By Aalia Jagwani

This piece is written by Aalia in conversation with herself. Each stroke symbolizes a change in dialogue. She also leaves it open to interpretation. Read below:

// Blank page.
Waiting to be filled.
Person Overwhelmed.
Waiting to be emptied. //

/ Blank page.
Fill it up.
Start writing.
7 minutes—
Don’t stop.
No thinking. No pausing.
Just write.
7 minutes.

/ Ok but why?

/ Just do it. You’ll know.
Did you do it?

/ Yes.

/ And?

/ And, it was a journey.
One thought spilled over,
into another,
into another,
paths that I thought were parallel
but which ended up intertwining.

/ What did it feel like? Watching two parallel lines meet?

/ I could feel the shift—synaptic pathways in my brain connecting and reconnecting as I reached places I didn’t know existed.
I don’t know if you could say parallel lines were meeting, it was more like the lines were being re-drawn, so that they were no longer parallel at all.

/ What’s the difference?

/ Nothing. You’re right. Two parallel lines met today.


/ And, it was a journey;
I call it self-discovery.


But that’s only one type of journey.

/And the others?

blank word documents that I’ve saved on my computer with seemingly irrelevant file names.
The ones I bled on,
you know, before I proceeded to clean up the stains
with that backspace button, I now know I abuse.
Those were journeys I took alone.
Journeys I’ve hidden behind a fabricated emptiness,
(even though I couldn’t bring myself to delete them)
because they were only ever meant for me.

/And what do you call this kind of journey?



But those were the interior journeys,
Taken from my skin to my soul and back.
Some take me further away. Outside.

/Outside of where?

These are journeys taken across cities, skies and oceans. Across space and time. Across dimensions.
Across physical boundaries,
so that the pages in my hand melt into my skin, and ink flows with blood.
so that all the paperback worlds combine with this one—
or maybe I exist in them all.
With every page I read, characters on paper become real, breathing people,
as much a part of me as my skin and flesh and bones,
because books don’t just contain places and names, they contain worlds and souls.

/ And the name?

/ What?

/ This inter-dimensional journey. Give it a name.

/ Magic?
Something more dramatic than the ordinary miracles I find everyday.
But then that’s how everyday becomes a journey.
One small miracle to another.

/ What do you mean?

/ Like, waking up to a ray of pink sunlight,
coming in through the skylight and falling on the roof.
Like seeing a peacock cross the road and disappear three seconds later—on the same street you cycle down every day.
Like finding dead leaves fallen on green grass, and remembering that death is really just life again. 
Like watching the sky meet the sea and hearing them whisper in the distance.
Catching these miracles— it’s a journey in itself.
Chasing Illusions, I call it.


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