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The Fog

By , Auckland, New Zealand
I stare blankly at the flashing cursor, trying to bring forth the passion that I usually feel when I’m writing. The screen stares blankly back at me, waiting for inspiration that won’t come. A million ideas in my head and none of them are working. I even bothered to look up short story prompts on the internet. They would be fantastic ideas, if only I could feel anything.
I used to hate emotions. I used to wish for the day when I could shut them all off: the pain of disappointment, the shock of anger. Now I realise that emotions are invaluable. So many emotions that hurt so much, but the good ones made up for the bad; excitement, love, joy; a thousand feelings and no way to describe them. You could talk nonstop for hours and you still wouldn’t be able to explain all of what’s going on inside your head. Just when you think you’ve finished, something else pops up. It doesn’t even have to be a different topic. Maybe it’s only a slight variation on what you said before, but that slight change of words makes all the difference.
Oh, words. Words that can make you laugh, or cry, or scream, no matter how you were feeling before. Words can make lovers hate each other even though they swore, “forever.” Words can calm the storm of the mind, or ignite the fuse of our anger. Words can make people go to war, or fall in love, or go insane. I could spin words into emotions you never knew you could experience. When I write, it is as if I’m discovering the story, rather than creating it. Every word fell exactly where it should, exactly how I wanted. It all fit perfectly: poetry.
But powerful words require powerful emotions, and I can’t find them. It’s like walking through a fog. You know you’re searching for something, but you can’t see where it is. You wander aimlessly in circles that you don’t notice because you don’t know where you’ve been. You don’t know when the fog will lift, and your wandering is hopeless, so eventually you just sit down and wait for something to show you the way. It feels so alone. People brush past you, hurrying along in their own daily struggle, and you look around at them all in a daze, not seeing the point of any of it: lost.
I don’t remember when I lost myself. It was as if one day, everything just switched off. It took me a while to notice, but it was definitely there. I can decide whether I’m “happy” or “sad,” but when I really think about it, all I find is, well, nothing. Life is easier without anger, but I miss feeling real. I feel like I just watch the world pass by and none of it means anything. Everyone’s caught up in their own problems and I’m looking at life from the other side of a one-way window. Analysing and calculating. I see them, but all they see is their own reflection.
I don’t know what to do with my life, so I just try and do as best as I can for everyone, plodding along through the fog, waiting for something to happen, something to change. Maybe that thing will meet me when I finish school, maybe not. There’s not really much I can do about it, and it’s not like I have feelings to care. The only emotion I ever feel, the only flash of colour in the endless cloud, is fear. Fear is black. Fear is mindless. What if this fog never lifts? What if I can never feel anything, ever again? No sadness, but no joy either. Just this endless searching for something that isn’t there. What would be the point of life then? When is it okay to stop looking? Those questions are always at the back of my mind, but for now, I carry on, through the fog, the grey of my dead skin melting into the distance.





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