I was born Olum Oluzun, a resident of Pakistan. My father was an oil sheikh and I wanted for nothing. There is said to be a picture in my office, of me, dressed in an outfit similar to my father’s as a child.
I have never seen it.
We were standing out near the edge of the desert looking at the landscape. It was my last strong visual memory.
Soon after that trip, migraine headaches preceded an unexpected aneurysm. I lost my sight.
It never returned.
This was only the beginning. Soon after my sense of smell exploded and I could smell things a thousand times more faint than ever before. As I adjusted to my blindness, my mother, ever the optimist tried to convince me, my sense of smell was compensating for my loss of vision.
I hated to tell her I couldn’t believe it to be true. Allah was good, but not that good. I also noticed my sense of touch had become more acute as well. My clothing which had always been fine silks, suddenly felt scratchy and oppressive, as if it were an overcoat of poor-quality wool.
I was less willing to travel now that my vision was gone and with the added burden of potent perfumes and scratchy clothing, even less. I stayed in my room with the door closed. My parents didn’t know I refused to lie down, finding my bed to be as oppressive and confining as clothing. I stood through the night and noted I no longer slept. Nor did I feel a need to.
Bathing was reduced to once a day or even once every other day since it took such great effort to create a bath I could tolerate. Too hot or too cold became a game I grew tired of playing. Eating was the only sense I indulged in with any relish. Everything tasted wonderful!
No matter how much I ate, I continued to lose weight. Hospitalized, I began to shrivel away. My body consumed itself, my doctors, could not diagnose me; no bacterial infections, no known virus, no sickness presented itself.
While I grew physically weaker, my mind grew stronger. I was able to discern how many people there were around me, just based on their unique biological chemistry. My hearing grew more acute, fantastically so, I was able to discern individual heartbeats.
My mind and senses were tightly integrated in a way I had never known.
Even as my body failed me, I knew my intellect grew greater. In feverish nightmare, new technologies came to me unbidden. I didn’t have much time. I scribbled frantically, etching my designs for engineers.
They worked day and night. I knew I would never see their work.
My brain was relocated into a vat of amniotic-like fluid of my design, my intellect preserved; a cool, distant thing.
With a mental clarity I had never known.
What might I accomplish now that I could feel nothing; miracles or monstrosities?
Inshallah. (trans: If Allah wills.)
Bismillah © Thaddeus Howze 2014, All Rights Reserved