I decided to take a break from politics and current events this week and focus more on creativity. Below is a fictional short story that I wrote about introspection. I hope you enjoy.

I can still feel the piercing cold and hear the howling wind.

I stood there paralyzed and dumbfounded. How could someone who looked like me treat me like a degenerate? We may have had different skin complexions, but he looked like me. He may have been a little taller, but I looked like him. I may have been 20 years younger, but we looked like each other. Yet, I can still see the wicked contortions on his face when he snapped my spinal cord with his words.

Something about this day seemed different. Although the snow still looked the same, the soles of my shoes slid across the ice a bit differently. As I peered into the distance, beyond the foliage that rested around my window seal; I noticed the sun had a different tinge of orange. Something in the inner depths of my spirit told me that this day would not be like all the other 364 days that year.

Throughout that day I felt heavy. It felt like I was carrying the weight of more people than myself. As I walked home that evening, I became so winded that for 7 minutes I sat on the curb next to the stop sign four blocks away from apartment building. As a person that exercises religiously, this crippling exhaustion worried me.

As I sat in the melting snow wet, cold, and tired I felt helpless. I had lost the capacity to carry myself because I had so much weighing me down. Finally when I gained enough energy to walk I saw a miracle. It was an old white taxi sputtering down the road. I quickly jumped to my feet, brushed the snow of my pants, and flagged the vehicle down. Although I was relatively close to home, I was desperate to escape the brutal Chicago wind.

As the car slowed down I noticed the driver didn’t look too pleased. His expression seemed to waver between confused and infuriated. Nevertheless, I approached the vehicle. When I reached to open the back door I noticed it was locked. I quickly pulled again thinking my tiredness had caused a lack of strength in my hand. This time I realized the door was locked. The driver immediately rolled down his window and said, “get the hell away from car”. I couldn’t understand why someone who slowed down, seemingly to pick me up, was so irate that I tried to get in the car. “You think I’m stupid enough to give a stick-up kid a ride? Well if you do, than your just plain stupid”. The taxi driver was berating me for no reason. He couldn’t possibly be talking to me. I was no stick up kid. In fact, I’ve never even seen a gun.

As he yelled my back began to hurt. The louder he screamed the more excruciating pain I felt on my spine. After he rolled the window up I fell to the ground and became motionless. The venomous words of the taxi driver debilitated me to the point of paralysis. As I lay amongst the branches, snow, dirt, and rocks I felt the piercing cold and the howling wind. Just like a snapshot in a photo album, the image of the world around me at that very moment will forever be etched into my mind.

When the sun arose the next day I was in the warmth and comfort of my bedroom. Had I dreamt of this occurrence? When I went to the bathroom to wash my face, I looked in the mirror and saw the face of the taxi driver staring back at me. He smiled slyly at me. I closed my eyes for ten seconds and when I opened them again he was gone. As I began to walk away I noticed a scar on my left rib cage. I went back to the mirror and saw that this laceration ran all the way from left rib cage to my right shoulder blade and down my back. Something had happened to me, but I just didn’t know when and how. All I do know is the weight of the world is a lot to carry especially when you are weighing yourself down.