This is a simple imaginative task. It can’t be that hard, because it involves you.

Imagine yourself as the best at anything you want to be. It doesn’t matter. Sports, school, getting girls, getting guys, getting gifts…imagine yourself as the best at it. For years, unchallenged. Unchallengeable. You’ve gained your title as number one, and it seems impossible that anyone could ever possibly take it away from you. Feel the pride. Feel the envious eyes pass over your body as you walk. Experience the sensation of being closely examined as you do what you do best. Feel the glory. Own it. You are on a high. You are invincible.

You’re as much of a success as you’ve ever been. But your high…your high is wearing off. Now, imagine yourself going to bed expecting to be at peace. Imagine yourself trying to ignore that niggling feeling at the back of your brain; whatever it’s saying can’t be rational. It’s like a little demon, creeping up on you from a part of your house that you’ve always deliberately stayed away from. but slowly, the demon begins to crawl forward, into the lightened, less-ignored rooms, and demand attention.

Now, imagine yourself going to sleep. You dream of yourself on top of a mountain, king of everything you can see. You’re getting closer to the clouds with every second. But the higher you go, the more the vertigo hits you. The higher you go, the harder you’ll impact when you fall.

When? When you fall? Not even if you fall? Who mentioned falling in the first place? Ah, that demon.

Wake up, realize that it was almost a nightmare, but wasn’t. Go out. The atmosphere has changed. The aura around people has changed. There’s an irrational filter on all your senses. Imagine yourself being almost unable to meet people’s eyes. Every time they look at you, you see suspicion where you once saw admiration. Now, in their smiling eyes, you see spite. You read, “I can’t wait for you to fall.”

I can’t wait for you to fall.

It’s coming from everywhere at once. You’re insecure. Everyone’s waiting for you to fall. You’re paranoid.

Stand on your mountain. Imagine yourself slightly jolted by a minor quake. Are you finally falling? Your heart sputters a dozen times in a second. A few rocks chip and fall away, but soon, you’re stable. You don’t know the cause.

Imagine yourself looking around to discover the catalyst. In the distance, there’s an obstruction, audaciously blocking your sunlight. It’s some sort of triangular blob with an extended apex. Will yourself to peer closer and clearer. Realise that the triangular blob is a person that you vaguely know. Look into his eyes. They reflect exactly what you expected: scorn, a silent superciliousness, a look that quietly asks, “How does it feel like, being number two?”

Imagine yourself crushed by a mélange of emotions that you don’t even know how to name. What you would like to do is crawl into your house, into your bed, under the covers, where you are hidden from all the eyes in the world that are full of thousand-worded phrases, judgments and accusations. Under there, you cannot feel the earth when it shakes or the mountain when it quakes. You want to be on a flat surface, unbothered.

You don’t need to be told to imagine that you can’t. The air is full of pressure, like the buoyance provided by water, but much more negative, much more dangerous – because it’s not pulling you down; it’s keeping you afloat when you simply want to sink.

Imagine yourself trapped, a specimen for exhibition in the Museum of the Universe. Your mountain is your cage. Baby, you are trapped.


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