Day Two: Fresh Air (02/02/2015)

Fresh Air (2015)

It’s dark, but I don’t mind. My only issue is the lack of air in here and why I seem to be the only one struggling to breathe. I’d kill for some fresh air, it’s 2015, all I want is some fresh air.

I’ll rewind the story back a couple of years.

I was 15 and oblivious to the way it all worked, the way some people had more fresh air than others. I went to school everyday and never stopped to think that wearing a tie and blazer would actually help me in society to breathe the same oxygen everyone else did. It would have made more sense I guess for me to attend a public school where some say there is less oxygen and fresh air for the students to breathe.

When 16 caught up to me, I started to find my way and also started to notice that my friends had cleaner air to breathe than me. I couldn’t understand why this was, but I continued to just go on with everyday life with the air I had. I remained humble regardless of the access some other people around me had to natural and fresh air.

17, was an interesting time for me, I started to get wheezy and developed a bit of an issue breathing with the air I was given. This age is the time people start asking what you want to do with your life, what do you want to study, where do you want to be in ten years time ? The day after I finished my last exam and everyone was saying their goodbye’s to one another, my old science teacher comes up to me and asks me randomly, so how are you going to make a living and I replied by breathing oxygen … ( I did not know at this time what life would be like after high school)

18, wow. Time has flown by, high school was a blur. I decided to take a year off before I start university, to work, make money, do a bit of travelling. In that year I started working in retail which was nice, meeting new people and sharing different experiences. I couldn’t help but realise that a lot of the people I’d talk to had very similar experiences in life and wondered why mine was so different to theirs. But anyways, it didn’t mean much, I just continued on with working and saving money

19, saved up enough money to travel and go see a few places around the world. First stop, Melbourne. I remember getting to the airport and walking through the security check and being randomly stopped and searched for anything suspicious, like fresh air that was not mine or anything that could directly harm someone else on board the plane. I stood confused whilst being searched as to why I was the only one that had been brought to the side, maybe it was the way I had been breathing heavily that made me look suspicous. I eventually made it to Melbourne and it was a nice trip

20, dayum, 3 years since high school and i’ve completed half of my degree in the Bachelor of Commerce. Half way through the course though, I decided that I didn’t really want to pursue a career in management and finance and decided to defer again from Uni so I could take some time off and really discover what I want to study. I started reading, doing research into this, asking questions and so on and so on. My job, that I was currently at required me to work shifts all over the place, some here, some there. I remember so vividly working in Claremont a few shifts and I couldn’t help but notice the amount of excess access to fresh air there was in the community. Growing up with struggling lungs it was kind of an eye opening experience as to how within suburbs of a City there were very real unbalanced spreads of fresh air.

21, I started really doing a lot of conscious reading about civil rights movements and influential people in the pass that have dealt and fought against the injustice in fresh air. I became very evident of the people around me and judgemental of those who took their air for granted whilst some were in search for their last gasps of air.

22, It become evident of the discrepencies in the world and how unevenly fresh air is spread amongst our neighbouring countries, let alone our own cities.

23, I write a letter to anyone willing to read this. I really hope this changes the way you deal with the access you have to fresh air knowing that there are people in need.

I go to the bridge by the river, look down at the flowing water and think to myself, Please, let this be a message. I jump, locked shackles to my ankle to weigh me down. I hit the water, and quickly sink to the bottom of the river, all natural moonlight eludes me.

I think to myself.

It’s dark, but I don’t mind. My only issue was the lack of air and why I seemed to be struggling to breathe. I’d kill for some fresh air, it’s 2015, all we ever wanted was some equally shared fresh air.

Okello Adupa

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