i say i dream about the future but i dream about the past
Today I wake up to the chirping of birds. A rare sound in a big city. I lie here in serenity and the birds keep me company and I wonder how nature can be so calm. How it can thrive as humans suffer in captivity. How we are now caged but at least they’re free and I’m happy, but not for long. I remember the time I sat on the Ferris wheel with that boy but the boy was my friend and didn’t try to hold my hand and the wind blew through my hair and I knew that one day I’d be free. The wind still blows but I’m trapped inside this concrete tower and it whispers through the curtains and beckons me outside. I get up and crack the window just enough to let the wind in. It’s summer and the wind is warm and I feel it passing through my body but I’m shivering and the birds are louder now and I wonder if their chirps announce freedom or death. I close the window and the wind still blows but I’m safe inside this concrete tower and the wind is howling against the windows and maybe today I don’t want to be free. I stay in my room and I dream of the future. I decide my next hair colour. I plan reunions with my friends. I hope to sit on the Ferris wheel with another boy and this time he holds my hand and I’m still free. I remember my next sip of wine. I do not think about death. I do not think about disease. I do not think about how when this is all over the ones who remain will have to pick up the pieces of our shattered windows and our splintered lives and our broken hearts. I do not think about how long it will take before I will want to be free again.
Aishwarya Javalgekar (she/her) is a feminist creator and researcher. Her pieces have been published in Ink and Nebula, Constellate, The Incubator, armarolla, and dreams walking magazine. She explores gender, relationships, mental health, and the body through her writing.