My Darkest Mask
Inspired by a conversation this week, a part of me has awoken. Call it the full moon if it eases you, but that evening I opened myself up to vulnerability almost unintentionally. I don’t know the purpose of this note, whether I’m asking for acceptance or merely seeking clarity and finding my place in this universe.
Among the topics discussed were my two fantasies growing up; one to be a nun, and the other, a prostitute. Having given this some thought in the past, it appears that what ties the two together is a level of detachment from basic human emotion.
I’ve noticed that I often find it impossible to feel anger. Not so much because it’s a useless reaction, but because punishing oneself over the fault of another doesn’t seem to me a natural flow of energy. But I digress.
Returning to human experience, it didn’t come naturally to me. I remember very well the last episode of the British show, Sherlock Holmes. In the episode, Sherlock’s sister, Eurus, shares that she had always felt as though she lived in the clouds. She paints this picture beautifully by setting a girl on an airplane in the sky where everyone else is asleep. The young girl is the only one awake in a plane of unconscious passengers, with no direction and a crashing plane full of lives in her hands.
Now Eurus’ incandescence far exceeds my capacity, but my sentiment and apprehension very much mirrors her’s. Growing up, there were patterns. People learn. People think. People understand. & Well…I see, absorb, and become.
There’s always lived a detachment from mankind in me. As a young girl, I remember watching man as if from the clouds, unable to grasp their essence. I remember watching children fight over toys, and I, unable to tear my eyes off of the little red object. Was it the color, the movement of the wheels, or man’s unwavering desire to sacrifice their attention riddled in exchange for a moment’s enchantment?
Most of man’s concepts and actions I found to be foolish, but I was simultaneously simply and completely mesmerized by the power of the superfluous. The child in me made a pact to find man’s secret, and I began by adopting all that was man. I started feeling man’s emotion, I started calculating transactions. And my maturity was nurtured with every emotion I felt, every character I played—as was my manhood.
Then I started falling in love with things and with people. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to live, and I wanted to write the story of life—not just chapters within a novel, but also short stories, poems, epics. Oh, how enticing it all felt. And gradually, an experiment transformed into something unstoppable. I became obsessed. And on my lighter days, I crave and starve for the human experience.
I wanted to hold the light and darkness. I wanted to know. I wanted to feel. I wanted to be. I wanted to die. I wanted to live. The heightened euphoria of intimacy, the dysfunctional depth of emotional dehydration. And oh boy did I love, and love, and love. I lost myself, I re-envisioned myself, I consistently compromised the limitations of my capacity. I watched as characters redeveloped around me, almost sadistically, as I starved myself with enchantment.
Perhaps I’ve fully assimilated and have become one with man. Perhaps all the silly products of man are rather nice. And perhaps money and time, human emotion and love, all the little red objects on wheels that I play with now—well, they could be common miracles. Perhaps this is all imagined and I am just man. How beautifully terrifying would that be? If I am man, must these thoughts color me despicable?
Growing up, all the adults recognized my intelligence. Cousins my age were warned to stay away from me to avoid any visible line of comparison. The cousin who I was closest in age with growing up, he bullied me. And still to this day, he tries to dissociate himself from me. Am I so grotesque? I learned to keep my mouth shut and keep my observations to myself. So now I ask questions and stop there.
And the people that I respected most, they recognized something too. And they wanted to nurture whatever it was that they saw. It was my new weapon. Or rather, a shield. Whatever it was that people saw. It was always different. I didn’t care, it gave me power and momentum. And sometimes, momentum shadows clarity.
I’ve been asking Who am I for as long as I can remember. When shall I muster the courage to ask What am I? Or must I surrender under the illusion of personality disorder? Oh dear, please somebody wake up, please. After all, I am just a little girl in the sky with little direction and a fear of crashing the plane full of sleeping souls.
And this concludes the most vulnerable, darkest mask I wear. My hands tremble, my eyes water, my breath hesitates.
A Piece of Today’s Peace
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve gradually fallen in love with what it means to be human. At my purest state, the word imperfections stands completely hollow. This manmade illusion of perfection averts us from simply existing and vibrating as energies. I am a compilation of vibrations. Aren’t you?
Most days, I feel like The Little Mermaid in this world so foreign, so magical. And I worry because being human feels foreign, even after so many years of falling in love with it. After my short stories are complete, I must again return to my cloud. After writing and writing, I lay down my pen and let life speak. My dimension is calling.
There are two reasons why this is relevant now:
About three years ago, I fell in love with a kind heart. He was rather simple—an intellectual and voracious learner who carried his virtues with much soul and playfulness. Such energy was to be absorbed, and I did so almost immediately. So foreign, so sheltered, my last three years have been of light and cheerfulness. And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to spend my life in this story, as this very character?” There were times when I felt completely content writing chapters of a novel. I closed this novel two days ago.
Within those three years erupted endless wars between the protagonist and the writer of my story. Day after day, I found myself short of breath, drowning in the air of man, yet I continue. For three years straight, I lived in a constant state of sleep paralysis. Screaming and kicking and begging, trading all my attention to move a finger or toe. Every day, I found myself chanting, “What the hell am I doing here?” And yet again, every day, I chose to be there. And how could I not, every moment was beautiful!
A few months ago, I also met someone with a little bit of magic, almost dark magic it would seem. What I want from this person is completely different, but he chose the black dress, and I knew he held the first paragraph to a story I want to write. He opened a door, and I exploded in agony. It was like tasting snow for the first time. My entire body drops as I embrace a ground full of falling winter, snowflakes raining as stardust. Often times in life, we meet people who emerge from thin air, staying but a moment’s time to open a window or sit beside you. And so I continue to remind myself in all my interactions with man, we destroy things by trying to make them last forever. How beautiful it is to dissolve in a moment’s time and call it infinity?
Entrepreneurship has always been arousing, challenging me in the most devious of ways. Commitment and organization were hardly faces I could recognize, not to mention the rallying of man support. So naturally, I was drawn to this brilliant adventure. But how can I embark on this journey if I think so ordinarily of mankind’s fight for attention and competition? Encounter after encounter my identity withers challenged, and I stand here today directionless before the man-made concept of business, paddling against nature’s currents. What shall motivate me to keep impelling?
Perhaps the reason for my insecurity and deep fear of abandonment is that I don’t belong in this world. And at any moment, they will find out. And when they do, it will just be me in the sky with a crashing plane.
I’m not so delighted as to think me any different. There have been a great deal of those before me, people who saw and felt more. Many of us have assimilated into roles of man simply out of awe by the innocence of man. Some became scientists, some became writers and philosophers. Where do the rest go?
What we’re composed of is a little different. We have a little bit of magic in us.
It’s not intelligence, and that’s what we need to realize. My parents thought it was intelligence, people label it IQ. It’s simply not. So don’t call us artists, as artists are defined by what they create. Don’t call us anything, and simply coexist with us because we share a home in this magical universe.
What we’re composed of is an overflow of energy and adventure, completely and erotically vibrant. And this is what I wish to tell my partner. I feel so much, and to project that onto a relationship just isn’t fair. I travel between dimensions, and to have you wait simply couldn’t be. I tell you this as I’ve tried to tell you each day since we’ve met, I was born and raised in a universe different from the one we know, and occasionally, I must return home. I was never meant to stay in one place for too long, even though I fantasize about it every day, and will never stop asking why not.
How many times must I arrive at this destination until I can find my journey? Or is the secret to recognize that the passengers are happy sleeping, that perhaps if I steer through the rhythm of my heart, we will safely land. What if they wake up and cannot breathe the air that I breathe. What then?