My mind is not running at full capacity. Would that I could sleep! But no! I must be steadfast, keep my mind pure and alert. For when I wake again, I will be another person entirely. Another entity, another mind, another body. I cannot sleep, not ever.


I was an only child. When I was little, I used to make brothers and sisters out of everyone just to feel like I had one — neighbors, classmates, friends, cousins, G.I. Joe dolls. They were all my brothers and sisters. I even took surrogate parents where I had them, even though my own parents were not absent. I became a collector of impermanent things, ideas surrounding people.


They say I’m insane. Insanity suits me well. What I can’t abide by, however, is this jacket they’ve put on me. Who would have thought a genius such as I would be admitted into an institution? Not I! But then I suppose perhaps I haven’t decided the meaning behind it yet. They have. They know exactly what it means to them. To the woman who gives me pills, I’m another patient; the man who feeds me, much of the same, though I think he resents my propensity for not distinguishing meals from hands. Whenever I bite him, the woman comes to visit. I am more important to them, then. But they don’t want to worry about me as I am, so they give me pills. I sleep, I change into something dreadful. I’m changing into something ephemeral. They don’t want to care for someone important. They want someone they can forget about.


There was a boy down the street, Marco. We used to be so close as children. His family had a swimming pool so I came over more often. In a way, looking back, I think he was more important to me than I was to him. He changed schools and I didn’t see him for over two months, even though he lived just nearby. I saw him, briefly, from my yard sometimes. Those times didn’t count, except to make my loss of him much deeper. I was invited to his birthday party after that long dry period. He was surrounded by friends from his new school. I was ignored and I felt ashamed. I kept trying to get his attention and he kept ignoring me. Finally, when his mother said it was time to swim after cake and presents, he pushed me in the pool. Everyone laughed. I almost cried with shame, but at the same time, I was noticed for once. It was the last time.


I won’t be forgotten! But the new me tries so hard, tries so hard to be empty.


I had no brothers or sisters, though to me I had hundreds. To them, maybe I was just another person. Just another empty blob, so eager, like a puppy.


I’m a puppy! I’m a puppy… the man who feeds me likes this new me. He didn’t like the person I was, now I’m new. Now he likes me. He likes me. He shuts the door behind him when he leaves.


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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XI

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