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Alive is relative.

He wonders what it is that makes him sure that he is alive. What it is that proves his existence to the world and himself. His immediate response is the city that he lives in, the city that he breathes and lives every day.

But it isn't. The city makes him feel dead. The city reminds him that there is no such thing as special. The city reminds him that even in a crowd of hundreds of people, there is still no one to talk to.

He rides the train hearing nothing but his iPod, being alive with the rest of the plugged-in creatures. Some days he stands, some days he sits. He does not make eye contact with anyone for more than a few seconds and he most definitely does not speak to anyone.

He is alive, but is he living?

The plant that sits on his desk and the fish that doesn't move more than an inch a day are alive. He realizes that the woman who never leaves her apartment and the man who does nothing but work away in his office are alive too.

Yes, they are all alive, but are they living?

When he walks home at night, he slips the earbuds back into his bag and stares up at the sky. The stars form constellations and shapes and worlds. He rises above the man in the office and the woman in her house to become part of something bigger and better.

He smiles as he faces the sky and a whisper escapes his lips.

Let's take an existential crisis and turn it into Flash Fiction.
PoorEccentric Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Student Writer
Wow. This was so powerful to me because it reminds me of the existential crisis I had as a young teenager. (Original, isn't it?)

I was doubting that anyone would ever do anything that special outside of their own little lives, and that coupled with a lot of things brought me down quite a bit. I kind of got through that as a result of looking at the night sky.
It'd be more interesting to say that when I had my moment like this character was when I choose to write, but it really wasn't. All I decided then was that I'd take any chance I'd get to go above my little life. And that eventually lead to writing.
xthe-eleanorx Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Student Writer
Don't worry about it, I think we all went through an existential crisis as teenagers. It happens.

And I started writing because I liked a boy. That's it.
PoorEccentric Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Student Writer
Well, at least you started somehow.
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Submitted on
July 11, 2012
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