برگردان انگلیسی «کادوی تولد»

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Birthday Gift

I don’t know what time it is, but it is definitely about noon.

"Get up, take a shower; your friends will arrive in two hours or so, Mr. Saved!" I hear my mother saying joyfully.
However, I’m not in a good mood at all.
Finally, I put the blanket aside and get up.
I stand up under the shower drowning up in my thoughts. Some drops of water softly fall down from my head and gently touch my body. I feel them drop by drop. I stare at my toes. I shake them…

I don’t know how long it took. I turn off the tap. I see the last drop of water making its way forcefully down from the shower head, I reach out for it to hold.

I didn’t know how it happened, and I didn’t even know how much it lasted. They just told me that they had been searching in the mountains for eleven days and couldn’t find me. I like them very much, but I can’t quite stand them at the moment.

I was a severed head! Yes, a live severed head! The image itself is horrifying... it could even possibly turn into a permanent nightmare later on. It didn’t happen though. In all those moments, I had absolutely no panic. Well, I think because it knew me, knew my brain much better than I did. As far as I know, it probably did something with my Amygdala or any fucking area of my brain which is in charge of these things. It was inside me. It could see the whole me, and I could see just a teeny weeny fraction of it, which itself was beyond my utmost perception. Sometimes, I thought dying could be exactly like this. A glance of memories of some billion years of life on the planet, the integrated wisdom, the order of the whole system, all this symmetry, all these brand new colors... and then we call ourselves smart creatures! Ha ha ha! If consciousness is what I observed, yet we are not Hyle!

I was a severed head! Yes, a live severed head, which was tied from the neck to millions of intertwined spider webs and was fed by. Whatever my brain needed, indeed “I” needed, these very white nerve fibers were providing. What a brain seeks for in that cold, dark vault inside the skull?

With my trifling little brain, I was connected to a multimillion-year-old superbrain, which was the most reassuring and soothing thing I could ever feel.
It would talk to me, and I could see an extremely pale sketch of its thoughts. Just a saucer in an ocean...

I wrap the towel around me and come out. I sit on the edge of my bed. Drops of water dripping from my hair with a beautiful resonance of E-flat on the parquet floor. I watch them falling one by one…

I don’t know where this birthday thing came from... is it really my birthday? How long have I been in this situation? How many days? How many years? Or how many centuries? ... Now it seemed totally ridiculous and silly to care about a certain day. I had no idea of ​​time since I was connected to something with no concept of time at all. Yesterday was today, tomorrow was 600 million years ago or maybe 3700 million years back... what difference it makes? Everything is here! I see it! And now the birthday! My birthday?
It took me a while to realize that birthdays are just an excuse for a birthday gift. I was going to get a gift! Basically, the day a person receives a birthday gift, his birthday it is.
This birthday thing put an awkward tickling on the body I didn’t have. It was some sort of sadness and anxiety soon I got to understand why.
I felt the strings under my neck wobbling ... Moving them made me -as just a head- be gently pushed forward. I slipped a few meters away on the white silk rug-like floor of that cave as I reached my birthday gift: A body with a severed head; my body! This was the gift! Whatever it wanted to do with me was over.
“Time to go!” Echoed in my head.
The strands under my neck rose and turned ninety degrees. Now I could only see the roof of the cave and noticed that the skin of my neck was stretching...
I don’t remember anything except that I woke up at the cave crater, where I was probably lost. I did not tell anyone about these when I climbed down the mountain. Have I gone nuts? Of course not! I just said I was unconscious, and had no idea of what happened. Everyone was so happy, and what happened didn’t really matter. The important thing was that I was found sound and safe.

I don’t know how long it took, but there are no more drops of water on my hair to fall down. I stand up. I don’t know if I am happy living among people again.
My mother is passing through my room’s door. As she walks away, she says: wrap the scarf around your neck when your friends come.

Farhad Arkani
Karaj – April 2022