This memorable piece was performed by Sebastian Baker at the Neil Hilborn open mic. Read on if you want to be given a look at the struggles that people face, and the way imagination and literature can offer some form of escape.


F. Sebastian Baker


Give me dragons instead of depression.
Give me zombies instead of anxiety,
Giant insects instead of insomnia,
Demonic possession instead of obsessions,
Skeletons instead of self-loathing,
Killer robots instead of intrusive thoughts,
Alien invasions instead of awkward conversations, on those bad days when I’d rather fight for my life than talk to someone I like.
I think we all fought monsters as kids, we all had or imaginary enemies, in our pretend games by day and in our bad dreams at night.
I know I did, and adults told me I’d grow out of it.
I’d get bored of those games when I grew up, they said,
I’d stop having those dreams when I got older,
but for this child soldier, the war still isn’t over,
only now I know the monsters aren’t under my bed, they’re inside my head and they won’t go away until I’m dead.
Is it any wonder why I obsess over stories, of adventure, power and glory,
of noble heroes who save people from evil?
Childish? Of course.
Naive? Naturally.
Unrealistic? Absolutely.
If I wanted realism I wouldn’t turn to escapism.
Escapism, how fitting, this is my escape.
I’m running away, fleeing into fantasy, but look at my reality, can you really blame me?
When I dream about being a hero, I don’t want to win fame and fortune, I don’t care about getting the girl and I don’t even need to save the world, although sometimes it does seem to need saving.
I just wish I could face my demons on the battlefield instead of inside my mind.


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