Excellent writing. I particularly liked this passage.
"The light was so bright that even with my eyes closed it filled the inside of my skull. I opened my eyes. Wide eyed, filled with a nameless fear, I remained motionless for hours, staring at the ceiling, aware of the sound of the traffic. I sensed there was another room, in another village, where my mother slept. I was aware of my body humming, of my irregular heartbeat, of death, of her death and mine. My human body, I knew, had been enslaved, sold and resold, raped and killed, burnt alive. I have been beggar, priest and whore, man, woman, child, Angel and Demon. Each lifetime we think we will make it turn out right but it always turns into just another ugly, unforgiving dream."
The passage of these lives is ugly and unforgiving (you have the emotive). It is your
testament (and it is ours) which leads us to the watch at the end of your story:
"I stared at the watch. Was this a message? A cosmic joke? I recalled the words to the song… ‘Does anybody really know what time it is?’ I hummed the melody as I climbed the steep stairs, hearing the echo of my lonesome voice. Tumbling into my apartment, grateful to be alone in my bed, alone in the dark, alone and alive.'
We have our time and you found yours in your passage: though --- "dark and alone" --- ultimately "alive". So there is the difference: from ugly and unforgiving to alive. All lifetimes are not a disappointing dream but an awakening. They awaken those we love and they awaken us. A dream is a delusion. Life is the awakening and the reality and even if ugly and unforgiving not wasted as it touches someone.
Thank you for your words. They have awakened in me life: incentive for the continuation of mine and beauty (not for the disfigured or deformed: your words carry this beauty cadence) despite all.