MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



It was the first day of college; Gemma had on a denim circle skirt and beige eyelet top. She loosely curled her long hair and was ready to start this new chapter.

Leaving University was one of the hardest decisions she had to make, though her experiences were

e x c i t i n g ,



l i f e a l t e r i n g .

Her first year was not very remarkable…she made friends; fell in love with the city and literature and experienced unexplainable psychic phenomena. During her second year the depression came, only she didn’t know what to call it.

The loneliness

and her inability to

c o n n e c t

made it so that she would spend days in bed at a time, feeling all the ways she was alone

crying off and on…

not eating.

She recalled saying to her mom through broken sobs and streams of tears

“I think I’m prone to depression”

Without truly knowing what that meant

Or what she was facing.

She still could not grasp the

inner workings

of her

m i n d

to figure out why she could never outrun the


no matter how hard she tried.

This was going to be a fresh start, and at least she had her sister with her as they were taking the same course. They recognized someone they knew from their childhood right away, but knew absolutely no one else. They went through their classes, met their professors and tried observing the others in their class room while remaining unnoticed. The odd mix of bodies blended together so seamlessly that Gemma had difficulty truly keeping track of anyone. It was during a break between classes, in the cafeteria that she saw a familiar face.

Someone she knew from a previous season.


They mutually greeted one another,

forcing their peers to come to a sudden halt all around them.

Small talk always felt like torture for Gemma.

Forced conversations ,




never seemed to sit quite right with her tongue.

She could never care about the weather,

or what job someone had

or course they were taking.

These were not the things that make up a person;

she would rather know if the r a i n

made them feel nostalgic,

what secret hobbies they keep that helps feed their soul

or how they would spend their last day on earth.

She meets people with an intense need to know them to their

c o r e

or not at all.

“How have you been?”

She asked her old friend Nora.

“Good. I don’t start classes until next week,”

she smiled, “what are you taking again?”


Nora’s eyes were concentrated

for a moment before widening,

“I know someone in your course.”

“I don’t know names yet,

what do they look like?”

“He’s tall, brown hair and he has a lip ring.

His name is Caleb.”

She thought hard for a minute, going through the faces she could remember

of her new classmates until finally she came up blank.

“I don’t know him.” She answered finally.

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