The week I finished finals

Oscar To


sunrise (1)

The Last Friday was preceded by a week where the culmination of six years of medical school and two months of actual study played itself out in earnest as I stood aghast as an examiner asked me questions about the actor I had just interviewed. I had linked together scraps of information into a tapestry; it looked a shoddy patchwork quilt rather than a masterpiece of the Moirai. The bell rang, and I left.

Exiting the room that the medical school had set aside for our final hatching test, the long slog was over, at least in terms of my own personal capacity to change it. The die had been cast, I crossed the Rubicon and my fate was sealed in the small black pencil boxes that an efficient, purpose-built machine would soon read without understanding. It would spit out the numbers and in a week I would know.

I looked around at my comrades and compatriots. Like a contemporary art peace, reactions were mixed. Some looked like they had just aged the six years in a step, others burst into tears to mourning something they had lost. There was a smile, and words and so many other things. I stood.

It is odd that when one is cast into the slavery of an inevitability, one dreams of the day that it will inevitably pass, and freedom regained yet again. But it was in these moments, with the battle drawn and finished, there was simply one thing that remained; an insurmountable tiredness as if the single purpose of one’s life were simply to reach this point and pass it. The future a hazy, forgotten place that existed only in one’s memories.

In that week, time stood still. My world felt alien without the grim shadow of the examiner’s scribble looming over the purity of a blank exam sheet. I was living a life I had forgotten. A time before trivia was all that mattered. It was strange. I was a ghost reaching for shards and pieces, of time, of things lost and not yet found. In the absence of finals, things did not seem to have meaning. My time was no longer a finite resource where each moment became a choice between condemnation and redemption. The freedom I had craved, was a paper dove, an illusion that suddenly all things would well with the dirty deed done, and dealt.

It was the realisation that in the absence of purpose, my time seemed to have become lost. A figment that stood still, as the reality dawned that there was nothing in this time mattered. I had woken up in twilight where it dawned on me that everything could actually be setting. And only by waiting on this still beach for grains of sand to flow into an abyss of glass that I could once again attempt to move. I waited for the tide to swallow me.

I noticed that delicate pitter patter of wings against me. It seems butterflies had settled in whilst I had spent a lifetime dreaming. I felt sick as time came down upon me like a tidal wave and those tiny grains of sand at my feet were lost forever. The day had come where my heart would be weighed against the feather of a Caladrius on the scales of the jackal of Batholomew.

The sullen envelope in my hands was a flimsy barrier that I worshipped as a God. I begged with it, I pleaded with it, I got mad at it. I denied it. I opened it. That week I had spent dreaming was my mind trying to escape. A land of free fantasy wherein life was eternal and unmoving. That week where I could pretend that I was contempt with nothing and that paupery was a liberty. The week where time had stopped.

I had passed; it was time to move on.

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