This is an essay I recently submitted to my English Writing class, it’s based on a concept of a dream I had.
Empathy? Never Heard of Such Thing
One day, I tossed and turned within my sleep. I could feel myself waking up, but at the same time I felt myself within my dream. Then, suddenly, a ray of intense light knocked me off the bed I was in. I got up, and decided that yesterday night was too much. I took the course of my morning ritual (brush teeth, wash face, get dressed). As I was eating my favorite cereal which tasted less sweet than usual, the breeze blew in from the open window. As I felt a shiver run down my spine, and goose bumps go up my arms, I also experienced an eerie feeling that I was alone. I decided to shrug it off and go on with my day. I opened the door and left my apartment, my footsteps seemed to echo as it would inside a cave.
I made my way within the city, all seemed normal, all seemed well. Although, there was this bird looking at me funny from an electric pole as I walked past it. A beautiful built rustic church was nearby and I decided to see what was going on. I looked through the windows that weren’t already tinted. “No, no, no, no”, said the congregation simultaneously. The preacher’s “No” was the loudest of them all. Being puzzled, I decided to infer that this was an election of a clergy man of some sort. I walked on, and from the cold weather I could have sworn we were in England or something.
Sirens echoed nearby, and I felt a pinch of some sort throughout my body. What lay ahead was a disaster. It seemed to be a terrible car accident involving at least three cars. There they were: the cars, in the middle of an intersection, all smashed together like cans at the front bumpers. Bodies lay hanging, only one survivor sitting down with his head in his hands, looking like someone punched him in the stomach. I had never witnessed death, but I as well felt the oxygen being robbed from me. I remained in the sidewalk, as a spectator unable to help. I yelled inside my head to move, do anything besides stand there.
Then, I decided to survey the rest of the environment. People were glancing, without stopping. I then realized that I was the only one who was standing in the sidewalk. Everyone else just glanced and kept on moving. I did a 360 degrees turn and everyone, everyone just kept walking. The paramedics finally decided that there was nothing they could do to revive the bodies and just carried the man with the somber face into the ambulance truck and drove off. All of this they did with complete indifference, not a drop of perspiration ran down their faces. They were in no hurry; they just loaded the man in the ambulance truck as if they were loading a bag of packaging peanuts.
After regaining half of my composure, I decided to make my way to the hospital. It was about five blocks away. The hospital was as normal as could be, but the same indifferent faces flooded the scene. How could I have not noticed everybody’s expression before? I walked into a random room, as I saw a patient on her bed. There was also another woman sitting on a chair while reading a magazine nearby, who held a striking resemblance to the patient. The bed ridden woman had death written all over her and with one of her trembling IV covered arms, held one page of sheet music. The title was a little blurry because it had tear marks, probably from the woman herself. As her cheeks glistened against the sunlight, a middle aged male doctor approached her from the door he entered. “You have at the most three days to live.” he said to her in the most monotonous voice possible. He left after a millisecond. The other, much healthier relative, just glanced at the patient, and returned to her magazine. I again, was unable to speak, and I swiftly left the room, the hospital.
The bird that I had seen earlier was present outside the hospital, the animal, which was a falcon, stared at me for the longest time as I felt myself approaching it. It was perching at a lamppost; I was shaking as I walked towards it. I saw myself through its eyes; I was reflected by those eyes. Then, the most beautiful thing occurred: I saw a single tear drop fall from those eyes. The tear was so full of all things evil, like Pandora’s Box, the tear fell and was followed by a splash on the concrete. I myself felt an invisible connection to the bird, he squawked, and I was releasing tears as well. When my last tear had hit the ground, the aura of loneliness was gone, an aura of which until that moment had been dissolving my insides and leaving me unable to speak my mind.
With the bird still perched at the lamppost, I looked to my right and the church I had visited earlier was still there. I decided that I should rethink my conclusion of what I had witnessed earlier given the recent events I had gone through. I still heard the congregation say: “No, no, no, no”. I then realized that the preacher was also saying other things: “Do you feel Christ’s love in your heart?”, “Do you feel the unity and peace within us, on this day?”, “Do you rejoice with your fellow brethren and sisters?” followed by the simultaneously, now robotic noes. The pastor replied: “No?” I then realized this repetitive spectacle was their daily sermon.
I wanted out; I could not take any more of this cold life. I could only hope that like Pandora’s Box, the last thing remaining, being that tear I had shed with my fellow aviator, was hope. Hope that this is all a dream, and that the heat from that tear could heat up the cold this world without empathy had brought. Then, in my struggles, there was hope, the light that had made me leave a bed, had made me ascend a more familiar one.