Take 4 parts physics, 2 parts marketing, 16 parts music, 11 parts writing, and what do you get? A whole lot of parts would be one answer. Omer Wahaj is an amalgamation of all these and more: an independent journalist/writer and a part-time musician currently living in Toronto. He has written several short stories and is currently working on a few humorous/satirical novels. Omer occasionally DJs and has produced an eclectic mix of music in various genres of electronica. He also enjoys being an illeist. Follow Omer on Twitter @omerwahaj
Neuropea Part I
Bumpity bump, my new home goes. Unlike my previous nests, which were usually open and filled with the damp air of chilly green, this is more of a darkened, blackened shell. Not my type of abode. But I don’t have a choice; never had one. Being inside, engulfed in darkness, my mind begins to recall the macabre. I think of caterpillars and how they must feel inside their cocoons, all wrapped up in an unlit void, trapped with a vulnerable hope that they’ll transform into something beautiful someday. I imagine them, lying in a desperate lull, waiting to show their scintillating wings to a sundrenched world.
How many such dreams must I have devoured? I have an acquired taste for those hard exterior shells with a soft filling.
Bumpity bump, my house still bumps. I don’t know where I am going but it feels very far away from home. After every few miles, light pours down from the ceiling and I am able to see bushes, road signs, trees, and other cars whizz by. The scenery hardly changes and it seems like we are quite far from the city. Every time the ceiling opens, I try to crawl out but I only fall deeper inside my dream.
I am a child again and I see myself moving quickly amongst other critters. Sometimes, I outrun them; other times, they overtake me. When I stop, I see my reflection in a small puddle. I try to lap up the water, flick it with my tongue, but it does not taste of memories. All I can taste are feelings. Makes me think if newts have feelings; you are probably wondering the same.
I have never been able to tell when I’m awake and when I’m in a reverie. A long, very long, time ago, an old bearded man in a lotus pond told me something about dreams and butterflies. I don’t know if that was in his dream or mine. Doesn’t matter. As long as I am not a caterpillar fantasizing about being a newt right now.
As the ceiling lifts up again and I see concrete rise up from behind the windscreen, I realize, for the millionth time since my birth, that the way home is illuminating.
Everything keeps moving and I do not know how to make it stop. I don’t know where they are taking me but I hope it is nice, though it is more likely that they are taking me someplace I probably don’t want to go. Or perhaps it will be a place where I have always dreamt of being. I wish that this time I’m able to tell if it is real or just another fanciful notion residing somewhere deep inside my imagination.
I envision a world that is not as unfamiliar as the one I find myself in now. Rivers may seem to all flow the same way, all brooks might appear to babble identical chants, but that is not true. Every whimpering stream, every bawling lake, and every tranquil pond sings its own song.
I am back where I started, in the same place, with the same sounds and the same caterpillars as before. This is where my life began, before I was whisked away in a small cardboard box, and then again inside an ashtray of a car. I was left alone ages ago, in a strange new world where I grew up, which I grew accustomed to. Now I am back where I was born and this should feel like home to me, but it doesn’t.
I remember losing my tail by the pond and now I find myself at the river again.