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I zoned out again. I have always enjoyed thinking to myself, thinking about who I am. I supposed that I was the protagonist in a story of my own creation. I always delved into these thoughts when I was alone. Coasting down cold snowy roads, skipping across searing hot street, no matter the season, I would still get lost in my thoughts. One particular afternoon was a lovely one. The family would take the car out on day trips, and I would always stare out the window. Through the window on my right, I saw a cat flash by, people watching through a window of its own. I always felt as though I needed to uncover something more, so I dug through many thoughts. I was the only individual who could tunnel through the chasms of my mind. After all, the only reality I could ever experience was my own. This was always where a story began.

In retrospect, weeks flew by. Time consistently escaped me. During those long, short months, I began to feel like my life needed some exciting new aspect. I thought I’d go hiking. It sounded like fun, or at the very least, a diversion from the cages in my head. On my way up the hill, I noticed a stray cat; this then, was a substantial afternoon. Later, I observed some of the biological scenery while I was there, and some of it wasn’t biological, like a rock. It was stunning, beautiful!

Even the rock was pretty nice. I was perplexed with how I could interact with it; I kicked the rock, and inadvertently stubbed my toe. I had a fun time while I was there, after I stopped kicking the rock. Humans have always been terrible at accepting difficult truths, like I was when I had to figure out not to kick the rock. It was a shame I was not able to continue kicking this rock; it would have made a mediocre conversation starter.

That night, I got lost, lost in my own thoughts yet again. I could afford to spend time reflecting on my day, since my foot was still sore from all that rock-kicking earlier. I enjoyed the night, assuming there weren’t any rocks to kick. Nighttime was always very calm and serene for me. I told myself not to worry; I could always have gone to kick a rock the next day. I hoped things would become more interesting however; two rocks would have done the trick.

In retrospect, months flew by. The human convention which I so aptly refer to as time still remained elusive to me. I was always so slow, and as such, minutes and hours would always escape me. One morning, I woke up. The sky was grey. I closed my eyes for a moment, and the week had ended when I re-opened them. My thoughts were the key; my thoughts were what defined each day, making each moment I experienced different from the last. I was able to observe new opportunities all the time. I thought about chance, and awoke the following day to the sounds of doves cooing. But there were matches next to my bed which I hadn’t noticed before. I thought that a lit match could cause fire, so I carried these matches to prevent that situation from arising. I didn’t light them at any point. Like a seasoned director after producing a film, I was happy. Walking home that day in the rain, I thought my current scene possessed a certain ambiance. Just as this thought entered my head, a cat appeared, strolling about near my home. “Meow”, it said.

Many months later, I was really feeling it! I could feel my dreams, the excitement, and the music. Before me was a swimming pool. When I reached bodies of water, I would always be hesitant, not wanting to jump in right away. It was so often cold and unfamiliar. I knew things would get warmer with time, but that initial jump was always hard to make. It took me a while to enter the pool, but I did very much enjoy swimming. But even my skillful swimming could not keep me afloat when I threw myself into an ocean of my own thoughts. I crossed into the deep end, thinking became overthinking. I tried my very best, but I would always start to drown at this point. I put on my chameleon-like goggles, and I swam for hours, before eventually sinking. I was drowning amidst contemplation; my head hurt from all the thinking. Only then did I stop for a brief moment, to acknowledge a cat.

Shortly thereafter, I was back in reality. I began sharing my music again. There was a burning fire deep within me, ignited by way of matches. Nothing happened.

I wondered what tomorrow would bring. My ears were ringing. At first, I did not know what any of this meant. I zoned out, and began to think about it.


Written By: BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner

About The Author
BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner Former Editor-in-Chief “I’ll never know everything about anything, but I’d like to know something about everything.” - BeN/Isaac BeN is the former Editor in Chief of The Insider, now an alumni contrbutor. An embodiment of the duality between Rational and Emotional thought, this universe’s version of BeN is presumed to be a human living on PNF-404 prior to the planet’s sixth mass extinction. In the currently observed timeline, he is born in a Quebec, Canada during the information age. He is very skilled at utilizing the English language, alongside philosophical ideas, as a means to an end. However, he doesn’t seem to have any tangible goal. Everything he seeks is very abstract. He often implies that the entirety of everything is itself a work of art being consumed in some unfathomable way. I am Isaac Dinotno, the name he has given to the voice in his mind. He and I are in perpetual communication. BeN claims to have experienced astral projection during peak emotional periods of his life, though I can’t verify this. If you are reading this now, you can find BeN at Concordia University.

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