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On a couch (A stream of consciousness essay)

by P0tt


I sit in a room, in this empty, dark, limitless space. Alone. Quietly, on a couch, with its cushions to comfort me and make me feel at peace. I’ve tried, and I'm tired. Turning on my side springs a stitch in my chest, but the motion of turning has gone past halfway, and I give in and flop onto my ribs.

Although the comfort of the cushions should be enough, I yearn for the comfort of listening to classical music with her in the corner of a class, on the iced-out floor. The cold didn’t bother me at the time because the only thing I could think of was the warm and blissful piano and violins in my ear.

My thoughts were like a ring of Saturn, finding its way through my ears and, like its dust, clouding my brain for a moment.

I now stare at the nothingness. The warmth of the violins and piano is lost. I'm useless, yet used when needed. Unable to move my muscles without being talked about like a sportsman during the analysis. I try to grasp the energy to do daily tasks like sleeping, eating, and getting up from bed. I brush those concepts, but my hands can't keep holding onto those ideas of normality.

With my mind empty, I try writing down and figuring out my life at the insufferable age of 17. The only thing to be noted is that figuring things out is time-consuming, thought-draining and painful. Knowing what awaits you in your life could be the key; it could be the guidance needed to choose left from right, or this university from that one.

I need to sort myself out. I feel like a suitcase at the end of a holiday in a cheap city, filled to the brim with useless trinkets and shirts never to be worn or used. To unpack the suitcase would be disastrous: to put everything in a category, to go through each and every item, sorting it and labelling it, and making sure it’s found a place. The list is long, and time is short. No one can sort their suitcase while on a couch.

I’m overwhelmed with daily routines and monotonous conversations. "Hi, how was your day?" "No, you can’t go; I dictate your life". A repetition, a broken record playing the same chorus over and over again, a "5 o'clock somewhere".

Monotonous conversations cause boredom, and boredom leads to seeking adventure, which leads to curiosity, which leads to being killed … if you were a cat. Yet we are all cats, believing we live longer than logic, trying to land on all fours to keep our lives stable, and always being attracted to pointers telling us where to go and what to do. We’re all monotonous cats being curious.

To be a cat, you’d need a fellow cat, as stated by society. You’d need a partner to connect with, someone to tether to for reciprocation of neediness, to have the same ideas of love and belonging. We need partners to give us life and energy, someone to rest you on that couch and throw a blanket on you, and to reinforce the fact that being tired on the couch is fine and that they’re there. I don’t have someone like that. I lay alone on my side on the couch, the cold air brushing over me. No blanket, no music, just the cushions.

I try to rise, but the cushions are warming up. They take the shape of my silhouette, drawing me closer to the cracks and crevices of the couch. I can’t rise. As my head turns and tries to look for someone, for anyone out there, the cold air dances on my skin and lifts up every hair and raises every bump. When my eyes focus forward, I see a boy. He’s small and chubby. The boy smiles from ear to ear, like the Cheshire cat. He giggles, and his belly jiggles. He’s happy. The boy pulls out a mirror. Within the mirror lies a creature of hatred and disgust toward all in its path, including itself. It’s a demon; it’s me.

I despise the features of the demon; its dry, ashy skin that can never be fixed with cream nor confidence. The demon’s messy hair, whenever cut, never seems to please anyone. Its belly is glutinous and greedy, with the world at its hips and the ocean waving in its gut. I’ve tried to fix it all; but to try is tiring, and to not try at all is tempting.

As the warmth of the cushions eats me alive and the silhouette starts to fade, I sigh a goodbye to the boy with the mirror, slipping into the cushions of the couch.


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122 Reviews

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Wed Sep 06, 2023 10:01 pm
GengarIsBestBoy wrote a review...



Happy RevMo! Gengar here to leave a review!
Image

General Impression:
This story shows the struggle of executive dysfunction. It really does be like that sometimes

What I Liked:

I liked all the similes and metaphors used! Since this isn’t supposed to be a very action-packed story, it’s good that you filled it with interesting descriptions to make up for it

Areas of Improvement:

I feel that this sentence might be inconsistent with the rest of the story and may cause confusion:

With my mind empty, I try writing down and figuring out my life at the insufferable age of 17.


The main character is not doing anything, so it’s a little hard to believe they would be writing.

I hope my review could be helpful. I wish you a good day/night!
—GengarIsBestBoy




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Mon May 29, 2023 12:36 pm
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: This is a wonderful piece here. That's honestly all I have to say. It doesn't try to do too much and it does what it is trying to do really well. It makes you think and hits you with some relatable things but at the same time takes you on a little journey too and I love it.

Anyway let's get right to it,

I sit in a room, in this empty, dark, limitless space. Alone. Quietly, on a couch, with its cushions to comfort me and make me feel at peace. I’ve tried, and I'm tired. Turning on my side springs a stitch in my chest, but the motion of turning has gone past halfway, and I give in and flop onto my ribs.

Although the comfort of the cushions should be enough, I yearn for the comfort of listening to classical music with her in the corner of a class, on the iced-out floor. The cold didn’t bother me at the time because the only thing I could think of was the warm and blissful piano and violins in my ear.

My thoughts were like a ring of Saturn, finding its way through my ears and, like its dust, clouding my brain for a moment.


Oooh this is a lovely little start here. It immediately introduces us to the kind of general mood that our person here happens to be in while also introducing us to their general surroundings and I think its a perfect little combo here to introduce us to this story here, and gives us a little base there in terms of what we're meant to be working with.

I now stare at the nothingness. The warmth of the violins and piano is lost. I'm useless, yet used when needed. Unable to move my muscles without being talked about like a sportsman during the analysis. I try to grasp the energy to do daily tasks like sleeping, eating, and getting up from bed. I brush those concepts, but my hands can't keep holding onto those ideas of normality.

With my mind empty, I try writing down and figuring out my life at the insufferable age of 17. The only thing to be noted is that figuring things out is time-consuming, thought-draining and painful. Knowing what awaits you in your life could be the key; it could be the guidance needed to choose left from right, or this university from that one.


Well this is quite the set of thoughts that we've slowly gone and drifted towards there. Definitely brings up a few memories for me as a reader and that let's me connect to this person quite well and you can understand exactly where this little stream of thoughts come from.

I need to sort myself out. I feel like a suitcase at the end of a holiday in a cheap city, filled to the brim with useless trinkets and shirts never to be worn or used. To unpack the suitcase would be disastrous: to put everything in a category, to go through each and every item, sorting it and labelling it, and making sure it’s found a place. The list is long, and time is short. No one can sort their suitcase while on a couch.

I’m overwhelmed with daily routines and monotonous conversations. "Hi, how was your day?" "No, you can’t go; I dictate your life". A repetition, a broken record playing the same chorus over and over again, a "5 o'clock somewhere".

Monotonous conversations cause boredom, and boredom leads to seeking adventure, which leads to curiosity, which leads to being killed … if you were a cat. Yet we are all cats, believing we live longer than logic, trying to land on all fours to keep our lives stable, and always being attracted to pointers telling us where to go and what to do. We’re all monotonous cats being curious.


Well that's a lovely little stream again. I love how it drifts off into a seemingly unrelated one there. In amidst all the powerful relatability it adds in just enough randomness and spice to be believable as a real persons' thoughts and I think that's lovely to see.

To be a cat, you’d need a fellow cat, as stated by society. You’d need a partner to connect with, someone to tether to for reciprocation of neediness, to have the same ideas of love and belonging. We need partners to give us life and energy, someone to rest you on that couch and throw a blanket on you, and to reinforce the fact that being tired on the couch is fine and that they’re there. I don’t have someone like that. I lay alone on my side on the couch, the cold air brushing over me. No blanket, no music, just the cushions.

I try to rise, but the cushions are warming up. They take the shape of my silhouette, drawing me closer to the cracks and crevices of the couch. I can’t rise. As my head turns and tries to look for someone, for anyone out there, the cold air dances on my skin and lifts up every hair and raises every bump. When my eyes focus forward, I see a boy. He’s small and chubby. The boy smiles from ear to ear, like the Cheshire cat. He giggles, and his belly jiggles. He’s happy. The boy pulls out a mirror. Within the mirror lies a creature of hatred and disgust toward all in its path, including itself. It’s a demon; it’s me.


Ooooh that's an interesting little bit of a metaphor that we've got snuck in there amidst all of the others going on there. The fact that we also have an actual cat is a lovely detail too. All in all, this is another neat little package of thoughts and I am really loving this little piece so far.

I despise the features of the demon; its dry, ashy skin that can never be fixed with cream nor confidence. The demon’s messy hair, whenever cut, never seems to please anyone. Its belly is glutinous and greedy, with the world at its hips and the ocean waving in its gut. I’ve tried to fix it all; but to try is tiring, and to not try at all is tempting.

As the warmth of the cushions eats me alive and the silhouette starts to fade, I sigh a goodbye to the boy with the mirror, slipping into the cushions of the couch.


Well this is a nice place to end I think. It sort of wraps us around a tiny bit and does a sneaky little reveal there as well which I enjoyed quite a bit. Once again a lovely mix of very real thoughts and a few extra just to make this a bit more real and I love it.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think this is a lovely little piece. It makes you think, it leaves you with a little smile on your face and it has a neat little message if you read it carefully. What more can one ask from a little story?

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate




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Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:02 pm
xJoeyx wrote a review...



Hi Jade here with a review <33

This essay hits very close to home for me. I have always struggled with my mental disorders, and I believe this essay did an amazing job capturing the thought process and actions of someone exhausted with trying to keep up.

I love this portion in particular, "I try to rise, but the cushions are warming up. They take the shape of my silhouette, drawing me closer to the cracks and crevices of the couch. I can’t rise."
It truly captured the helplessness of feeling trapped in one spot, unable to force yourself to do what needs to be done.

I think you did an amazing job with this piece, the only paragraph I believe could have been worded more clearly was the paragraph starting with, "Monotonous conversations cause boredom," It was slightly confusing in the beginning, but I still enjoyed it !

I hope to see more pieces from you ~




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Sun Mar 26, 2023 9:49 am
Nini wrote a review...



This essay has a real well defined feelings of one's struggling with himself, struggling to get himself together, the ways you elaborated how one feels, how the need to more comfort keeps growing, how recklessly tired one gets with everything, how tiring it gets with one's attempt of trying to solve'em, it all was nice and at the point.. i especially like the details you added on the starting about the pianos and violins, the soothing music he craved to listen and the thoughts feel like how saturn's ring revolve, clouding brains..

You expressed about the nothingness surrounding, the amount of motivation it requires to do the daily chores, how lost and insufferable it gets at such an early age. Then you added the example of the suitcase which suited it so welly and how nicely you expressed it all, this was an appreciating choice. About the Monotonous conversations being boredom causing and irritating which seems to hang up like a loop. You relate these with cats and that line comes"yet we are all cats...our lives stable" this was a good pick

you mentioned about how society stated about having a partner to be like, to match your energy someone who could be there for you at times but you're alone with just the cushions.

you added about the reflection of the boy who's chubby and small, actually happy and like a cheshire cat then the mirror part comes where it seens himself, the hatred, "the demon", this part was like a plot twist, where the realisation strucks, the way it sees himself resonating the demon's feature which he couldn't fix by himself and that the try even made it tiring

One thing which i noticed in it and is actually really true that how easy it seems to tell and advice someone to figure out the things but how painful and thought draining it could be which no one realises..

That part where you started with monotonous conversation then go up relating and addings more things which turned to "we're all monotonous cats being curious" was a bit confusing for me and seems a little irrelevant but in between you added some details which made it a little clear.. overall it was good and most things were great and up to the mark, loved it >>





'They are afraid of nothing,' I grumbled, watching their approach through the window. 'Together, they would brave Satan and all his legions.'
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights