Sunjit Parmar is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of British Columbia
Warmth as hostility in a cruel summer’s dream:
Surrounded by the thick, humid mid-summer air, I await the prickling breeze of late November.
I drift beneath the cool, dark shadows… a nearby cedar sways above.
Aware of the fiery weather, a sheath of saline smothering me, I mindlessly plunge into a slow, warm stream. Upset by the warmth of the swampy summer water, I catch sight of my reflection: a suddenly aged man. I look away.
Melting kelp lingers on the edges of the water bed; my eyes madly saccade, fixating on a child — a human! Skipping — trying to skip — stones.
Harsh vibrations rage through my ears as each one plummets into the water. My canals capture the dissonance, dutifully reverberating the sound.
Suddenly terrified by the echo, reminiscent of swarming drones, I falter.
My body aches on, though; waiting for warmth. Warmth of another sort, a mental refuge, a palpable calm — the sensation of an insistent cold. Yearning to shiver, it seeks a different tormentor.
The slow stream has matured; the water grows unbearable. The searing sun ignites it with purpose, disabling my every instinct to move. I cede to the torture one last time, kneeling, praying for mercy. But the ruthless current threatens my very existence.
A lucid moment and at last I see the futility.
Laying down both arms, I fatefully embrace my demise.
Hoping to awaken: the only means to survive.