The Drift



Tendrils of intention pull me sideways.

I am not the person you see sitting here at my desk. I am just to the right. Always the right. I never seem to float to the left. Float isn’t quite the word for it either. More like a drifting, really. I tend to drift. My report cards in elementary school almost always contained some hint of this drifting.

“Sean needs to stop daydreaming.”

“Sean needs to focus more when he’s in class.”


Lately this drifting has been more and more an actual physical sensation. I can feel myself being pulled to the side, sometimes a gentle tugging at my temples and shoulder.¬† Other times it’s more of a sliding sensation. As if the right half of my body were melting¬† or evaporating into the space directly to my right.

In dreaming we sometimes find ourselves able to fly, or flit from one scene to another, without a thought to the strangeness of our jumping realities. We’ll go from having a bowl of cereal to manning the periscope of a submarine, and it will seem the most natural of things. But so often in waking life, this drifting is frowned upon. When I’m sitting on the bus, and a bright orange monster sits down next to me, and strikes up a conversation with the elderly gentleman across the aisle, should I join them? Should I score their encounter with music? Should I ask them for directions to the jamboree?

The drifting is pretty much always worth your time. Daydreaming gets a bad rep in school, to be sure. But I’ve never found much harm in drifting off for a minute or three. You usually end up coming back with an idea worth sharing.

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