My Helmet Is Down

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The next six or so weeks will be mega. Much like this fella, I’ll have my head down and focused on my work. The thing about a PhD is the same thing with any big project: you have to focus on one task at a time or you’ll easily overwhelm yourself. My helmet is down; my torch ignited.

He Had No Speaking Lines

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He could not escape the feeling that he had often heard described by actors: that he was merely a character in a movie in which everybody else was starring.

He had no speaking lines. The camera never focused on him. He was the unpaid extra in the back of the shot; the actor whose facial expressions are incongruent with those worn by the other, more skilled thespians.

Audiences would only notice him after repeated viewings of the film began to sand the edges off of their captivation. Their eyes would drift away from the stars and land on him. They would wonder why he looked so out of place. Had he wandered off of another set? What is his story?

Then the scene would change and the anxiety his presence had caused would subside as the memory of him faded.

Reality Crept Into Her Psyche

Dreaming of X caused her trouble. She would awake to a kind of altered reality in which they were together not here, but in a very familiar version of here. X was gone – maybe off to work – but their paths would cross soon enough.

Her manner of speech would change to suit this new reality, in the same manner it tended to change when she spoke on the phone to clients. The edges of her accent softened, her tone became warm and accommodating. She assumed an air of self-assurance and it drew others to her but she rejected their advances because she would soon be reunited with her love.

However, the day would unfold with no messages from X. No emojis blowing digital kisses. No sweet nothings. The power of the fantasy depleted like a draining battery as reality crept into her psyche and took command once again. They were not together. The romance was a fantasy.

She would return home to find the apartment empty. The only bric-a-brac belonged to her. She had only sleep to look forward to.
Asleep, she would see X for sure.

X’s lips tasted the sweetest in dreams.