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Uncomfortable -- creative nonfiction by Mishika Joisher

The noon summer sun glares through the bus window, and tints the world a garish yellow. The lead-like sunlight is ladening, layer over layer of heat onto my skin raw.

I’m just glad school is over.

My head thumps onto the seat ahead, involuntarily, as if it were instinct, an everyday task.

I wait. At some point, I’m walking to my building. 

The elevator doors open; I step in and stare at myself in the mirror. A reddened, sweaty creature with hair distraught. Is that me? Presumably. I hope not.

I’m home. In fervent avoidance of my miserability, I’m in front of the television, bag of chips handy, all over again. 

The air is leaden, cruel. Every breath I pull is more urgent, but the air is lacking. It refuses to fill my lungs. I know it is out there, merely out of reach. Ceaselessly evading me, like the life I should live. 

Perhaps, if I get up, walk to the window, and take a deeper breath. I cannot. My skin is cast. It’s funny, the mental barriers that depression creates. I am stuck. I might even giggle. I am stuck. I want to skin myself alive. “I” am stuck. 

“I”? Me? Where am I? For on the couch lie simply skin and hollow.

I know “I” am: tired.


Mishika Joisher is a high school sophomore based in Mumbai who enjoys undertaking new endeavors in creative writing, devouring mountains of books, whipping up snacks in the kitchen, and spamming her friends with memes. She hopes to become a popular author one day and retire in the mountains.

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