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The Things I Carry, inspired by The Things They Carried This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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I carry close to nothing, but at the same time I carry everything. I carry keys that belong to my car, that allow me to travel at high speeds far and farther away from the depressing center. As I glide through space I become concerned with how fast my body is moving through time, at 70 miles per hour, and at any moment I could fly through glass and have my ugly organs become pavement. I carry emergency connectors that are not too much of a nuisance, allowing to me to contact the outside world, away from me, if need be. My mother’s worries circle my mind, heightening my anxiety to a point of hysterics. I carry prescription medication. I carry water; the pure element that helps dissolve the complex synthetic into my bloodstream and into my panics. It helps drown my past; I got tired of authoring my own depression. I carry control and a lack of it. Control becomes an illusion, a concept I cannot come to terms with because I need it and I crave it but I cannot have it. I carry the thoughts that creep into my mind because it’s easy to, but for those that get too heavy I carry a notebook, almost blank but I know I fill it with my empty ideas. It is personal, and it is ugly, and it holds nothing but the things I cannot cope with. I carry the beauty the world offers me in a secret crevice in my heart only few have touched. I carry the necklace, green in the shape of a Buddha, in the spirit of an Eastern culture turned Western. I carry it not because it is from China or it is intriguing in design, I carry it because it came from the roots of a familial love. I too often don’t carry love, I find it heavy and toxic and sometimes it gets lost between the words unspoken and the actions that are loud and clear. I carry the dollar you drew on, turning the all Seeing Eye pyramid into the triangle from the Dark Side of the Moon. You called it abstruse symbolism. I called it anarchy. I carry hate, deep within my heart and running through my veins because I’ve been left. I never saw the apocalypse coming, but it did when the footsteps I always yearned to hear stopped coming, they stopped helping, they stopped making me laugh. Those footsteps now belong to the legs I want to break and bend and make bleed because they left me, and they left me because I was too sad. I carry a sweater, always, because I am too cold both in my skin and in my heart. I carry the complaints that come from me being too apathetic, too unemotional. None of my secrets are physical, and none of the things I say do I mean. I carry that card from that tarot deck, that one with the infinity symbol on it just because it reminds me of a simpler time where I wouldn’t feel the abyss violently choking everything I once believed in. I am a sucker for memories and carry too many of them. It becomes a vicious cycle from the sadness of my memories to the depression I already have to the pills I need to take to the love I cannot feel anymore because I am too busy hating my memories. Thankfully, I carry very few things compared to others. I carry them all, and I carry them in a small bag, so of course, it is not a nuisance. I carry simplicity because it is easier to handle and the last thing I need to be worried about is the weight of my objects because I am too busy being dragged down by the heaviness of my mind. I carry everything and I carry nothing. I am a walking paradox of the bad animal that is me that I can’t help but pet. I constantly am searching for old selves, and I just wind up returning to the center that I desperately need to drive away from. I carry the everything that is me and the nothing I want to carry.





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