Chronicles from the Future: Reborn – Aug 17 1923
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August 17th 1923
It’s the twelfth day today and I’ve already started writing about it! Whatever happened to that combination of astonishment and horror of the first week, that religious awe in the sight of everything that, in the beginning, I considered supernatural? Where has the fear of losing my mind gone? All these mixed feelings lasted a lot less than expected. Here you have it then; man can, indeed, get used to anything! One will get accustomed to the most unbelievable things and will eventually return to their everyday routine.
(After a while)
Almighty God, the course that my life has taken was always planned by you and always your desire. All these days and nights, only my faith kept me from losing my mind over this incredible reality that I’ve been living in. Have mercy on me, my Lord, and don’t deny forgiveness to your unworthy servant!
It’s been three days now since I managed to carry myself out of bed and noticed something unexpected: my pains have gone away and I was able to walk even during the first few hours. The mirror is now the only reminder of the bandage that I still have wrapped around my head. And if what they say is true, they’re going to remove it the day after tomorrow. Have I recovered then? Can it be true? Am I not dead? Who could imagine and believe a miracle like this?
(Three hours later- dawn)
I even feel much better psychologically, after the soothing words of the doctors and my meeting yesterday with one of them, Johannes Jaeger. Before, my days and nights had been excruciating. The pain was nothing compared to the psychological torment I was going through - due to the inner conflict between a world of unbelievable things happening around me and the existence of another world inside me, one of different memories but nevertheless complete and clear.
My mature judgment, a result of my age, had taught me how to distinguish the real from the unreal and my exceptionally good memory was flooding my mind with images and events from my past, in sharp details, exactly as I had lived them. I was functioning perfectly, as I remembered myself. But so did all the crazy things around me…
I was certain it was me; on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but it was me! Once I was in the presence of the Ilectes* I fell down and started to cry, that’s all… And anyway, I don’t think that anyone could confidently say that they’d be able to control their nerves in such a situation. (*a term used for senior officials of the spiritual leadership, who had a special position in the social life of that future era)
These last few days I haven’t seen anybody else apart from the two doctors. The nurses were being kept away from me following the episode with the mirror, when I first saw my new face and lost it. The new doctor stood by me as a kind and skillful healer but also as a silent partner who always avoided looking straight into my eyes whenever we were alone, and who always had a hint of agitation in his eyes.
The day before yesterday, the chief doctor, Professor Molsen, came unexpectedly to my chamber in the afternoon. He seemed more excited than usual. He told me to get up and, holding me by the arm, helped me walk to the adjoining living room. I realized at that moment that a whole world was opening up before me. Sometimes I find myself overpowered by a newfound infantile eagerness. I hadn’t felt so impatient since I was a little child!
I stood at the entrance for a while, looking at the living room. A strangely large room with all kinds of bizarre - for me – things and those tall transparent doors that offered a panoramic view of the lush countryside, the slopes of the mountains and beyond. Then I started walking again but not for long. Every two steps I stopped and peered about. At some point, I turned around and saw the doctor looking at me with a curious expression on his face, - I’ll never forget that look - but at that moment I didn’t care about anything.
It was neither gold nor gems, like in fairy tales, that amazed me. Everything there was made of a beautiful type of crystal dressed in perfect combinations of pastel colors; sky blue, green, white and red. Everything, from the tables and chairs to the stools and the frames, gave you the impression of a colorless metal on which a soft light flowed incessantly in harmonic waves. Everything was bright and clear; even the flower pots and the crystal blooming springs of the flowers. However, if you came too close, like a curious child, believing you would find something in that transparent panorama of colors, the touch would rectify that first impression and the surfaces of the seats would prove soft and warm.
The doctor didn’t rush me. Passing through the living room we found ourselves in a big hallway; that’s where I finally saw people again after the isolation of the past days. It was a spacious vestibule that led right to the enormous main terrace. It was afternoon and the place was filled with light. Doctors and nurses were quietly chatting to each other standing up. At the sight of the chief doctor they discreetly stood aside and made way for us to pass. While walking past them I heard them whisper that name again, the name that everyone kept repeating all these days when in my presence: “Andrew Northam.” I shivered. “Who is this Andrew Northam?” I wondered. The reality unfolds merciless before my eyes from all sides. There only remains for me to admit, along with the doctors, this unprecedented thing happening to me, which exceeds even the wildest dreams of the most overactive imagination.
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Copyright Achilleas Syrigos. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be republished.