The battle of a distracted mind

by Fidel Cadena

How do they do it? How can my peers all focus on what this old teacher is droning on about?

I can barely comprehend anything that comes out of his mouth, as if he’s speaking a foreign language. All this talk of numbers and letters and how they form some sort of special equation to solve who knows what—if I try to focus, I know I’ll just fall asleep.

I can’t afford to be distracted, but I definitely need a break. I’ll just check my phone quickly to see if anything has been added to Facebook since I checked it last, which was only two minutes ago. It feels like at least 20. Calm down—there’s only another hour to go. Maybe today I’ll understand what he’s actually talking about.

With my pencil in hand and notebook open I begin to write what is on the board. I don’t try to comprehend it yet; I’ll do that later. Meanwhile, he babbles on and on about different methods that solve the problem, but aren’t required to know for the class—that’s my cue. I choose not to listen this time, for if I do, I know I’ll only be confused further.

I say to myself “I’ll listen when he’s done.” I begin to draw circles and lines on my paper. I draw stick figures in different poses. Class time is when I practice my artistic skills. I feel tired. Maybe I’ll just rest my head on my arm for a little bit.

I’m on a bridge and I feel a surge of power go through me. I begin to focus and—what’s this? I’m flying! I feel like “neon gold.” No wait, that’s a Marina & the Diamonds lyric. “I’m feeling electric tonight.” No, that’s Lana del Rey. Why are all these songs bombarding my thoughts right now? I’m flying, that should be where my thoughts reside. Everything goes white for a second.

What’s this? Now where am I? What happened to my ability to fly? This place is a disaster. It all looks like ruins.

“You did this!”

Who said that? I look around. There’s a stranger flying. His red eyes begin to shoot lasers that burn whatever they touch. Again I take flight, and head towards him. I reach for my sword. Where’d that come from? As I try to slice him, he blocks with his bare arms.

“This was your doing! Not mine!” I scream as I push him to the ground.

I feel anger flow through me. My fists are engulfed in flames. That’s different. I stare back at this unknown enemy of mine. He lunges toward me and reaches for my neck with his hands open. We fly up higher into the atmosphere. I can’t breathe. I manage one last punch, and I hope it’s enough to have him let go. I put what anger I have into my fist and aim for his gut. He coughs as I hit him and lets me go. I try to catch my breath, but I’m just falling. Down I go, faster and faster, until I’m only a few inches from the ground.

I wake up with a jolt. That falling sensation must have made me react. I hate it when that happens. I begin to notice I’m in the same lecture I was before. Damn. I must have blinked a bit too long after my doodling session. I hope I at least killed some time while lost in my fantasy world. As I click on my phone to check the time, I see that only 20 minutes have passed. All I can do now is hope that I didn’t snore too loud while I was out cold.