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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2021 - Vol. 18, Issue 3

"Average Jane"

written by

Morgan Krueger

I look like the average Jane. My friends all call me quirky. I am normal passing, among strangers. Most of the time. You have noticed my difference when I tell stories or recount what I will eat yesterday.


Is time the same for all of us? I can’t tell. I know the three realities: Future, Present, and Past. Yet the tenses slip in my mind, twist around, invert. What happens yesterday will

happen, will it not? What goes on tomorrow, happened. This is how time looks to me.


I will eat eggs yesterday. I went to the bookstore tomorrow. Writing a letter will be painstaking. I will learn to write it in full, how it sounds best to be, then go through each verb and reverse it. I can never proofread my words afterwards. They make no sense to me.  


When talking to people, I speak present tense. That one makes sense. Now is now is now is now. There’s no question of that. So I speak in present tense, even when it does not quite feel right, and ignore the curious looks that arise. 


Over my life, an interesting thing will happen. I will start thinking in present tense more and more. I will start seeing every moment as if they are happening now. Loved ones long gone exist now, dulling grief. My death exists now, paling fear.  


It’s funny I live in a time where “Live in the Moment” is a motto. Live in the now. I am an expert at that. I can tell you it’s true. The memory of the past and the expectation of the

future weigh on every human. My field narrows more and more as I practice only living, speaking, and existing now. And I find my happiness growing. My self-consciousness fleeting. My relationships deepening.  


I find myself living, rather than thinking.

Morgan Krueger is a recent graduate of the University of Tulsa, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Collegian. She now works at Sneak Peek Books, where she is an editor

and writer. Krueger’s fiction has earned her a nomination for the SE Hinton Scholarship and her non-fiction has placed as a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence National Award. Coping with repeated depressive episodes, Morgan enjoys challenging society’s preconceptions in her writings. In doing so, she often learns

new ways of looking at the world and interpreting herself.

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