A fiction short story by Tea Jay
I think, rather than being a close ancestor of the ape, humans rather embody the spirit of a cat in the way we all seem to reincarnate through our nine lives. Show me a man who hasn’t seen trauma and, in result, blossomed into a rebirth, be it for the best or otherwise. Is there a person on this planet who has faced their demons that hasn’t grown in result? I’m not talking rapid regrowth, I’m talking apocalyptic events and within time, be it decades or millennia, the earth slowly reclaims her destruction.
Without even knowing an old version of yourself has died, we re-spawn in new places with new faces, our worlds ever changing, our personalities ever adapting. Who we were yesterday is not the same person we are today, and tomorrow when new challenges arise we will rise to the occasion and adapt to whatever circumstances may come. Perhaps we reincarnate multiple times in our lives, the infant, the child, the adolescent, the adult, the beggar, the loser, the pit of despair, the rise and fall of our empires we work so hard to build to leave a lasting mark in a world we’re all doomed to die in.
We grow. We die, and we grow, and we live, and that’s the only way we can move forward in society. And that’s okay. It’s alright that we shed our skins like snakes and slither into new, shiny bodies. It’s okay that we outgrow toxic ways; it’s encouraged. If we stayed the same person we would overcast our own potential.
But I’m scared.
How many lives are we allowed and what happens when we run out? Are there endless possibilities in the people we become, the old habits we grow tired of? Can we die a thousand times to be reborn a thousand and one? Is someone out there, punching away our reward member card? What do we get out of our cycles, a free smoothie, eternal salvation in heaven, or when we die do we just cease to exist?
I wish to be an ivy plant in my next life. That way I can grow up the sides of beautiful, old buildings in the city. It would be fitting, because once I get wrapped up in something or someone I tend to suffocate the life out of it as if that’s just the way I was designed to be. But what happens when I cover the building in my calming green leaves? Can I cover the city block? Will they cut me down in fear of the structural damage I could inflict?
I drink a cup of coffee, two, three. I cling on to the cup as though it’s my life source, as if it is the nectar of the gods. I hope that, maybe, if I drink enough of this caffeinated elixir, maybe it will wake something up deep inside the dormant corners of my brain, giving me the answers to who I am, what my purpose is, and what I’m meant to be doing. Because I feel like I’m on autopilot, going through a metamorphosis, and just letting the universe decide what’s next.