I only really notice it when I go on walks alone, up into the park and then into the canyon. As the cars and the people and all the automatic mouths get quieter and quieter, it starts up as a humming sound, sort of static-electric, like the feeling you get when you think you’re next to a big magnetic field or something. And then dulls into what almost sounds like my head is inside a submarine. The frequencies of the world seem to slow, and people’s passing words sound like fish pecking their heads against the now fully formed vessel that surrounds my head. Who stares in a place like the park? Whatever. On these walks up the canyon, it’s almost a grab-off for sanity. Probably the same feeling you get right before a panic attack- but a bit more exciting. ‘Ok, oh shit, what do I know? Do I know anything? Look at that rock you idiot, you know what that is don’t you? I’ve got to find something to know before this whole damn thing consumes me and I don’t know anything and I get swallowed up by this gigantic nothing’ and then- almost like its programmed, before it all gets to be too much and too violent and it feels like it’s about to blow, like the generator is about to shake itself out of it’s concrete foundation- it subsides and there I am. An embarrassing spectacle. Who’s controlling it’s breathing? Staring into a dry creek bed, eyes wide. Something tells me to be careful- like the fuckin trees or the chipmunks might have a negative judgement of me and tell their friends. Anyways, it’s like it never happened. That’s the odd part. A sick joke someone is having a great time with, maybe. I think it’s when I feel the least strange- when I can laugh at his twisted sense of humor. It’s really quite a good joke! Ya, that’s when I really notice it, even though it’s always there. That i’m not like you. That I’m different. That I’m not really like anything here- and I don’t care how gaudy it sounds because I’m too fucking homesick to be humble anymore. In fact, it’s the only time I really like myself at all, when I realize I’m not like you. When, in this brief moment of clarity- I realize I would never hurt something helpless. That I would never make a fool of a friend. That I would never watch something die that never had the chance to live. That I am good. And that I deserve to live. Because I’m not like you- and I’m not afraid of you anymore.