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De sC E nT

By: Hunter Ding

I didn’t choose this.

–Any of these events that pushed me to insanity.

I couldn’t even tell if it is insanity. All I know is that something happened… and then I couldn’t feel.

I never chose this. But whoever did, they chose that path and I couldn’t do anything about it.

And now I’m forced to stroll along it.

I’m not sure what happened.

Scratch that.

I have absolutely no idea what happened. I wasn’t even sure if something happened at all. I remembered lots of shouting- pain— a knife. A stabbing pain in my heart, then my vision dusted away.

It was black after that- for a long time.

Then it was nightmares. I cannot define them. They were too amorphous, and when I began to barely grasp what they were, they disappeared. They came again, in a different shape. I couldn’t understand anything. It was a whirl of dull colour.

At last, it scattered into something like static.

I awoke. I choked down air. And something just… detached.

I couldn’t place it. Like two magnets coming apart. And I just felt… dead.

I shrugged. After-sleep disorientation. I stood. It happens.


My roommate was downstairs, toasting a bagel. He was never gracious when he just got up. “Good morning.” he said flatly.

He must have said my name. But where he said my name, I heard nothing but the crackling sound of static.

I flinched at the static. He cut me a concerned look.

This early in the morning, my roommate is never concerned. After waking up, he is pretty much too tired to feel any emotion, and he never bothered to pretend otherwise.

“Ah. Headache.”

He said something in response. The static became louder. I clutched my head, praying it would stop.

And then the static got higher and higher. I realised that my roommate was calling my name. His face is one of alarm. I should have been alarmed as well.

I should have. But it almost seemed muted. I could only think, Gosh, shouldn’t I be panicking?

Then it faded. My roommate was just shaking me. “Are you alive?”

“Oh no, it sure feels like I’m dead. Is that a bagel I see before me? I made it to heaven.” I lifted the bagel and laughed weakly, though there wasn’t anything inherently funny about my situation.

Really, it wasn’t inherently anything.

He relaxed. “Dammit, you’re delirious.” Now that we established that I in fact was still alive, my roommate decided his work here was done, let go of my shoulders, and let me flop on the tiles.

I got up and decided I needed coffee. I went to the coffee machine and saw the pot was completely clean.

I turned slowly towards my roommate. “Did you have your coffee yet?”


Something was extremely wrong. Under normal circumstances, I would have been horrified, but now…

Something just… detached.

My emotions.

“I need a walk.” I went out the front door and tried to have a panicked meltdown, without any actual panic. What was wrong? Frustration, panic, queasiness, they all shot into my head and dissolved.

I ran. As quickly as I could have. As I did, I noticed so many things that were off. The mango tree in my neighbour’s front yard. A different place the hose was put. I knew it. I lived here for all those years. I couldn’t be misremembering. I screamed. But nobody came. No one called, asked what’s wrong. As my mind raced, I realised that it was racing way too fast to be healthy. But I couldn’t will myself to calm down.

And my mind broke.

My thoughts splintered everywhere until they shot out of memory. I didn’t care about anything. Anyone. Anywhere. And I realized what had happened.

The world has shattered, and so shall how I see it.

I returned to the apartment. I went through my daily routine. A day passed. Two. The static has not left me, but it’s a welcome sound now.

Insanity freed me from responsibility. It freed me from suffering. I am unbound, unfettered.

I didn’t choose this, but I would never take it back.

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