The Totem

Photo by Ander Burdain on Unsplash

This is my totem.

I’m the one who knows the weight of it, the way the blue cold steel feels in the touch of my hand, the speed it spins when I wiggle it, the punch it gives when I stop it in my palm, the sound it makes when I open and close it rhythmically, the movement necessary to activate its sparks.

My totem to reality.

I feel its weight, its coldness, sense the spin and the punch, listen to its sound, and know I’m living a real moment both in time and space.

That’s how I know I’m not dreaming or tripping around.

But my totem is not only mine, this is also yours. This is originally yours. Generously, you keep letting me take it away again and again every time we meet.

One other night you said you have noticed me counting my fingers when I’m anxious. You’ve noticed how this anchors me back. It’s quite something to notice.

I generously left you my zipo lighter, since yours stays in my pocket or the palm of my hand at every single moment. Another night I went out to meet and at left it back at home, the totem. My fingers kept moving like it was there with me for a while, before I realized I was living a real moment in time and space, but anchored by us, as people, as friends.

I told you I don’t like to be touched, don’t like hugs. You did not consider that I did not like hug. I pointed out how long it took for us to hug. You pointed out that you thought that was only because of you. You don’t like to be touched or hugged by anyone for any reason. No, hugs are sacred, I said. It’s the sole posture of my soul, the picture I see when I imagine or connect to it.

What will we do with a soul anyways?

You’re waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can’t know for sure. Yet it doesn’t matter…

The totem is a truth, a truth we once knew and then locked away. But I can’t let you touch it, that would defeat the purpose. Only I’m supposed to know the balance and the weight of this totem, although you know it as much. That way, when I look at it, I’ll know beyond a doubt that I’m not in someone else’s dream. An elegant solution for keeping track of reality. Yet deep inside, we’ve always knew this truth, we’ve always knew we’d be here waiting for this train together.

“Are you giving me a choice? Because I can find my own way…”

No, I’m not afraid of hard work. I get everything I want. I have everything I wanted. The totem is everything I want to keep me anchored to ourselves.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store



you wouldn’t even be here without a mirrorball (stories, movies and a dark sense of humor)