Wordcount: 10 by 100
Don’t you know? This paranoia is unreasonable. No one is going to betray you.
Did you know? You can make a child do anything.
Totally dependent, needing food, shelter, guidance, protection, a child will do almost anything for the warm touch, a kind look.
To say nothing of love.
Carrot and stick, cower and sick, dangle demerits and idly raise your fist.
Tell me, does it make you feel powerful? Is it intoxicating, the adoration, the complete trust? Does it make you feel like a prince?
Tell me. I want to know. You’ve already betrayed me.
Exhaustion. Imprisoned in bodies of exhaustion. Emotion has a way of sucking everything out, as if there were a pipe, a wall, a pressure differential that squeezes your guts into the pipe and through the wall.
It’s common in the world.
My mother told me it used to hit her like a physical blow. She couldn’t move. She’d go to bed with a migraine, limbs limp, sleep like there was nothing else. And wake up exhausted.
I guess I was lucky. Younger, I was more able to adapt. I adapted by suppressing all my feelings. The bliss of feeling nothing.
Reflecting on the environment in which writing is produced,
Reflecting on the past in which memories are formed,
Considering the system that rules, shapes, coerces,
Collecting data to make sense of it all.
Things are getting personal.
Did I handle it well? Could anyone have done better? Did I really survive, or am I hobbling around like an amputee? Should I run in the marathon anyway?
So much could have gone wrong. Exchange one prison for another. Instead of this, the Panopticon, I could be shooting myself with heroin right now. Wacked out on LSD. It would be so easy.
Drugs. I never understood them. Bombarding your nerve ends until they sizzle. Frying them.
I didn’t understand drugs because I didn’t need them. Unable to live in the physical (the free?) world and out of touch with emotion, sometimes I felt I lived in an abstraction. Nothing grounded.
It got so bad that I would walk with my hand against the wall to assure myself it was there. That it existed. That I existed.
Trace the walls of your prison to remind yourself that it is a prison. Take solace in its solidity, how concrete. There is another world beyond.
The world beyond. Like a promised land. Like a myth. But not a myth, because people are living in it right before your eyes.
After the great economy fell apart, choice came. Choice in the form of how many kinds of ketchup you can buy at the grocery.
The first time at a supermarket, they stood at the sliding doors paralyzed. Aisles upon aisles of choice, with no idea how to navigate it.
Before, they were lucky to have ketchup. Usually it was the “choice” between mustard and mayonnaise. And now you show a place with fifteen kinds of ketchup?
What is to be done?
They risked their lives just to read. They believed in the power of the word, they built their own power in that realm.
They knew that information from official channels was bullshit. They developed their own code to decipher it. It’s another mentality, seeing the world through an encryption key.
Some people are born to be free. Some people defected.
The rest—it was a release valve. Those who remained would get hauled in for rounds upon rounds of questioning.
Some people can bear up under the pressure. They survive day after day, and breathe.
I got the news yesterday.
My sister’s almost out. Only a few more months and she’ll be free.
I think she’ll integrate herself into society more easily. I made sure. After that last time, when Panopticon almost killed her, I set up safeguards.
The end is in sight.
Years from now, when I look back, will I see the towering structure, thick walled? Or will it seem small, run down with holes in the cinderblocks?
Will I run my hand across and feel it crumble under my fingertips?
One thing I don’t doubt—I will never enter the inner spire.
“Do you want to grow old?”
“Sometimes I feel like I’m old already.”
He smiles like I hit it and gives me a high five.
“You’d be surprised who’s an old person. You have to go out there and find them.”
“Can you tell? Can you tell by looking?”
“No. No, I don’t think so. Some people—I’d never guess it. Ever. I look at them and think, ‘You’re an old person? But, you’re one of them.’”
“They’re out there, though.”
“We’re hard to find.”
“That’s the thing. Old people don’t get out much.”
“Yeah. I know.”
I am terrified. I am angry.
I used to have answers.
Now all I have are. Not even questions. Am I asking the right questions?
Right questions. Doesn’t make sense.
Should, would, could, wish, must, want.
No one saved me, so I saved myself. Now, I don’t trust anyone to save me. And who the fuck said that I needed saving? Take your Savior and fuck it. Go to Bog.
Everyone leaves. Everyone always leaves. They’re somewhere else, not here, when I need them most.
I don’t need people.
Take your sympathy and go to BOG!
Where were you? Where?!
None of this makes sense. Slipping away. Wouldn’t it be grand to slip away, drown in murky waters. Stand on the train tracks and wait for it.
-Have you ever thought of loving yourself?-
What kind of question is that. I don’t hate myself.
“It’s a culture thing. For us, that’s an absurd question... But I think you love yourself. You have the will to live, don’t you? You don’t want to kill yourself.”
I don’t really have an answer to that.
Because sometimes, the only thing I want. The only thing I can give myself. Knife to carotid artery.