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