My visions starts to fail me, and I become lost in a dream. Everything turns different colors, I am lifted in the air and taken some place I can’t begin to explain. I become sun light. I lit up the sky, and there, my life is presented to me in a million pictures. Every moment is there. My birth, my birthdays, my first dress, my first kiss, my transition, my tears and my laughter are all in front of my eyes. Then other birthdays, other first kisses, and other tears start to appear in front of me, but they aren’t mine. They’re other people’s.
Each one of the strangers suddenly starts to feel familiar, but I can’t fathom where I met them or when. Yet, I am convinced that I know them. The images start to line up, like in a movie. Just then, I notice that every set of pictures is a different life, and every beginning is also an end. Every set of pictures tells a story, but they are also just small parts of something bigger- a bigger story, a bigger life.
Suddenly the images feel more like memories, like my own memories. That is when I realize I have died. This is my transition from one life to another. I am probably in some type of limbo. I wonder what I will become when I go back to Earth this time. From the pictures, I realize that I have been different creatures countless times before, and I am convinced that I’ll come back as an animal this time. That is what I have been taught.
This feeling of sadness for my family starts to overwhelm me. I had shame them and failed them in the most painful way and that hurts me. I start to think that soon I will not remember them, but that is almost a relive. They always told me that hijras have bad karma. Transitioning into my true self was going to cost me expensive, I would have to go back and walk the earth again. I was taught that’s how it went. However, the pain will be gone. There will be no more judgmental fingers telling me I’ll be a snake in my next life, or more nasty men touching me with their dirty hands for coins.
My heart starts to ache for the sisters I chose for myself and will now be left behind. I beg the stars for them.
“Let them be free, heal their bodies.”
I take a closer look at my past lives and wonder if they all have been as tough as the last one. I suddenly feel very tired. I start to cry. Part of me is angry with the stars for giving me the hardest of journeys. After a black out, all the bad things I ever did start to be highlighted. I am relieved that I never killed, raped or hurt anyone. I did steal, lied, cheated, and for a period of time wounded and abused mother Earth.
Shame comes and goes as I stare perplexed at my bad actions, but I find relief in that every time I went back to earth, I was better. I gave up my life as a fish to feed a poor family after stealing during my life as a salesmen. I gave aid and helped the poor after my life as a dishonest tax collector. My love for mother Earth came back to me, when as a bird and I was able to see the planet’s infinite beauty from high above. I kept going back as a better version of me, until the day I was born in the wrong body.
My soul then wonders if the stars will send me as a hijra again. I am thankful I have been one and I know that the strength I gained will transcend for as many times as I have to be born again. I was tested and put in pain, but I stayed true to myself and never gave in. I helped my beloved sisters, stood tall with them in the hardest of times, and I provided for them when their families turned their backs. I became a resilient warrior. I became the best woman I could have been.
My body is lifted in the skies and everything turns into a sunset. By this point I am just energy-an idea. My body is gone now, but all of my memories become one. My pain is healed and my life restored. My bad times start to make sense, they all served a purpose and got me here. I am filled with feelings of love, happiness and wholeness. The stars suddenly don’t look so far. I am among them. I am one of them. Is this nirvana?
Author’s Statement on Beauty
I strongly believe beauty lays in one’s ability to create something meaningful. There is a moment in every musical that I like to refer to as the “the most musical moment.” It usually happens during a turning point in the story, and it’s fairly easy to identify. It happens when the momentum is such that the actor is left with nothing but raw emotion, he closes his eyes, lifts his hands forming a circle, puts his head up, and belts a note. “The most musical moment” is trying to fill us up with something meaningful and everlasting, and it is trying to create, and gift us, what is probably one of our most precious possessions, a memory. The best musicals are those that do not leave you. And that is precisely what beautiful things do, they mark us. Whether it is a view, a photograph, a song, or a person, we deem them beautiful because they make us feel that weird warm sensation that we can’t quite explain. They create something in us, fill up, and send us off with the only expectation that it is now our turn to keep creating beauty.
Kevin Davila is an international student from Nicaragua currently living in South Florida. He loves listening to sad music even when he’s happy. His passion for languages, social justice, and travel, and his weird love for places he has never visited are his biggest inspirations to write pieces that invite his readers to open their minds. This is his first publication in a journal.