i'm hopping from stone to stone as i try to cross the stream, deceivingly calm on this thursday in june. but i know what's lurking in its depths, hiding in the shadows on the sandy floor. i know, if no one else does. i move from one stone to the next with barely a thought. there's no time to think, only to move. deep inside me, i know the monster's next move, but it's not much help because it knows mine, too. as it rears its head, churning the waters, a crowd gathers at the shore. they wave their arms and open their mouths wide in shouts, but their voices are stolen by the waves, by the wind. i don't know if it's me they're urging on or the monster. i try to pretend that i don't care either way. the other side is one hop away, but no matter how many stones i pass, no matter how many moves i make, it never gets any closer. i lose my footing in my haste, and as i stumble i come face to face with the monster. i look deep into its eyes and see too much that is familiar. doubt who i'm rooting for myself. i see my own eyes staring back at me as i regain my balance. i hop to the next stone, turning my back on the monster. safe for one more minute. putting off the moment when i'll finally have to confront it.