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I am alone. The darkness around me is illuminated by a single metal streetlamp that is besieged by common white moths. I watch as they flick about the surface of the bright beam in their rhythmic, phototactic response. I begin to wonder if people are drawn to luminosity the same way as moths. When deprived of light, immersed in total darkness, I have heard that people see things, hallucinations—fabrications of a mind deprived of familiarity and set free of contextual boundaries.My life may be a hallucination. With everything that I have been through, I would believe this statement if anyone would propose it. Then again, I suppose, this is my problem: I do not know what is real. I feel real. My thoughts seem valid. The rough wooden planks of the pier beneath my bare feet feel the way it should—it makes me feel slightly more grounded. The sound of the waves, with its slow and rhythmic push against the shoreline, carries the familiar sonance that I have heard ever since I was a child. However, I remember the idea that the ocean’s harmony can be replicated by holding a large seashell to one’s ear. When I was young I believed this phenomenon to be some form of magic—like the shell had an audible sense of memory and possessed a longing for the place it once belonged. Now that I think about it, at this moment, I realize how non-magical and sad that idea makes me feel. I realize I want to be back somewhere that I belong. I just do not know if I can ever reach that point mentally or physically again.After all, I have no clue how I got here. Given that statement, do not mistake this for a story about amnesia, or forgotten memories—it is nothing as simple or complex as that. The best way that I feel that I can explain it is; without warning, I suddenly feel everything.

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