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Octavarium and Re-enacting a Past Dream

by Magda Magdy


It lingers…
Like an aftertaste,
Ransacking your sporadic memories
Thoughts frantically maddening.

Mouth-gaped face,
Eyes full ablaze,
My dormant soul lies awake—

It is an entrancing symphony,
A quartet,
A nostalgic rhapsody in August.

“Mark the beginning,” I said
“The story ends where it starts,”
From catatonic sleep does he awake.

A day-tripper he is,
Streaming in and out,
Of consciousness.

Incoherent tortured insanity!

He tries to escape this pandemonium hell
But to no avail, The equilibrium…
soon fell.

Trapped inside this octavarium,
An impromptu cyclic continuum,
Step after step, we try controlling our fate,
When we finally start living, it has become too late!

This story ends where it began…

Re-enacting a Past Dream

She dreamt she was encumbered in a parallel universe, a transitory state of life, a world where the apparent threads between reality and irrationality are distorted to form a cohesive theater of the absurd, theater of the mind. Acceptance was the key.

Delusional thinking had forced her to participate in this farce, this re-enactment of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. She was no fool. On the contrary, she had more wits to defeat, defy, and challenge altogether the logic of seemingly potent philosophers or pseudointellectuals as she preferred to call them, with their mere arrogance, supercilious smiles, and false masks of self-pretense.

The intricate weaving of the threads kept dwindling, the linoleum concrete floors started squeaking, the abandoned skies began to fall, the suns and clocks haphazardly melting, as masks dropped to the bending knees of insipid men, to reveal thin veneers of emaciated, haggard-looking visages reminiscent of filthy dreary corpses and sulfur-coated coal mines, a blank expressionless look on their faces, staring wildly right into the eye of darkness, as if in a daze.

“What a mundane, worldly place we live in?” she thought to herself, inhaling the puff of smoke released off some battered vehicle passing by. In a world void of meaning, how could one reason or make sense of the incomprehensible? It left her utterly perplexed. All these inner conflicts and existential dilemmas weighed heavily upon her soul.

In her short lifespan that stretched only twenty years, she had witnessed enough to come to the full realization that reality was not what she truly desired…this mere passing-by, this transient stage, this dreary existence did not fully satisfy her. Henceforth, she took ultimate refuge in her fertile imagination, creating sub-realities, alternate universes of her own, and dwelling peacefully within the arbitrary sanctuaries of her mind. It formed a means of solitary escapism from this bland, dull, insipid reality she dreaded so much.

She found solace in solitude, books, music, and films. Summoning up her courage, she took it upon herself to discover the true meaning of her existence. That was her role for life, she believed. To question, investigate, and go beyond dogmatic restrictions. To soar into the realm of truth, the placid tree of knowledge, and consequently bear the fruits of self-awareness. It was crucial, inevitable that she would break off from the shackles that constricted her every move. Break away from the masses of people, the herd of sheep that were ignorantly yet gullibly born to follow and to die. Free-spirited and rebellious to the very core, she rejected a life of blind conformity and compliant servitude in favor of a life full of adventures and new horizons to explore. She took a deep breath and took a leap of faith and sought to assert herself, once and for all.

When the two divergent roads presented themselves, she had decided to take “The road less traveled by/ And it has made all the difference.”


All artwork is courtesy of Eman Osama.

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