What a horrible thing it is to think that a person is ever more than just a person. The world is full of people who are constantly imagining and constantly being misimagined.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Strange, The Way We Think

I stare into the perfect porcelain, stained with age and dirt and grime and filth, below me. Jewels of water trickle down into the pool. A door behind me clatters, the footsteps fade away. Nobody left but me
“Go on. Do it. Trust me.” He says. I stop, and turn my head.
“I can’t.” I whisper. However loud I say it, I know he hears. He hears everything.
We hear everything.
“You can. Be strong.” I can. I will be strong.
“I shouldn’t.” Still I protest. I stare, listlessly at the shapeless wall beside me.
“You have before.” Triumph ripples in his voice. I hang my head in shame.
“I know, but—”
“But nothing. Coward.”
There is silence. Not outside, not behind me. Someone else is here now. Water gushes from taps, wind roars from machines, steps echo on the cold, hard tiles. The steps move past my cubicle. A mutter to themselves, perhaps, a whistle through their most-likely perfect lips. I barely notice. My world is silent.
“Not while someone’s here.” I finally reply.
“Of course. A Coward like you would hate to get caught. They won’t even care.”
“They will.” I find myself replying.
“You hope they will. Trust me. They won’t.” His words shatter the silence. Of course I trust him. I always have.
Why would they care? They’re perfect. To them, I barely exist.
The finger pulls towards my mouth. I barely resist.
I turn. I drop to my knees before the pristine white bowl.
“That’s it.” He coaxes. I hesitate.
And then, the door slams. The fingers push. My mouth contorts, muffled cries of pain escape as tears well behind my eyes.
“Keep doing it. Almost there. Trust me.” The encouragement works. I hear myself screaming.
“You’re worthless.”
“I shouldn’t.” The tears begin to fall.
“But—“ I can feel it.
“Worth. Less.”
And then it comes.
The choking, killing, tide of relief and guilt and sin and hatred and ugly and everything, every, little thing I hate, comes pouring out. My head spins, the tears fall lower, they drip onto the fractured bowl and merge into tide. I cough, splutter, gasp for breath, gasp for anything but the plague inside my mouth. And all the time, he’s there. Talking to me.
“Well done. Don’t you feel better now?”
“No.” I think, pulling myself up to stand on unstable legs.
“There’s more left, isn’t there?”
I nod, silently to the wall as I reach for the handle.
“We’re still ugly, aren’t we?” I nod.
“We’re still stupid, aren’t we?” I nod.
“We’re still worthless. Aren’t we?” His voice thunders in my head
“Still worthless.” I mouth, splashing water at my face, feeling it trickle over every inch of imperfection, inside and out.
“Well then. We know what we have to do about that, don’t we?”
I step out, into the corridors once more. Hundreds of faces pass me by as I pick up my bags and walk to class. Hundreds of people judge me. Hundreds of people judge me, and see nothing wrong.
None of them judge me like I judge me.
I shall do it again.
And again.
Until I am as perfect as the perfect porcelain.

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