Life has always been strange and weird, loaded with unexplained and assorted events every second. Looking back is a metaphor but looking forward isn’t. I haven’t had a proper sleep in days. I’ve stayed awake and slid my thumb across my phone’s screen all night, every night. It not that I’m a social media enthusiast, most of the times I’m not even aware of what I’m scrolling through. I can’t say I am lost because that’ll probably be overstating the situation. I do get sleep, but it’s just empty or the dreams cannot be recalled. It’s common to not dream, to wake up as soon as you sleep. I was completely okay with this kind of sleep until I had these weird dreams.
I was doing the usual, laying in the bed, eyes stuck to the screen of phone and thumb moving up and down. Finally, I yawned, kept my phone down and went to sleep. I opened my eyes on my motorcycle. I was on it and in the middle of this particular road I remember. There were no street lights but the moonlight was bright enough to see the road. I ignite the engine and accelerate. I ride on and on and on. The road was endless and somehow felt like I always come back to where I started from. Hours and hours I ride on the deserted road with all my dedication and hope. At a point I get that it’s not the road that’ll leave me anywhere, no matter how dedicated I am. And at this point, I wake up.
The second one occurred the very next night. I had a glass of white wine while I watched a TV series before I slept. I decided not to mess up my sleep routine so I shut my laptop down and lay down as early as I could. But I was too late not to mess up, the reason being a 3 hours’ nap in the evening. I was wide awake and dived into my phone again.
Hours later, I find myself in my high school. I’m clear of the fact that I don’t study here anymore but not clear of what I’m actually doing here. While I think about why I am where I am, I see the much younger me pass right in front of me. The younger me is wearing my middle school uniform, which is quite different from that of the school I am standing in. I’m startled to look at this scenario. Seconds later, the younger me has vanished into the crowd and few more seconds later, there’s no crowd at all. I decide to look for the young me. I go to one of the classrooms I remember studying in but only end up finding a friend from middle school who still appears to be a small child. I asked him about the younger me and he directs me to another building of the campus telling me that the younger me’s class is over there. I have an urge to meet myself and to warn him of the mistakes he’s going to commit in the future. I begin to search in the other building. As I climb the stairs, I come across younger versions of the people I know from college, for instance my flatmates, it’s not even been a year since I’ve known them. Strangely, they’re all laughing at me and it seems to be a pitiful laugh. That’s when I wake up.
No doubt, dreams are uncanny. They’re probably meant to be that way, eerie. But these two were exceptional in some way. I felt the same way after woke up from each of them, undone and incomplete. As if they wanted to make me realise something that I’ve been doing wrong. The road I was riding on is one of my favourite routes but maybe it’s time I discern that it has always been the longer one, leading me nowhere. Maybe, I should choose what is necessary rather than what I desire. Because no matter how much hope is left in me, I’d only end up where I started from. I made a fool out of myself while trying to turn my life around by warning the young me and undoing my past. There’s no way to overturn what I’ve already committed.
I can’t possibly change my life by restarting it, unfortunately this is real life and we’re all granted just one chance. As I said, looking back is a metaphor but looking forward isn’t. It’s funny that after all these years I’m only learning from my own subconscious self. There’s no one to thank for it, no one but myself.
– Apoorv Mathur.