Control: A Short Story


Attention. Pay attention. Focus. Watch it. Control.

Attention. Red lights, flashing signs. Attention is a word that screams for our eyes, our thoughts. But what is it really?

Is it a ploy for human interaction? Or is it a natural biological function we can’t control, a human drive to be seen, to be known while we’re still here on this planet.

Pay attention, but to what? What is going to be tugging on my conscious today? What will silently fester in the back of my brain till it grows, multiplies into a winding vine that traces my every action, my every move.

Focus. Why should I? There’s so much to do, so much to see. The way the lights shine off the top of a well-polished counter, the color of the roof of the house down the street, the way my friends laugh at the ever shifting dialogue of conversation I can’t keep up with.

I can’t pick one, I can’t pick multiple, I have to sit and wait for things to slow down, for the speed of the incoming information to reach an equilibrium with the thoughts flying through my head like arrows with no final destination.

Watch it. But I can’t! I can’t seem to slow my breath long enough to clear the static from my vision. I can’t seem to bring my focus back to something singular because there’s just too much. There’re too many words I can’t keep track of, there’re too many variables that I can’t account for.

Control. That’s the end goal. Find something you can control, the amount of noise, the topic, anything, get it away from where it’s at now before it spirals. Find something to fix, find something to correct, to do. Do it quickly before they see, before they think you’re trying to make this about you. Find a thing to grasp on to, to hold tightly till you can find another ledge to grip onto in this ever-shifting conversation.

I can’t tell people because people talk, they spread news and make it public. So I’ll sit and I’ll deal with this myself.

Cause I can. Cause I need to