Feeling inspired is the one of greatest feelings ever (superlative necessary). You’re filled with the constant wanting to express yourself. It’s like refilling an internal void with a purpose to create something spectacularly-earth-shaking-and-moving, no matter how pointless it may seem to others. Solitary nights and doubtful optimism; is 2 am characteristically sad or is everyone awake at this time really sad? Or maybe I’m just going back to my old idealist tendencies of romanticizing everything? Regardless, it feels so otherworldly snug and secure to be enveloped in a blanket of darkness. For the moment, however, the surrealism of being under the illusion of being the only person in existence and having the world to myself for a couple hours is just perfect. That’s terribly narcissistic of me though; maybe the lesser known secret is that those who do in fact go to sleep at 9 pm and get their full 8 hours of sleep are the rarer breed of human. I moved to a completely new city before high school, and it’s crazy how much you’re able to find bits and pieces of old friends’ essences in people you’ve never seen before. It’s almost as if they’ve been reincarnated in a tinkling laugh, crinkling eyes, or even something as simple as a lilting voice that makes you whip your head around and do a double-take. I like the oxymoronic idea of familiar strangers and the whole aura of mystery surrounding it. The constantly transient state of people (souls?) entering and exiting places, lives, this world, is bittersweet. Sometimes accepting mortality and the impermanence of things is hard for me. I’m scared of becoming insignificant (how human of me, right?); a mathematical function approaching zero, a l m o s t butnotquite nothing. You’re right Mr. Palahniuk, I’m deathly terrified of the idea that I’m wasting my life. I hope I’m able to leave something behind that lasts long past the time my body grows flowers or my ashes scatter or my lungs are dissected in a science class. A loss of enthusiasm at any age is truly heartbreaking to me; if anything, I want to inspire the young (or old) ones to never lose the spark in their eyes. You know, that special brightness in the eyes, fueled by passionate energy and so increasingly precious in such a discordant world. Everyone deserves something that makes them feel like life is something worth living; remember the stars died so you could live, and you are literally made out of cosmic matter. But mostly I’m just kind of exhausted, wistful, and I guess somewhat melancholy? That’s a pretty word, haha. That being said, I’m not faking smiles when I’m genuinely feeling oh-so euphoric at the moment. Thanks to friends, family, or assorted hobbies I’m able to smile and forget about what’s going on at the moment, but then I get home. I’m sitting in my room alone, and that’s when I start feeling it creep back in. It feels like sorrow, like lethargy and resignation. I’ve noticed that the more active and occupied you are, there’s less time to sit around and wallow in self pity. I don’t think time necessarily flies when you’re having fun. You know that one overused and over quoted line in The Perks of Being a Wallflower where Charlie’s like, “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite”? I think he was referring to the way that time seems to almost stand still during those specific special events. They’re the kind that are perfect in their subtle ways, moments I’d gladly re-live: sensations, scents, sights, sounds, over and over. But knowing that’s not going to happen, I bask in the temporary heaven and enjoy as much of it as I can. When it’s over, I want to be able to feel a strange sort of satisfaction, happy that it did happen. Sillage: the lingering impression of something having passed by I wonder what un/lucky souls are still driving at 2:11 in the morning-night. Driving home from a party? (I hope that there’s a designated driver.) From a late night shift? (I hope you make enough money soon to pay for whatever it is that made you take the job in the first place.) Or maybe some late night joyrideslash-adventure? (Wow, I envy you greatly.) I’ve been huddled under this blanket, watching the full moon, and the woosh of cars driving by has been continuous, until just now. Sometimes I need to remind myself I can’t limit my idea of “everyone” in the world to just people I see on a daily basis, that I am a mere droplet in the whirlwind of a hurricane that is life. I am, you are, everyone is constantly crossing paths with strangers, some that might be encountered later on, and others never again. Everyone’s on their own journey, and I hope you all reach wherever you’re headed. JESSICA ZHOU.