There’s nobody around my life in my mind. There are only faint shadows around the edges, passing through, passing by. I couldn’t be less alone if I tried. The world begs me every day to come outside and join the party, but my mind imprisons me. Sometimes I reach my hand out and grasp at some of it, but my hand falls through empty air and I’m told “not for you”. Why have I gone silent? Why am I so alone. Why am I confined to this world inside. What is out there? How would I contain it, if I let it all flood in? What is the way to approach such a life? I feel so… I feel so..
How do you react when your body suddenly betrays you? When it has betrayed you for 7 months and shunned all your attempts to reconcile. How do you go on without such a major component of you?
What do you do when you run out of answers? When the very nature of answers has decomposed before your very eyes. When you find there are no ends and only means, there are only wooden arrows pointing every which way, called “left”, “right”, “wrong”, “here”, “there”… and they switch places at the speed of light, as though the absurd motherfuckers are playing a game of musical chairs. Do I simply wait and see which one remains at the end of this silly, arbitrary game, and accept the one that prevailed?
Life, you yourself have squeezed every ounce of yourself out of my hands so many times. I admit I’m weary. You’ve captured me on your back and flung your body wildly down into the deepest caves of despair, waving me around in the wind like a cape. I don’t want to play your fucking game. Let me off. I miss my home, the place and time when I was happy. I believe that once upon a time, beyond my human memory, I was not alone. I believe that once, before I was Joanne, I knew love and freedom.
I asked myself last night. Is the mission in life to choose my path, or is it to put on a brave face and walk the path I’m given? Do I really have autonomy? Can I change what I really want, deep inside? Am I making my reality, or does a certain one already exist? And this is the point where answers break down. Answers don’t exist. They are an illusion.
If pummeling to death is a way of teaching, then my weathered hands relax once more. There is nothing to grasp.
It’s the battle of my life. The battle of my life is knowing which path to follow. I’m a person of many dimensions. Ha, Mel would say that’s because I’m a Gemini. But seriously, I am a crazy, crazy person. Most people don’t understand what it’s like to be this mad. “We’re all mad here,” says the Cheshire Cat. Yes, true. But my version of madness is to the point of sickening me at times. Knowing is a burden. Sometimes, I don’t want to know anymore. Being aware has freed me, but there are times I don’t know what to do under the weight of all this wisdom. What to do with all of this understanding? Life is messy. In the middle of this long, wild journey of exploration, the only thing I can say with certainty, is that the more you know, the more there is to know. Sometimes I just want to give up. Sometimes I fantasize how it would be to go about ignorantly like so many people do. I don’t remember what it’s like to “buy into” Life anymore. I don’t buy it at all whatsoever. I know too much.
And of course, because of the wave-like nature of existence, I also know that the way I feel right now is just another life-cycle of growth riding itself out. I know from experience that this happens every time a new level of truth smacks me face first, knocking me into the very hole I’m sitting in right now. It completely overwhelms me with knowledge, shattering everything I previously knew. I consider just killing myself. I consider quitting everything and pursuing happiness in its truest form. I think a lot of things about what this new information means for the purpose of my life. The first time this happened, I thought my life was over. I thought I’d never get out.
Now that I’ve made it around the cycle a few times, and I know that this is all just part of the journey. I know that after the hard part comes stabilization. I know that the wisdom will slowly internalize itself into my life, and I’ll slowly evolve into a wiser, more peaceful, more loving me. I’ll end up a few steps closer to that one thing my soul yearns for: Freedom. What a beautiful word it is.
Deep down, I already know my destination.
I just started and erased 10 different messages to you. I couldn’t figure out what was.. “appropriate”.
It’s fucked up that we talk so differently now. I don’t wanna be casual and cool with you, I want to be silly and blissful and childish and free! I wanna drag my letters because that’s the way you made me feeeeeel, like I was singing a songgg every time you said those beautifullll things to meeeee. I hate this version of us! I feel foolish and phony even saying friendship might be nice again, compared to the nirvana we lived in. I miss the nonstop I love yous and I miss you baby’s. Reading through our messages I read a poem you wrote me, it went:
I love you
I lovee you
I loveee you
I loveeee you
I loveeeee you
I loveeeeee you
I loveeeeeee you
I loveeeeee you
I loveeeee you
I loveeee you
I loveee you
I lovee you
I love you
Yup, that summed it all up. You were soooooo damn cute. Our relationship was like a playpen called Love, and we played in it like the days before life had any worries. We held hands and looked at the big world and knew we’d be okay if we just stuck together. We helped each other grow. I never wanted to grow up. But one day, I found everything was changing. The playpen was shrinking around me. It was horrifying, heartbreaking. I wanted to stay forever but that wasn’t my story. I was outgrowing our love and I HATED IT, I hated it so fucking much.
6 months since the decline started, I look back and I’m sad. The emotions are too complex to fit into these sentences. But all I really want to say is, babyyyyyy, eggyyyy, I miss you, I looooove you, clbtew toired toigah pimpalicious daddy, mwah! mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwahhhhh, saranghae eggy, green green meadows and blue blue sky and sunflowers everywhere and the turtle. See you there<3
Sydney Wonder x Wayne Sun
@sydwonder is my co-captain on the retouch game and happens to be exceedingly photogenic. She also runs a little something something called B&B Tutors. Given her wide range of skills and expertise in business, academia, and existentialism, she could probably be a frontrunner for a national pageant, murder your ass in a spelling bee, and hold her own enough to get published in some crazy respectable scholarly journal. But she prefers to stay out of the limelight….. for now.
Awwh shucks, @wondone! It’s the best when life brings talented creatives like this guy into my life. When you find fellow crazy people, you best hold on to ‘em.
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” -Ferdinand Foch
I know that I’m truly a soul that was made to be lit on fire. Among many in this crowd, it seems as though I’ve been singled out and drenched in a kerosene mixture of sorts. This mixture is made up of a keen perception, a ceaselessly analytical mind, an obsession with understanding this universe, and the need to live meaningfully, as it appears I’m being forced to live at all. I never asked to be born, this just happened to me. I was placed in these most peculiar circumstances: this small but agile body, this restless brain that never stops matching the pieces of our massive existential puzzle, this certain ability to impact others so strangely. It must mean something. Inevitably, the match will be tossed from a mysterious source, setting me aflame. There will be no moderating the outcome once this occurs. This is a challenge I feel so aware of.
Most of my conscious life, my different-ness weighed heavily on me. To this day, it still does to quite an extent. It was difficult for most of my life constantly studying my peers for clues on the “proper” way to live. Because I could sense that my mind simply did not operate like theirs; I had one that ran on an entirely different operating system, and I tried 300% harder to figure out what a person was supposed to act and be like.
But college has been a very long journey of growing wiser and more conscious of my purpose, of who I am. Instead of believing there’s a certain way I’m “supposed” to be, which I don’t fit (loudly), I’ve learned to observe who I simply Am. I’ve begun to uncover my purpose. And it appears that for this certain purpose, quite an odd, whimsical person is required. The giant question facing me since, has been: are you willing to become her? Are you willing to grow and develop with an earnest devotion to the role bestowed on you? I’ll need to stretch with all my might to fill out this grand suit. Give it my best, honest effort. I don’t want to waste this life.
I’ve come face to face with my deepest fears in the past few months. I’ve sat isolated with them for many hours on end, them staring straight into me and seeing my every weakness, me looking back and examining them over and over. Finally, I’ve emerged from Round 1 victorious. During those long hours, I gathered enough understanding to expose my fears with the light of truth. They unraveled and showed their true form.
And I know what faces me now. Action. 7 months of the most strenuous, fearless, diligent, disciplined, stamina-building, rewarding action I have ever experienced. Round 2 in the battle to uncover her: the true me.
I will share a small bit about the best secret I know.
I have found the purest place in the world. I’ve explored it freely, I’ve swum in its perfect waters, I’ve known it intimately as my home. I have roamed its shores. I’ve spent hours laying without a care in the luxury of its pristine beauty.
And this place, it knew me back. Like the Garden of Eden before the sin, it laid out its gifts and asked for nothing back. There, I wandered freely and tasted the fruits of unconditional love. It enveloped me in warmth, in shelter from the tainted world. I laid for hours in this place, for the first time, safe.
The purest place is not the artisan waters in Fiji that they say are untouched by man. It’s not the lush Australian rainforests, nor the stunningly vast ice sheets of Antarctica. It’s not Fiordland’s wild alps that enjoy the cleanest air on Earth.
The place is black and shiny and lies hidden inside his eyes. It rests in a spot just beyond the pupils and goes on forever inward, like a magic doorway into infinity. And greeting you when you arrive, is a soul… who offers its infinity, to you. This is the purest, most beautiful place in the world.
When I was sad, when death clouded my mind and threatened to snuff out every bit of light, I felt his strong arms tighten around my lifeless body and carry me there to rest. And I still frequent this place in my mind, when the world grows cold around me and desaturates before my very eyes. I think of this most lovely place, and it gives me warmth until the storms have passed; until it is safe to come out again.
When you experience such immaculate purity and beauty, it irreversibly changes you. Even if I never experience this place again, I carry its light with me forever. I have seen the purest place in the world, and it chose me, and it loved me.
Nothing will take that away from me.
- Sydney Wonder
This is how it happens. I sit still, almost entirely still. Hours, days, even weeks at a time. And it stays that way until I can’t take it any longer. Until the quiet whisper in my mind crescendos into a continual loop that is impossible to ignore. Until suddenly a sound takes form in the endless silence. It says, “I gotta get the FUCK out of here”.
I pack my things, I bid adieu to my companions here, and I book it out of there like a drowning man frantically escaping towards air. And this is the only time I feel alive- while escaping. It is an act of life during desperate need. It is an act of redemption.
But getting there is a different story. For once the disturbance of my location change settles down in the air, and the different colors have cozied into their new place in my periphery, it all becomes still again. I’m sucked back into the formless and timeless warp of my internal mindscape. And I sit still, almost entirely still. Hours, days, even weeks at a time.
The other night, I painted an invisible girl.
She stared back at me through the looking glass, an empty, transparent, barely-there presence. The only visible part of her were her large, deep eyes. They beheld an emotion that I could not place, that I was disconnected from accessing; but I could sense that it weighed a lot.
My hands felt heavy and lethargic, as if even they didn’t buy into the mission at hand. I lifted the mascara wand and brushed it onto the invisible girl’s eyelashes. They grew visible with a coat of the dark substance. From beneath the painted lashes, her unknowable eyes continued to peer at me. Wordlessly, she blinked. I dipped a brush into a salmon-colored powder. Venturing a guess about the location of her colorless cheeks, I applied the blush. The shape of her face began to reveal itself. She made no protest.
“We’re gonna start pre-gaming soon. Are you ready yet?” came my roommate’s voice from beyond the door.
I felt a mild amusement at the comedy of it all. Females peacocking their hair, body parts, and perfume around while the males pursue.. the idea that “conquering the night” is achieved one party at a time.. binging on alcohol to guarantee only mindless interactions. This is our generation’s consensus about the worthiest way to spend a night.
“You need to get WASTED tonight,” she added, sparkling with excitement. “You’re single now.”
I silently noted the irony of that logic. I was already wasted. Not by alcohol, but by a deep misery that was penetrating every inch of my reality. My life felt ravaged. I had lost the most beautiful thing I have ever known.
Quietly wrestling with my desire to stay in, I contemplated the figure in the mirror. I pulled a white tube top over her matter-less torso. A semblance of a college-aged girl began to form. I slid a new pair of jeans onto her legs and completed the costume. She looked good. Very pretty.
Go on, I urged her half-heartedly, barely believing my own words. Life doesn’t just stop, ever. You’ve got to be like water. You gotta learn to just flow with it.
Tonight, I was a shapeless ghost, merely pretending to be human. What I truly desired was so beyond the realm of the debaucherous night ahead. I gave the girl a final once-over and brushed her long, straight hair once more. She was ready as she would ever be. Tonight, this would have to do.
- Sydney Wonder
If your mind was ever a destination, I would buy a one-way ticket. -marcclyde
Thank you. I always appreciate your supportive thoughts.
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