I wrote it in twenty or so minutes, no edits aside from formatting. This is fiction, keep in mind. Working title: Vicarious

For a minute there, I lost myself.

Does that sentence mean anything to you? Maybe ring a bell, somehow? Does it tell you even a little bit about me?

Because they aren’t my words. I can’t say that I’m original: someone voiced it for me. Someone else wrote it, set it to music, sang it, recorded it. I’m just cutting-and-pasting. Sing along if you know the song.

For a minute there, I lost myself,
I lost myself,
I lost myself . . .

“Karma Police,” Ok Computer, Radiohead, 1997.

And it doesn’t tell you all that much about me, does it? Maybe that I listen to Radiohead, that I like them enough to know and quote the lyrics, and that I “feel” these words speak to me and, maybe, speak for me. Maybe, you might wonder, I felt “lost” at some point in my life . . . but who the hell doesn’t?!!! Again, not original: doesn’t everyone feel that a song “speaks” to them personally every now and then?

Never mind the song was written and performed without awareness of my existence, never intended to be my mouthpiece, or my personal communication with the world.


Sometimes, a singer’s words and whine can say so much more than I ever can with my own voice.

Sometimes, clamping headphones over my ears and blasting it into my head will say all that I ever needed to say.

Sometimes, closing my eyes and opening my ears, if only wide enough for the song, can be the my favourite little numbing narcotic.

But it isn’t me, not completely, not entirely. The message is just me-ish.

For instance, I lost myself for more than a mere minute. For the longest minute, maybe. Maybe just a small space of time, but a forever for me.

And because I borrow someone else’s message, and interpret it as I choose, I just subsume my own voice and replace it with a neat and tidy little lyric or ditty. And I’m not really saying anything at all, not at all.


But aren’t I?

Am I making sense to you? Do you get me and what I’m trying, maybe, to say? Am I losing you?

Because I think I’ve already lost myself again.