Journeys

The fight or flight 1k sprint

Seeing all those Halloween costumes amuse me, some are creative, some are dull but some are incarnated and alive. Back when I was 10 years old, my cousin took me to watch a theatrical show in a nearby school, roughly a kilometer away from home, so he suggested going on foot.

Growing up, I was always pushed to show and prove my courage – typical Spartan-like family atmosphere – so I never hesitated to take upon a challenge, nor to show fear whatsoever… and what is fear but an illusion.

The play was supposed to be for children, but it turned to an intimidating horror movie shortly after it started. A grim reaper with a huge scythe and an awful scream went on running around the stage killing people. And it stuck to the back of my head.

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The play finished while I was trying to catch my breath and with a heart pumping faster than an Olympic swimmer. I was thrilled, more like frightened and haunted by some thoughts.

Now we had to go back home, on a dark road, climbing stairs to take shortcuts –long dark and deserted stairs covered with vegetation, you can figure out the scene if you’ve watched a good share of horror movies. We started walking and my cousin was 5 years older than me, so he was faster, he kept saying we should walk faster because he have to catch a TV show, so I was trying hardly to maintain pace. Falling behind, every 10 meters I would look behind me and I would see a dark shadow with a long sharp blade trying to catch me. I realized I should be faster and faster and faster, super-fast, I mustn’t let him catch me, not today. If I keep up with my cousin I would be safe.

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After a while reality hit me, and my body could no longer maintain pace in this dreadful marathon. I had to stop and explain, before I said a word my protective cousin broke words, and my expectations shattered: he was petrified from this black fearful figure.

My instinctive reflexes kicked in, I had to save the day. I explained how community helps in overcoming these situations –in a 10 years old language, because probably I am not Aristotle- I also assured that if we stick together as one unit we will defeat anything, after all this grim reaper only lives on that stage, they must have locked him there, he can’t have escaped. But deep inside I was still convinced he is after us. I encouraged him to continue and I assured that we are completely safe.

I spent around 6 months trying to overcome this illusion and another 9 years learning that the grim reaper do live on a stage, and that stage is but an area called the Amygdala, an area located in our brains. The grim reaper is incarnated within, he feeds on our souls and kills our ambitions. The more you feed him the more he kills your ambitions.

This experience continues to teach me not to take an “if” as a factor in my aftermath reasoning. Yes I am glad I watched this play, and I wouldn’t want to miss it, it might have impacted me negatively on the short term, but it was a fruitful experience on the long term.

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(none of the pics above are mine)

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The broken canyon of planet Lungus

In this series of posts, I will be explaining many factors that made me the person I am today. Don’t be intimated by the length, buckle your seat belts, sit back and wait for ignition.

My first three years on earth were a good experiment, everything was going according to plan. All vital signs were normal and constant. My family had settled our shuttle on the following coordinates 33.913253, 35.709425 a peaceful territory it seems. It took us a while to adapt to the primitive resources, and even longer to blend in with the people. Humans are weird, they live together and they call it a community, but to us it seems strange especially due to the constant conflicts between individuals.

After settling for a while now, we started facing some problems with the primitive energy source, or what they call electricity. The community had installed a noisy and pollutant generator right across our shuttle. After a couple of months I started facing health complications. Vital signs are dramatically changing, I guess it has to do with my respiration. My parents are helpless, I think it’s the light year trip effect. Our only hope is local doctors. I must give credits to these doctors, they did a good job in regulating my respiratory rate through my fourth year. However that is about to change.

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1998 earth time, an amusement park opened in our neighborhood making it almost impossible to focus, rest or sleep. Not to mention the already existent volleyball court just a couple of steps away from our backyard. My health took a dramatic turn and doctors gave up. It was hard on my parents. After many failed negotiations with the owners, my father became hopeless. It was up to him to show them our people’s way of negotiation.

First things first, our good old half machine half damned neighbor. I was on our front porch when I saw my father across the street checking the generator up close. He opened it, and worked there for a couple of minutes with some tools. When he came back he looked very chilled, but the generator was still roaring, didn’t father cared about me? He said he would stop it, he promised. Disappointed I went outside to play -wearing my medical mask as usual-. Every two days a man would come to refill the generator with fuel. I watched him with anger hoping he would shut it off even for a second. I turned around to resume whatever game I was playing, only to hear a terrifying sound coming from behind me. I turn around and I see the man lying on the ground and the whole place is covered with blue paint. A non-lethal paintball bomb had gone off. I figured it’s time the Malavita family removed their medical masks.

Image(I don’t own this picture, or have any copyrights over it)

Although far from home, father taught us equality and courtesy. You should treat people with mutual respect. It was a Saturday night when a cheering mob formed to hold a volleyball game. The organizers promised father they would wrap up at 22:00. However, to my baby ears all I remembered is the referees starting whistle… was at 22:00. With each minute that passed my cries were getting louder and my ears were swollen. My father decided to have a BBQ party on the spot. He prepared a special marinated corn recipe, put it on the coil and poured a good amount of benzene. I was watching from the window as dad prepared one of my favorite treats. After a while I started to think that my dad did not love me, he left the corn to totally burn! He brought green leaves and set it atop the burning corn and poured more benzene. For those of you who don’t know the result of this. Imagine a black mushroom cloud eating the whole neighborhood. Father entered the house closed the door, sat on the sofa and apologized for burning my snack. No more than 2 minutes later, there was silence all around the block.

Image(this picture is taken from the movie Project X)

Ear plugs off. Ignition is successful, prepare to clear the smoke.

…Houston we have got a problem…

Transmission is out until further notice…

Image(bla bla bla, i dont own this picture also)

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My multiple lives as a cartoon survivalist

In my first blog I am going to share a thought, a thought that giggles us all: death. If you think about it, it is supposed to be inevitable, but is it? I am sure that all of you had had your sufficient share of the Carpe diem ideology, you must be wondering whether it is the ideal strategy or not.

I try to plan most of my days, but circumstances cannot be planned; and from personal experiences, adventures can be planned BUT they are unpredictable (as to say they rarely go according to plan). Before you continue to read I want you to pause for a second, remember the last time you did something crazy, now count how many times you had a near death experience.

I personally had a good share of those “near” death experiences. I will narrate few following a timeline, starting from 2013 through 1994.

My most recent experience was on my lastcaving trip, I was dangling 70 meters mid-air when my devices almost failed and sent me flying down and thus, fulfilling my dream of imitating batman (one of the many comic books characters I imitated in my life). This experience tested my critical thinking and motivated me to document my journeys and start blogging.

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(the above picture is me descending to a cave, this wasnt the time when the incident happened but it was on the same trip)

August, 2012 I wasn’t sure whether I was depicting Road Runner or Sonic, however the joy ride ended when I crashed my car, flipping James Bond style (Casino Royale scene). While crawling out of the car I realized how precious life is, and it taught me that fear is illusion.Image

I’ll fast forward to 1996-1997, when I was incarnated as Casper walking through walls and jumping through slabs. However, Casper’s Kryptonite turned out to be wood-fuelled heaters. I’ll help you by painting the image: picture breath-taking grilled cotton topped by mouth-watering melted white nylon diapers. YES, a king must sit his throne despite the uncomfortable worries it might carry, and mine was the Iron Throne Heater. Although I would not usually regard this as life threatening, however it wouldn’t have been fun for me if the heater got the chance to bite into my flesh (but look onto the “bright” side, if it did, I wouldn’t have been able to sit in that car and drive it, nor would I have been able to sit in a harness dangled on a rope). -FYI, my story with heaters doesn’t end here- The moral of this story is humor. Humor is what makes you get through a bad day, it is an almighty power that has astonishing possibilities. It teaches you to see the pros out of the cons.

Image(this picture is not mine and i do not own it)

1995, baby Omar is one year old and my parents are overfilled with joy and happiness, so my dad –a very generous and proud man- decided to throw a party, nothing fancy, around half a hundred people. My mom was busy preparing food for the guests, so I was being tossed around from one hand to another, until I decided to nap. From here on my memory fails me so I’ll narrate things as I was told. We all wonder how Sponge Bob breathes underwater (he is a sponge duh! But for the sake of the story hang on with me), but what my parents couldn’t crack is how I managed to breathe under a pile of a pure F.A.T. bottom. No bones were broken or deformities reported, The Thing (rock man from fantastic four) was formed/forged when he was pulled out from under a 120 kg woman (WHO FREAKIN’ SAT ON ME). This taught me a very valuable lesson in life: never take a nap on a couch in a party –a lesson that I forgot over the years until I made the same mistake… shoot!-

So yes… Carpe diem… In my perspective it is widely misunderstood and it is being misinterpreted by many. It is to seize the day and live it. But does that mean not to plan ahead? Also, planning does not mean worrying. I say that to say this: it all depends on your attitude towards situations and circumstances, I urge you to stay positive. Call it Carpe diem, call it Hakuna Matata, the fact is death is but a fear, and fear is illusion. Embrace this illusion and consider it as a race… a race against death, time, materialism, a race against yourself and your own negativity.

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