Today I choked on orange juice. More like orange juice betrayed me. I was anticipating its refreshing, full-bodied texture to tantalize the screaming, thirsty cells in my throat, but instead, it launched a revolt, sending me spluttering and gasping for breath. And then I realized something: I’m losing my quirk. It’s dying in me slowly because I’ve started being serious about life, serious about friendships, serious about scheduling even. It’s like my body’s old age seeped into my youthful demeanor, aging my soul until scowls replaced grins and sighs replaced laughs. I’m not sure why this is happening, but it was kind of terrifying to realize this, especially after a brief lack of breath. I mean, for part of high school, it was just a mask I put on to reflect something other than the inward troubles, but it was a part of me. And after experiencing the liberation of college and having a college fellowship, it grew even more. So why is it dying now, in the summer of my supposed youth? Imagination is beginning to wane and be replaced by the truth, a punishing realism that is starting to strangle my beautiful, hopelessly romantic view on life. Maybe it’s the choices I’ve made, people I’ve met, things I’ve done that have culminated in this storm that harasses my mental stability to no end. I used to be such a funny writer, and now I choose the most austere and germane topics to write about given my major. But what does that even have to do with anything? If I want to carpe diem, then what mental bonds are restraining me from rendering the most vivid reproductions of memory that I have had into beautiful works of art that immortalize those memories for eternity? The vivacity of my life is now dictated by the depth of suffering and not joy that I experience, as if the aging of mankind is a descent into pain and sorrow rather than an exaltation of the most glorious moments of living. I am concerned now with who would care if I died today rather than who will appreciate the life I live tomorrow. Maybe I haven’t been living. Maybe choking on orange juice was me waking up and realizing that I’ve been drowning this whole time.