Grasping the idea of impermanence. When Christmas was frosty and full of warm light but dark evenings I thought it would last forever. I was a child, it was magic. But nothing lasts forever, not even the greatest things. It ended when I shed tears onto his legs and he wouldn’t stop blowing his nose because of a cold. Tissue thrown over my shoulder, bodies flawed, not as pure. I was scared. Fear is one thing that seems permanent.

Introspection doesn’t last long—a day, a few hours perhaps, rather than weeks. People are my diaries. I tell multiple people a feeling, an event, a thought, and it warps with each telling like a myth, and then it doesn’t feel real anymore when I go to write it down. No wonder people question mythology when it is passed around. I am Penelope and Helen, I am my own myth. When drunk people stumble and tell me how cool I am, my brow furrows because I am not just the myth, I am every second of the clock. I even feel time move when I sleep.

The trains keep rattling and it feels like they always will. Every thought rattles through my head: every character here, every face, all information, every photo that I scroll through again and again to reassure myself that my own image has been broadcast. I need proof of my existence, especially when I wake up with the numbing behind my eyes, the pain in my chest, the weight of my body, when I feel like I could just disappear into the breeze that throws my hair into my face and I am embarrassed by my hair and I am embarrassed by my face.

But I remember that every person’s action I receive, compute, and develop, is a reflection of each person’s self. They are selfish just like me, it turns out. Their own image is the one that concerns them; they scroll through other people’s photos only when a crush compels them to extend their consciousness beyond themselves. I have done nothing wrong.

I am a myth, not fully realised. I can never view myself from the outside. I cannot write the way other people will see me, how they will act. I can trust the right people and climb into bed with them at two in the morning. Two doors down from my myth cave, where all introspection takes place and my books remain unread. ♦