’ What difference does it make now?
She was a real beauty once. Her luscious hair, the envy of her friends, now lies on the floor in wisps, the way she saw her dreams lie, stagnant. The lump won’t get any smaller, ‘three more months without chemo, three more years with it,’ he says. She sees her parents handing him the money they don’t have. ‘For what? Why make me live like this?’ she pleads, she screams but they’re adamant. Night closes in and she eyes the tubes taped to her body. ‘It’s my life.’ she thinks as she pulls them out, the world dimming before her.
Maybe there’s a pretty side to hell, the side that’s reserved for ‘tourists’; for those who’re devoid of sin but condemned nonetheless, condemned for having made an independent choice that brought harm to none but themselves, but then is it even harm at all?
I wish thought could be spread like largesse to the public, neurons joined and signals sent, brainwaves created and brilliance born instead of billions. Statistics say 12.7% live below the poverty line, a line defined by currency, its value built on slave labour and sweatshops, finite resources and infinite greed. Maybe it’s the 87.3% who live in poverty, not of money but of mind, not of material goods but of human good. Maybe the line exists because we’re all impoverished, mentally, intellectually; a reason for the lack of equality, for the festering prejudices and growing intolerance. Maybe that’s why we have humanitarian problems and global crises and sensationalized conflicts; the line is crooked, it’s broken in a few places, people slip in and out of it like borders of war torn nations. Maybe there’s no need for a line at all, maybe we’re all poor but too proud to acknowledge it.
I saw my Patronus emerge from the Hookah pipe, shapeless at first, then the silhouette of a tiger, prancing, fading once again into oblivion. I inhaled, breathed it out slowly, hoping to see her again but alas, the smoke danced its way into the sky, in long drawn out curves, like the strokes of a Japanese painting. I had hoped for a genie to appear from the confines of the decorated glass bulb, grant me three wishes, maybe more, and then leave without asking for naught. But that, dear pipe, was asking for too much, was it not?
Have you heard the shutter on an SLR, not knowing how the picture turned out, not caring either because that shot’s over and there’s still so much more to capture? Have you seen beauty through a viewfinder, no pixels, just real life, focused, alive only to feel the disappointment of realizing your film roll is over? Have you squinted through a Loupe at a negative and painted it with colour in your head? Have you walked in the rain to your favourite Kodak Studio to get your negatives developed, wishing you could go in and learn the process, meddle with a little hypo? Have you waited for days with bated breath, imagining how the pictures turned out, rolling the next reel nervously? Have you felt the excitement of receiving that envelope, carefully sliding out one glossy photo after another, marveling at the science of it all, how reels and moulds of plastic gave you memories? Have you spent hours labeling and organizing your photo albums, real, live ones made of paper and not on flickr?
Have you felt the pain of watching the dust settle on your SLR, its life treated to a slow death by the letter D?