Chapter 2: Who I Am
 
 "Citizens Benefits Package "Who I Am" (the song, the story (pdf, fb2, epub) and arts)


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“A distant shriek of a child, thrilled, shivering with joy while going down a slide; spread through the clouds covering my vision. I was walking_ but where? I forced halt my steps and tried to be receptive towards my senses. Light, noise, breeze; my eyes at once almost closed to manage the sunlight as if they had just woke up in the middle of a day. Weird, isn’t it? I had been stepping ahead like a pedestrian for don’t know how long but was just as unconscious as a sleeping man. Where was I going? I struggled to remember how I got in this green crowded park but memories seemed to fade. I was left with only question marks and the girl. I think, it was the girl from my inside again who had something to do with the edge of my ignorant situation. And okay, what else I could think of; she was the only face I was left with in my memory bucket. She had held my hand just before I had fallen to the deserted land near that deadly building. But wait_ there was no grass ahead. I must have twisted my path in this mystical sleeping walk. Was I dreaming then or am I dreaming now?”

He stood there unsure and unacknowledged, doubting the presence of simple nature around him. Just then a baby ran from out of nowhere and hit him between his legs. Shattering him a little and himself nearly fallen, he brushed dirt off his small puffy hands and tried to apologize, “Torry”

Silence and stare.

“Torry” the baby repeated with some artificial clarity in his voice, suspecting the man’s reaction but Alex continued gazing upon him with an absolute hollowness as if assaying the baby’s touch as an evidence of reality. The baby started to run back feet in some displeasure

“You stoot in my way” and he didn’t forget to transfer the blame before he finally went off. Alex followed his focus until he was hidden behind hedges. Not knowing what else to do, he started to walk towards the path that turned blindly into other side of park.

One step, two steps, three steps… and his vision blurred, and feet shattered. He forced himself to keep standing at one place. The noises became resonant and hammered in his head to an extent that he kept hands on ears to save himself from the amplified sounds. His eyes rose and fell over a white bench with a path lamp. A flash of memory filled up his conscious mind with a tinge of sheer needle-like pain_ flashing a delusion of the same bench occupied by him and the girl, sitting together, looking at each other.

“Alex…” he heard her distant whispering voice. “Will we find you?”

“We will find me” his own shadow had spoken to her on the bench and then they both looked at him, filling his mind with electric impulses inducing throbbing pains and rushing his blood to result sheer restlessness that pulled him back into the reality, where the bench was again empty.

“What the hell is wrong? Alex… is that me? Who am I? If I am Alex, who is Alex?” he finger combed his hair in utter confusion and threw stones of questions in his silent mind; which only bounced back at him unanswered. Slightly irritated, he got off the stone path between the hedges and walked while deliberately crushing treated grass under his feet.

He took a turn and viewed deeply at the other side of the park. It was big, totally green with some colorful swings and slides scattered and partitioned by grass shrubs. There were elders unaware of abnormality and there were kids like him; unaware of their own identity. Only difference between him and the little babies was that they were happy being ignorant while Alex’s only worry was inability to recall his identity.

He moved eyes upwards and tried to read a big arch covered by green climber plants. “XETRA KRAP” he had never seen or heard that word before. Tired at once, he threw himself on a nearby bench.

What now?

He slide hands in pockets and all he could find was some money enough to buy a couple days food.

“Great!” he chuckled satirically, “The one responsible for my situation wants me to still survive. Son of a… I am going to kill him once I find out…” he closed eyes to keep his boiling temper in control. Right now, finding out about himself was more imperative.

“XETRA…” he repeated under lips, opened eyes and viewed the board again. XETRA KRAP. A mild smile spread on his lips for the first time. What a fool! It wasn’t KRAP but PARK. He concentrated further; it was ARTEX PARK. And he had totally heard of it before, where, he didn’t know.

Restless at his first positive projection, he sprung up from the bench and stepped ahead, walking to each and every corner of the park, ignoring people, excusing people, jumping over the rolling kids, stealing eyes from the crying babies and beautiful lively faces. Oh but in the end he only found a small café hut which caught his attention because of thirst.

Out of ideas, he dragged himself inside and ordered a cocktail at counter. The bartender bent and turned to get the order done. Meanwhile Alex rested his arms over the reception table and turned face towards another of his companion behind the shelf, working over a register. Big white moustaches and curly white hair, only few remained on his head. He seemed like a cowboy retired from shooting long ago. Alex took a deep breath restfully and stretched lightly while looking away, but the next moment his head spun with a buzz of electricity with steep sounds amplified inside his brain like a projecting tentacle.

“West from here…” the old cowboy reflected speaking to him and the coming moment before he could react to his condition with a shriek, it was all gone. He quickly looked back at the old cowboy, he hadn’t changed an inch. But then he raised his head towards Alex meaningfully and calmly turned down to resume his work.

Next chapter.

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