May 17, 2017 by Patrick Starks
Kenji was always a fan of technology and social media. His role models were the great Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and even Steve Jobs, before his passing. Kenji witnessed how these men changed the world with their brilliant minds for technology and wanted to wield that same power. With all the chaos, destruction and discrimination that was going on in the world—Kenji wanted things to be better, to live a life of peace. Others laughed at his pursuance of this, having doubts within their own hearts that this was not possible, that this was some sort of fantasy.
However, Kenji learned from an old civil rights leader from India, that if he could continue to be the change that he sought in the world, then eventually that change would become a reality.
His first goal was to learn how to code, although, he did not know how to at the time. He studied for weeks, as the blood in his veins became tainted with coffee. The tips of his fingers became hardened as they built calyces from all the typing that he’d done. Even though he was only nineteen at the time, he had the confidence and determination to achieve what most did not in their twenties and thirties. Inspired by the many ideas within his mind, Kenji reached for a sticky note on his maple wood table.
His coffee spilled on to his keyboard as the palmaris brevis of his hand grazed the tip of the cup. Sparks from his keyboard let off like fireworks on the fourth of July. But before he had any chance to evade casualties—sparks went into his eye, blinding him—taking away all vision of his goals and dreams in life.
He cried for help, but no response did he receive until five minutes had passed. As smoke spewed from underneath the febrile door of his room, his roommate burst through.
The roommate couldn’t see a thing—blinded by the heat—clouds of grey swarmed throughout the room. Kenji lied in the middle of the floor with third degree burns around his eye—his skin was sensitive, red, but dark to the point one would think it was face paint. His roommate grabbed his left arm, pulled him through the pathway of the door and then onto his back—evading anymore harm to be done. Their dorm was now a ruin—all that remained were memories, the smell of burned computer parts and broken dreams.
Kenji stayed at the Harborview Hospital for two months before seventy percent recovery. He was angry, frustrated, tired, lost—for that he no longer knew how to pursue in his dream of being one of the greats—let alone, if that was even still a possibility.
He slept next to a blind man who never spoke. All the man ever did was call for the nurse whenever he needed to use the bathroom, was hungry or just wanted to get a whiff of the sweet smell of her hair. The man looked within his seventies. He had silver short hair, mustache, with cross around his neck depicting he was a man of religious faith.
The interesting thing to Kenji was that the blind man was always typing. He then asked the blind man hoping for an answer that would be of reality to him.
“Hey… Old man… how are you typing, how can you see what you are doing?”
The blind man responded for the first time. “How did you know it was me typing?”
Kenji replied with annoyance. “Because old man we are the only ones in this room.”
The old man stopped typing and turned with a slight grin. “And how do you know that I am old?”
“Because old man, I can smell you from all the way over here. But whatever, you still didn’t answer my question, how are you typing? Are you not blind?”
The blind man continued typing as he responded.
“Yes… Yes I am. And you as well.”
“Then how the hell are you typing? There’s just no way, we need our eyes to see… I need my eyes.”
Kenji paused on his last words as he dived back into a depressive state. He became frustrated, he quickly gripped tightly the bars around his bed. The blind man then spoke again.
“Look within boy, bring vision to the keys that you once typed, the coffee you once smelt.”
Kenji began to sweat in fear, remembering everything that happened the night before. What he remembered was like one being thrown into the pits of hell—like a horror film, although, he never really believed in such stories. But within the dream he saw something strange—something not human like.
In his dream his eyes glowed. The dark patches that once were there now looked like light bulbs underneath his eye lids. Through the glowing eyes were symbols that rest right on top of the burned skin of his closed lids. He couldn’t make anything out of it in the beginning, but started to assume it was code.
Kenji became lost not understanding what all of this meant. He turned to the old man with question.
“I… I don’t understand… What does this all mean? Why were my eyes? Those symbols… What did they mean?”
“I see you have now seen the awakening of your calling.”
“What do you mean…. Awakening… Calling?”
The blind man leaned over as he reached for his cup of jasmine tea.
“Before I answer that boy, let me ask you something.”
“Have you ever heard of the tech gods?”
“Yeah. Like Bill gates, right?”
“Hell no! He’s a poser’s, every single one of them, and that Mark Zuckerberg, don’t get me started. I speak of the real tech gods. The ones who have chosen another as their vessel, the ones who invented technology, the ones who have chosen—you.”
“Me… Why me? I barely no any code or anything about inventing. I mean… I’m just a noob at this.”
“Noob? What is this noob?”
Kenji shook his head with annoyance.
Sigh. “It’s like when your completely new at something, plus you really suck at it as well.”
“Hmm… I doubt that boy. You are certainly no… no noob. I can feel your energy all the way from here, you have a gift. Do you feel that clicker next to your bed? You know… the one to call that sweet-smelling nurse over here.”
“Um… Okay… Yeah, what about it?”
“Well… I want you to grab it and when you do, think about that time you had the accident again and you will see what I mean.”
Kenji nervously grabbed the clicker. He thought once more about the accident he had, but felt something strange. He could here all the voices in the hospital. People crying, babies crying—from sad tears to happy tears, he could hear them all. The odd thing about it all was that he could see them all as well. Tears then ran down Kenji’s face, followed by a big smile.
“It… How… I… I can’t believe it. What am I? Who am I?”
The blind man smiled with the two to three missing teeth he’d lost.
“That boy is up to you to decide. But I warn you… do not abuse this gift or there will be consequences.”
The blind man then faded from the room as he gave his last response.
“That is not needed for you to know. Just know that there will be consequences if you take the dark road—if you take the dark road. ´