Stepping inadvertently but directly onto the snail, I hear the crunch of her home under my feet. My view briefly becomes hers, as her consciousness defects from her shell and enters mine for the split moment on its path to nowhere. At that time she existed only in my mind, and barely.
I haven’t seen or done enough to tell a good story. I haven’t even tried. Look at me, and you imagine boredom. I am bored, I am boring, and you are not deceived. Sometimes I wish I had an urge, an undeniable calling, to wear women’s clothes and hide it from everybody. My secrets are too average, too normal. My life is uninteresting, unremarkable to those who meet me. I try to invent personae, but I’m not clever enough¹. The whole scene is a figment of my lackluster imagination. Cowardice and hesitation led me to where I am, and I see no way to reverse this belief. I am still interested in the other side. Maybe it can provide something for me, something better. I was led to this point for a reason. I am below the threshold of a survival instinct, and my free will alone did not bring me here, if it exists at all. Crossing into another world, I can be reborn. I may become nothing, but it will be an improvement. This is not the first time I have died. The others are lost to me, but I know that they happened. I cannot explain them with the language that my brain has developed, but I don’t need to. I’m alone in this, and my understanding is all that is required for my decision. If I could go back now, I don’t know that I would. This life holds nothing for me. Whatever sadness I cause and absorb, goes with me. They are all only what I impress upon them. I did not intend to end their journeys as well, but I am not in control of this. I was made tired and became comfortable enough to keep me average. I let myself fall into it. The trap was set, but it is marked clearly in large print. Understanding is avoidance, but to understand, I must remember, every day, until it’s all over. I finally forgot, and I see no escape.
The snail returns, as something completely different, another iteration in the endless expanse. She finds me but neglects to recognize that we were once one, for a split moment, on our path to nowhere.
¹ [Editor’s note: They all look and act just like me, except they wear brown slacks or something, which I would never do. Wear brown pants, that is, or call any pants “slacks”.]