I COME FROM FUTURE
(word count 1980)
Published in Blind Spot / with author interview

I come from Future where humans are unusual and infrequent. My name is Ob20ZI in reference to Object 20ZI. In Future, names are a combination of initials and Ob’s perfect number. Everything here seems to be perfect.

I walk in the streets and look in window displays to find a trace of my face. I am not recognizable. This reality doesn’t shock me. I suddenly find myself in a library where a number of Objects are doing something supposedly similar to what I am here to do. I sweep my index onto the bare shelves where fingerprints of dust remain from a past life. This place has no sound. I cannot even hear my inner voice. Conversely, I hear a foreign language that I surprisingly understand. They say in dreams we tend to know foreign languages fluently more than in waking life. So I immediately assess my consciousness level. Am I dreaming? Am I lucid? Am I here? I am here. All the Objects are here. So I don’t worry. I keep sweeping my fingers onto the bare shelves. I would like to mention that I am the kind of Ob that gets easily distracted. Thank God it’s not considered a deficiency otherwise I have to get a governmental job.

I come from Future where the chief rule to get somewhere fast is to go really slow. I break the rule. I go really fast and always find myself way in the back. The faster I go forward the farther I get backward. It’s really a matter of physics.

I think I am good at physics but i am not able to prove it. I know velocity and speed.

 One is the rate at which an Object changes its position. The other is how fast an Object is moving. Velocity is a vector quantity that keeps track of direction while speed is a scalar quantity that doesn’t keep track of direction.

Supposing I am the Object who, in Future, I am. My velocity is 120 miles per hour East. I am moving my position in time towards an Eastern direction. Now I look back to track the distance that I have crossed to find it equaling -120 West. At first, you think that this is a speed control anomaly or a divine intervention or wind speed or God. Wrong.

In Future, a speed scale in the minus zone is very popular. You have the freedom to have a below zero speed. I find this fantastic. I don’t think in other places they have this luxury. We here at Future go back in time.

To live in Future entails three obligatory cartons with an Object’s own choice of color.

Carton 1 embraces memories.
Carton 2 embraces immediate thoughts.

Carton 3 embraces goals.

Carton1 is easily accessible and has a proliferate nature.
Carton2 is tremendously monitored. Since immediate thoughts run riot, they must be contained to supply Object’s safety and well being when losing control.

Carton3 is bolted. Only a refurbished Object can unbolt it. Objects can rarely reach this phase of dexterity. Therefore, sadly, many Objects die before unbolting Carton3. It is crucial here to mention that, in Future, death is primarily referred to as eternal rest.  

Objects can no longer sustain a dream. However, there is a rare occurrence where an Object can break this rule. An Object can dream of another Object as long as the Object can confuse the other Object with the picture of some other Object. This requires mastery. Luckily this is a recurrent theme in my dreams. I can’t say I am the master of my dreams but I can say I am getting there. The only drawback is that every time I want to tell someone my dream I find myself -120 miles West causing the dream to vanish. I am really getting confused here. Am I really slow or fast? I am on two poles of extremities.

Future Objects are susceptible to bipolar disorder and are required to consume 200mg of mood stabilizers. This fact is astonishingly timed. At 20:00 each day, all Objects consume 200mg. The population here is limited. Many Objects reach eternal rest at an early age. Some say it is due to their mood stabilizers consumption irregularity and others say due to their nonnative nature.

Being a native of Future is simply being born and breastfed within 4,000 square miles radar. At my velocity, I am no longer a native. I am ready for my eternal rest despite my faith in immortality. I believe that Eternal rest is an advanced form of sleep. That’s when we pioneer our individualist sovereignty. That’s when we dream. That’s where we live the reality of our dreams.

I saw yesterday a dream where God told me ‘Ob, you are immortal.’
I believed her. Strangely, this incident started circulating in Future as if God started the gossip.

I assessed my consciousness. I didn’t do it. I always had doubts about my dreams being monitored by some group of young hackers who would one day blackmail me. But I like to think that hallucinations are the precipitating sequel to mood stabilizers.

Now I am officially declared a Future nonnative and my eternal rest must take place today between 20:00 and 20:20. I am not sure what the 20 minutes serve for but I guess I have to be there for the ceremony. I just hope not much chanting will take place. In Future, Objects don’t know how to sing in harmony. I don’t want my eternal rest to start with dissonance.

It is now 19:20. I am glued to a metal chair in the middle of an empty room known as the ‘Ob termination’. You only enter this room once in your lifetime cycle. This is also one of the chief rules in Future. I have to wait and be blessed with my vulnerability. I’ve noticed lately that my indulgence has severely dropped below zero. I think it’s the right moment to terminate all this with a challenge. I must fall asleep. I fall asleep. I dream. 

In previous incarnations, names were composed of letters. There were no numbers before Future. Even Future had a different name that was deleted from people’s memories during an official elimination ceremony that took place in downtown and every single

Object had to attend otherwise they were terminated. The ceremony commanded by the first Lord of Future who, up until now, no one knew his real name. He inherited his throne to his father.  

Objects are all indigenous. Lately and on rare occasions, Objects can be imitations. Gladly, my indigenous traits passed on. This only means that my termination cannot be a result of my nonnative nature.

It is now 20:00. I open my eyes to the sound of a choir singing the parting song. I can’t see them but I know they are somewhere. I sigh to the thought that everyone is now consuming the mood stabilizers.

An imitation Object enters the room. Imitation Objects are identical to indigenous Objects. You have to be skilled to spot their imitation traits. It’s really hard to tell. I can tell the difference as I have worked for a year in a northern factory where imitation Objects are in vogue. This particular Ob has a special trait. He is holding my very own Carton2. I haven’t seen it in a long while. It’s blue. It is so unfair to make you decide the color of your Carton2 at age 5. You’re not in a position to make such decisions. I wish I have the choice now to make this change. I would pick grey though it’s not my favorite color. My immediate thoughts do seem to be grey most of the time. Maybe if I go to Future court and appeal for this change with this very convincing reason, I would be the first one to make a change in Future policies. I would be the first revolutionary Future Object. God, this feels good. That’s all what I need in ‘Ob termination’. Some ambition. Imitation Ob looks at me with my immediate thoughts in his hands. I get frightened for a second then I realize that it’s still locked.  

I know that in ‘Ob termination’ room all your Cartons must be present. I ask him where the other two cartons are. Imitation Objects usually don’t like to answer questions. He keeps staring at me. I start feeling the awkwardness while keeping in mind that it’s 20:05. To be honest, I am glad Carton1 is not present. In such situation, you get the least motivation from your memories. I don’t want to lie today. I think it would be nice to have Carton1 for a brief minute where I can extract my yesterday dream of God and prove my integrity.

Finally he turns his gaze away and starts opening my Carton2. I feel uncomfortable. At the end, some stranger is about to read my immediate thoughts. I try to fall asleep again. Now it’s impossible. When I send an order to sleep, I feel a great energy pulsing through my veins. I’m trapped in my own body. I don’t like this. I want to dream. I want to dream of that God and confuse her with my mother’s divine face. I want her to tell me that I am immortal. The struggle lasts for a minute then Ob says, ‘your eternal rest is a forfeit for dreaming of immortality and for dreaming in general. You broke one of Future chief rules.’ 

‘I am sure you got it all wrong. I had a dream of God telling me that I am immortal. I did not say it. She said it.’

It is obvious to me now that Imitation Objects can get upset which is another confusing trait about them.

‘God is not a She,’ he draws the line.

‘That brings me to the next subject: I did not break a chief rule. I had a dream where I confused my mother’s face with another face, the face of God. So I did the confusion part.’

I am really getting angry. This imitation Ob is wasting the last minutes prior to my eternal rest talking about absolute nothingness. I prefer dissonance.

It’s 20:18. Two imitation Objects walk in. One holds my Carton1 and the other holds my Carton3. I have never seen my Carton3. It’s the first time in my life in Future. There are few things about this room. Many first time encounters take place.  

They place Carton1 & Carton3 on the floor in front of me. That one is still holding on to my Carton2. Now that I am used to it, it’s not frustrating anymore. I think. He reads the thought. I try to confuse him and think about too many things at the same time. Imitation Objects are not trained to process more than two thoughts at a time. That’s another thing I noticed at the northern factory. He is now all focused while exhausting his manufactured brain to process all my thoughts. I am amused finally!

Suddenly, it all starts to happen. I feel a wave of heat coming from beneath my Carton1. It’s perplexing. Carton1 is put on fire. I stop thinking of my amusement and observe my flames. It’s 20:19. What I want so badly right now in the next 60 seconds is to open Carton3. I observe Carton2 being swallowed by Imitation Object. He bites and swallows every piece of it. I am feeling an unusual pain. I feel my thoughts crashed and soaked in synthetic saliva. I feel my brain decaying and devoured. I can still see Carton3. I see it. It’s still bolted. I am vanishing away from my goals. I hear a foreign language and I see God. She tells me ‘I am Immortal’. It’s now painful to assess my consciousness. I am lucid.

It’s 20:20. 


LISTEN TO AUDIO STORY ON PODCAST
narrated by Darine Hotait
music & sound design by Tarek Yamani