The sky was ink. The street was lifeless. A rare occurrence but true, nonetheless. Oddly enough, before he stepped into the bar, the entire block was populated. It’s almost like everyone vanished. Swaying and stumbling from side to side, he continued on. Every five seconds or so, he’d let his head fall down to his chest, but before it was too late he shook himself back into rhythm. Each foot, planted in front of the other. One, two, left, right. As long as he kept his rhythm, he’d make it back home and then he could finally let his head fall down, all the way to his feet. The morning wouldn’t be so kind to him, but when is it ever?

He turned the corner onto another street. By the time this happened, his head had already gained five more pounds and his feet were beginning to sink. Maybe this wasn’t as easy as he thought it’d be. It certainly wasn’t the plan. Suddenly, footsteps came from behind him. They were faint at first but in a matter of seconds, they became loud and rapid. Before he could sway his head around, a mysterious man had already sprinted past him. His eyes widened, and he yelled out to the man, but the man kept on running. So he followed him.

He took off after the man, yelling as he chased him. The man never seemed to notice him, he just kept his pace, running past every streetlight, every crosswalk, every stop sign, every restaurant, bar, club, store, and anything else they were to come across. The man never grew tired. He wasn’t smiling, nor frowning. He didn’t stumble or trip up, or anything like that. He just glid down each street, expressionless. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of his stalker. He gave up on trying to call out to this mysterious man, and instead, he just followed him. Not in a ‘chasing’ manner, but in an act of genuine curiosity. The two ran.

Eventually, they ended up out of the city, and they found themselves on a bridge. The man came to an abrupt stop. His follower stopped as well, dropping to the floor, gasping for air. After finally catching his breath, he was able to bring himself back to his feet.

“What are you running from?”, the man asked. He felt a shock go through his body. He hesitated and then shook his head.

“What?”, he responded.

The man stepped closer to him and asked him once again.

“What are you running from?”

He froze.

He couldn’t respond because he didn’t know what to respond with. There was something different about the way this question felt. Tears built up in his eyes and fell down his face.

“All of it”.

The man slowly nodded and looked up at the star-filled sky. “What are you running from?”, he asked the man, flipping the script. The man looked back down at him and inhaled, deeply.

“I’m trying to get back to it all”.

The man then turned around and kept running. He watched him depart. The entire interaction almost felt surreal, like a dream perhaps…


I’ve been learning to make peace with the troubles I’ve faced in my past, and preparing myself for the inevitable troubles I’ll face in the future. As I turn 20, I almost feel a feeling of liberation. Granted, there’s still a substantial amount of “chains” that pull on me. What I mean, is that I don’t feel as if I have to ‘try’ to live anymore. I, simply, just do so now. With that being said, everything is not 'perfect'. I realized from a very young age that nothing will ever be perfect. Things weren’t meant to be perfect. For me, you, or anyone. Because what’s the fun in that? Without adversity, how do we grow as human beings? I still often find myself in a state of survival. Feeling as if I need to have a certain 'durability'. It happens. But, when all else fails, I find solace in the company of my pen.