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Not Being Me

Sometimes, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of not being me. I’m not sure when it first happened, although I’m confident that it wasn’t very long ago. I’ve been interested for a while in the nature of objects, particularly what it means to be a train.

I think it started when trains began to look absured to me, like the feeling you get when you say or type a word too many times. I sort of lost the ability to see trains. I started to think of them in a topological way, you get in the doors at one place, and you get out at another.

One day I found myself standing in the vestibule of a train, I normally stand, trying to balance without holding on to anything. I started to wonder if I was the train, or, if I wasn’t, what about me meant that I wasn’t? In some sense I was occupying the same space as the train; at least I was entierly contained within it. My motion was largely dictated by it, and I could in some sense feel what it was feeling as it ran over points, and swayed on its bogies. Concentrating on nothing but being the train.

But, it never really feels like I am the train. Its different to that, I think. It feels singular.

I’ve managed to find that feeling in other places too. I’ve started trying to be whole places now. Sometimes when I’m in a room, maybe a pub or maybe outside in a park. It starts as a background sensation, a sort of vauge loss of the sense of time. My mind starts to withdraw from the future and the past, it seems to just lose interest in why I am where I am, or what I’m going to do next. Now starts to come into focus, sounds and sensations start to flow instead of being processed and filtered. My breathing changes.

Sometimes this takes a few minutes, sometimes a few seconds. Recently, it has just hit me with little warning. I’ve just been a place. There is a faint euphoria, a profound lack of fear and doubt. Often I try to snatch at that moment, and come crashing down. I can’t do it at will, and I seem only to be able to do it in public spaces and outside.

I mention this today, because for a few seconds I became some steps in london bridge station. I felt that I was different as I stood onto each step, like me and the step, and that moment in time where fused and final. And that on the next step I was another entity, that whatever might have been on the previous step didn’t exist.

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