The TransMuting

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I woke up again this morning with a different body. This has happened to me about twenty times over the past year. The first time was a shock. I walked to the bathroom like always, careful not to trip over my boots near the side of my bed. But when I looked down at my feet, they were the feet of a young girl.

When I went to the sink to brush my teeth I saw not my own, but the face of a girl, very pretty, no more then nine or ten, staring back at me from the mirror. I spoke some words aloud, nothing important, just: “testing one, two, three.” And of course, since this was all a dream (or so I thought) my voice had changed as well. It was high and soft, just like a little girl’s.

As I went back in the bedroom I could see my wife sleeping, with the covers pulled up around her face. Except her shape under the blankets was shorter and thicker than usual. When she picked her head up off her pillow to say good morning I saw she too had changed, she had become a middle-aged Vietnamese man.

We screamed when we first saw one another, she in her throaty male voice, and me in my little girl voice. It wasn’t until I switched on the TV and saw that the newscaster was an elderly woman with tears streaming down her face that I knew this was no dream.

My wife was still sobbing and shouting wordlessly in a voice that was low and rough when my cell phone rang. It was my mother. I picked it up and heard what sounded like a young black man, “help me,” it pleaded.


That was the day the TransMuting had begun. All across the world, people’s looks had changed forever. Men and women who had been deeply invested in being white or black for example, now found such things meaningless.

Young people who took pride in their beauty came to understand that at any moment they could become withered and old. Senior citizens who mourned the loss of their youth would reach for their morning cup of tea and suddenly find that their hands had become the hands of an adolescent. When the novelty finally wore off people came to accept this new reality.

I for one, started to see that the spirit within me has much more to do with who I am, than the body that carries me.

Listen to a spoken word version of The TransMuting here.


8 thoughts on “The TransMuting

  1. Woke up, fell out of bed,
    Dragged a comb across my head
    Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
    And looking up I noticed I was late.
    Found my coat and grabbed my hat
    Made the bus in seconds flat
    Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
    Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.

    Beatles – A Day In The Life

    I looked in the mirror and was startled to notice that the World’s TransMutation had not happened to me. I was the same acutely obese man (the VA doctor’s words, not mine) with the big smile. In a panic I called Peter and a little girl answered. She was crying so I hung up. I decided that if my body had not changed, I must change the only thing I could. My mind. At once a sense of comfort swept over me as I realized that I was a baby, a toddler, a school boy, a soldier. Wait stop right there! I am everything I have ever been and will continue to be the same precious soul I was before I came into this world.

    Fred Rivera – Ramblings of a deranged man

  2. The most unsettling question you can ask someone: Do you see yourself as a body that just happens to have a spirit, or as a spirit that just happens to have a body? Intuitively we already know the answer – that the unyielding truth is, our whole lives are misspent on superficiality . . .

    . . .but that’s okay, for soon enough we become distracted by the next shiny object dancing across our electronics . . . and we forget who we are, all over again.

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