Reincarnation

I’m agnostic about everything. I’m afraid to commit to believing, but I’m no skeptic.

I will not say that I believe in the supernatural: ghosts, reincarnations, psychic ability, television reception.

But I have witnessed things, and I won’t say they don’t exist.

As a child I had a recurring nightmare. Remember the lids from jars of Tree Top apple juice? There were red, green and yellow ones. One was for juice, one cider, one unsweetened. In my dream, people wore them on their heads. The colors meant something, but I didn’t know what. Mine was sometimes purple. Sometimes I didn’t know what mine was, because no one would tell me.

Parts of the dream were always the same. Men in uniform were checking lids. If you had a certain color, they took you and killed you.

I remember waiting with the others. We had been collected and amassed behind a large rock.  They would come and grab a few people, line them in front of the rock and shoot them. Then we waited while they scooted the bodies away and came for a few more.

I always woke up during the waiting.

It was the waiting.

The waiting was bad. It came with sounds: the boots coming to get more people, the occasional pleading, the gunfire. It came with praying I could die by surprise.

I was just a child, 6, I think, when the dreams started.

At 13, in school, I learned about the Holocaust. I thought of the dream, which I had had so many times it began to feel like a memory. I imagined the victims waiting. I thought of the fear and the sounds.

I remembered from my dream, the smell of the fear, mixed with the odor of discharged guns, blood and urine.

I have no idea if my picturing was accurate, but I thought I could picture it just.

Then in high school, with three years of French under my belt, I found the French classes were full. I was forced to start at the beginning and take German.

I loved it. The sentence structure felt natural. Conversation just fell out of my mouth. I thought, ‘Once you’ve learned one foreign language, it’s easy to learn another.’

After two weeks, my mom met my teacher at open house. She came home and said this, “Mrs. Krause said she could drop you in Germany today and you would be fine. She said it was like you spoke it in a past life, and it was just coming back to you.”

Click.

That was when I tucked these things I’ve written here into the same pocket.

Maybe I’m just good at languages. Maybe I was just a little girl who shouldn’t have seen the scene in Shogun where they asked a group to select one among themselves to be boiled.

I will not say I believe in reincarnation.

But I think I may have been somewhere I’ve never been.

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3 Responses to “Reincarnation”

  1. roberto Says:

    I didn’t know where you were going with this story, but the real supernatural part of of it is the little known historical fact that the Nazis actually did force the Jews to wear different colors of apple juice bottle caps.

  2. T. Says:

    who knew my site was so educational?

  3. Sharon Says:

    Amen!

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