The Omis: A Dream


I was on a living room couch with a woman holding a creature on her lap, facing outward: it was about 18 inches long, with dark grey-blackish skin and patchy wiry brown-black hair. A little animal face. I was shocked to learn it was human: her daughter. A very rare genetic mutation: she was called an omis (pronounced OH-miss). Most of them are male. She is extremely rare. “She is fourteen,” she said to my surprise: I had thought an infant, toddler. “She will not make it to 19.” They die. Then she was playing on the floor. I stood and started to shake, violently, feeling spirit flood into me, turbulent and open, as I thought: she has an experience of the world unlike any other, being human in that body, non-human. I shook and the mother stood, put her arm around my waist. “Forgive me if what I will say is in any way wrong,” I begged her. “Has your daughter written a memoir?” I thought she must before she dies. For phenomenology. The mother said she had, but I knew it was not enough. It was conventional. Not what it would be with me, if I helped her write, if I found words to capture how she felt. I held the omis on the couch. She spoke with me. I asked if I could lift her, set her down upon the floor.  She lifted herself from me and flew, on wings that just appeared, made of something black and white like the material of stuffed toys. Only a little, shallow flight, to land upon the carpet. She could fly.

~ Kimberly Gladman ~