Reality osmosis.

Sometimes I wonder if I am a real person.

*

It is 2258hrs. I am walking back from campus to my house. It is -12*C and the streets are caked with fresh and frosty snow. Whiteness is peppering the orange hue of streetlamps and candles obsessively crowding every Swede’s window ledge. It looks like tiny baby fairies in elaborate wedding dresses are falling from the sky. I am plugged in and blasting EDM K-pop on loop. There are neither vehicles nor humans in sight. I glance back to check if the snow-ridden paths are corroborating with gravity to register my footprints.

*

It is 1503hrs. I am taking refuge on my friend’s couch on campus after being prematurely evicted from my hotel room. My body is heavy and the Singaporean humidity is draining me. I am losing sense of time. I curl up like a shrimp and thumb through Tumblr as my cheeks rub against the rough fabric of the musty couch. I am too lazy to adjust myself. It suddenly becomes pitch-dark and my brain informs me that I have dozed off. I try to stay in this state to catch a nap but all my senses are still on high alert. I jerk myself awake and click on the home button of my iPhone as a reflex. Only two minutes have passed. I beep my friend a DM to ascertain if I am awake or lucid dreaming.

*

It is 1946hrs. I am stranded at the airport lounge in Helsinki from a flight delay. Passengers rustle uneasily at yet another announcement update from the ground staff. I finish the last of my bottled water and contemplate relinquishing my precious seat right next to the power socket for a pee break. I coil up my cables and establish eye contact with the passengers awkwardly slouching near me. Fastest butt gets this warm seat. I locate the toilet one floor up and navigate my bags up a flight of stairs. The fluorescent lights in the toilet are blinding and I cannot decide if I have aged dramatically from perpetually traveling or if Finnish mirrors are tricksters. I exit the toilet to return to society but suddenly forget where I am. What city is this? What day is it? What time is it? What am I doing? I fish out my boarding pass to verify my consciousness and status and purpose as designated on paper.

*

It is 0121hrs. I am chewing on soggy fries at McDonald’s. Everything is cold and gross but I do quick math across time differences and decide that I should put food into my body. Half the ceiling lights are switched off at Dubai airport leaving only irregularly spaced ones to guide sleepy zombie-humanoids through channels of walkways to our next pit-stop. Suitcases and neck pillows and track pants start to resemble an international uniform. An adventurous toddler gets off his joy-ride on the trolley and runs head first into the plant in front of me. He looks like he is about to cry but his mom runs towards him in exaggerated giggles and gestures to make light of the situation. The toddler decides the fall on his bum is a funny thing after all and bursts into laughs. It occurs to me that the last time I displayed exaggerated gestures was to get an automated door at the airport to acknowledge my body and allow me to pass through.

*

I wonder if I am a real person.

Beep here.

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