The rains crash relentlessly against the wooden panel, the 12 year old frame that holds the glass windows in place. I’m at the edge of my bed staring wildly into the darkness. The i pod shuffle clasped in my wet shaky hands. I have many problems, some created, others surreal. But they’re all similar in one thing. They bother me.
Mother’s done with her round of shouting for the day so I’m ready to rest now. I’ve waited for this moment. My eyes move slowly to the iPod shuffle, stung at the high intensity of the backlit screen. It’s a bit painful,but sadly,i enjoy every bit of it.
This device,this sickness,is my drug,my love. It defines me, it rejuvenates my soul….I smile quietly at the peaceful thoughts. People say that life is a series of choices, to others,little packets of time. Mine is simple, but far more disturbing.
My life is divided into three playlists, each tagged, ‘birth’, ‘life’and ‘death’ respectively. Tune after tune deciphers the next vision to occur. I’m always in control. Whatever song played,my hearts beats in agreement.
‘Rebecca’, angry voice bellowed. It must be from the attic, dad. I don’t need to argue tonight, so I do the next best thing. I grin at the collection of songs,clicking on the first. The playlist starts, forcing my eyes shut. The first vision fades into view. This was where it all started.
26th August 1994, a cloudy day bereft of happiness. The room is poorly lit. Probably due to lack of funding. I sit down quietly on the wooden stool, far right corner of the labour room waiting patiently for me to born. Surely the past must be known. An ailment must have it’s beginning. The truth comes quickly enough.
‘It’s a girl,’ the chief surgeon annouces. A tinge of pride in his voice. They’ve taken the first step. Now the second, the creature,upon conception must now pass the sorrow test. So, they tap me softly a few times on the lower back. No response.
I sit quietly, observing,wondering how I passed. The answer comes soon enough. It’s my father’s phone, the ringtone that is. Someone called. The music flows,unperturbed through the quiet of the room. Eventually the creature starts shaking,it’s skin turning golden brown. It’s eyes widen and to everyone’s amazement, the tears come flooding in. They all sigh in relief. I standup and trudge towards the child. The music device in my right pocket beeps out loud, I look towards the screen. My fears are confirmed. The playlist is over.
Every disease has its side effects. Some,nausea, others fever and so on. Mine is the curse of living up the lifeform I was raised upon. Trembling in the darkroom,my thumb hovers over the next playlist. Careful,so as not to touch anything else. A new string of songs begins, I dig my nails deep into the mattress. The new vision begins, The Present.
I have one sole aspiration in life, to be an artist. To cause social change by in tuning the right lyrics, the right vibe. I felt I could cause world peace, heal diseases and infirmities, one my breath passed through the steel coverings of a microphone. All I needed was a beat, a sound that would appease the very demons that axed against the strings holding my inner being.
No one likes the idea. Much less my parents. My father warned me sternly one Tuesday night,’you will be a lawyer and that’s all there is to it.’ It was simple and direct. I felt the spirits in me howl In misery. I breakdown in tears,convulsing in the pain. The playlist ends, the vision ended.
I realise, that even now,i’m still shaking, reeling from the effect. The music box still fixated in my palm. Seething with anguish, I make my happiest mistake.
My thumbprint embossed on the ‘shuffle’ button. That was it. I couldn’t control my life anymore. The iPod slips through my fingers and falls to the cold,hard floor. My temperature rises and I start gagging. My eyelids are once again forced shut.
The final vision happens, future.
12.30 pm, is the time on the big round clock. I open my eyes,feeling slightly dizzy from the effect, probably from the music.
The light pierces through and I realise that i’m at a hospital, again. But it’s different this time. I’m in labour. My supposed husband and the doctors are there,urging me on. I’m gasping for air,grabbing at the few pockets of oxygen left in the room. The second child slides out me quickly and preety soon, i’m told that i’m the mother of twins.
I’m a 20 year old spirit encased in an older woman’s body. I should be proud, I think. Both children are made to undergo the stimulus test, they offer no reaction. The stench of dark horror seeps through their minds. I look the other way,trying to avoid the truth. It doesn’t work. I sigh and curse quietly grabbing the phone within reach. Unfortunately, my husband has 7 songs on his device,none that I know of. I play the first one, the sound humming softly in the background.
Then the inevitable happens. Their eyes open, skimming the room for the one that dared to disturb their peace. Gently they bob their heads,swaying in cheorographic unision at the tune.
The surgeon is shocked, my husband utterly bewildered. Me?,i’m convinced now. I have a disease, it’s eating every fibre of my being, emptying my heart of it’s joy to the dregs. It’s sick, disturbing,but beautiful none-the-less.
Musing through these thoughts, I nod in agreement, it’s a beautiful rhythmic disease.