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  • Logan Needham

Play Pretend

A shoebox of a dark, blue bedroom.

The outside world becomes nothing more than a black


Leaning over in my hovel,

I meticulously fit together the pieces of my puzzle.

My big brother’s sketchbook stretches across the edge of my desk

like a large blueprint,

coherently incoherent.

I take a moment to take in the scope of my experiments until I start working on my next

test subject.

Slash, swipe, slash!

My mechanical pencil dances across the page seamlessly, with elegant flow.

With small portions of the page

dedicated to dozens of miscellaneous doodles

like small islands with life and cultures of all kinds.

Within my little microcosm,

I get to be


and stun everyone in the room.

Me and my imaginary friends put on a show—

the most extravagant thing ever.

With extraordinary attention to detail that simply cannot be replicated anywhere else,

—most likely due to my outrageous standards.

Now, going by the logic of the real world, a puzzle could be considered a slightly noisy item.

With the smallest sound coming from the snap that two ends make.

But when the puzzle is done slowly, with every placement thought through,

the puzzle is ultimately shifted together ever so softly, no click

of any sort.

The silence my brother’s sketchbook creates helps me

cope with the harsh reality of the universe.

Because for even the slightest moment I will:

No longer

have to deal with the jealousy of others

that bursts inside the furnace.

No longer

have to deal with my ugliness,

Adam’s Apple,

5:00 shadow,

hairy armpits and all.

I will no longer have to deal with the crippling loneliness that I seeth

feeling it when I walk and talk.

—It’s all nothing more than

white noise

playing into the void.

If the outside world is so cruel,

then how can some people possibly live in it

without wanting to disappear off the face of the Earth?

This is a question that has plagued me for years.

But somehow in the meantime,

lying to myself for all these years helped me


At least a little bit.


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