The Head-hopper

An

Espresso Tale

By

Accipiter G. Goshawk

I started head hopping when I was twelve.

To this day, I’m not entirely sure of how it happened. One moment I was listening to my Aunt Katie lecturing me about sitting up straight and the next I was staring at myself from behind her eyes. Immediately I’d felt her disapproval at my indecorous posture. Observing myself, I noticed that I was indeed slouching over.

So, I’d straightened.

A smile had instantly appeared on Aunt Katie’s face and she’d patted me on the head.

From that moment on, I discovered that I was able to enter the thoughts of anyone around me. Funnily enough though, I could only do this when they were talking with, thinking of or looking at me.

I was surprised to find that there were many things that my nearest and dearest felt I could correct and do better. Mom was disappointed that I didn’t help with the dishes; Dad wanted me to cut my hair a little more often; Uncle Jeremy just wanted me to listen to him talk about fishing. The list was endless and I can remember feeling a little lost: I couldn’t believe that I was the source of all this disappointment and sadness.

Of course, from time to time I would notice a happier emotion as well: joy, pride, satisfaction. But I always cast these aside, looking for the small things I could improve, the imperfections I could smooth away.

I began to work studiously on my person, trying to become the closest thing to perfection that I could manage. When I turned eighteen, I was walking the straight and narrow path of making everyone I knew happy. I’d chosen a girlfriend that every single one of my family members adored. It had taken me 187 tries to get it right, but it had been worth the effort: Julia was beloved by all.

I’d graduated at the top of my class (the professors’ opinion had pushed me to excel) and I’d enrolled in law (the major that garnered the highest consensus within the four walls of my home). Everything was going well. Everyone was happy.

Except me.

I’d become so dependent on seeing the world through the eyes of others that I now rarely returned to my own mind.

Of course, that meant that I hadn’t the foggiest idea of how I saw the world. Or what I wanted. Or what I felt.

Luckily, that’s when everything changed.

My powers disappeared almost as suddenly as they’d appeared, leaving me gazing solely into my own mind.

I was horrified with what I found, so I set out to make a difference.

I moved out, ended the relationship with Julia and dropped out of law school. I joined the circus and started writing long poems. Here I fell in love for the first time, with a lion tamer named Damien. And the best part is that the only way of knowing what he thinks of me, is looking for the glint in his eyes when we kiss goodnight.-

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