Categories > Original > Drama2 Reviews
Imagine a world where nothing makes sense to you...**Vignette. Mild violence.**
Add to that idea, dear reader, a crowd. It doesn’t have to be a large crowd; make it fifty people on a sidewalk. Add several cars and buses to adorn the road on one side; on the other side, shops – a grand department store with its doors flung invitingly open, a take-away restaurant reeking of saturated fats and empty calories, a record store blaring repetitive club beats to attract passers-by. This is modern, this is normal. If you’re like most you’ll leap right in, pleased by the reliable hustle and bustle of city life.
Imagine, for a minute, that you are not like most. Imagine that the hustle and bustle of the cheerful city street stings your nerves like lemon juice on a raw laceration. Imagine feeling separate – knowing with bitter certainty that you do not belong on this busy street, and you never will. You are not welcome here. They will tolerate you, for a time, but they will nonetheless be glad if you leave. If you know yourself, as I know myself, you must realise that there is no place in society for freaks and miscreants.
Picture the scornful faces as they watch you, hawk-like, from outside your bubble. They are waiting, and when you show weakness they will pounce. You cannot show weakness. Head up, shoulders straight, jaw set. Does that feel better?
Of course it doesn’t, but what can you do? Concentrate on the shame and degradation of being entirely alone in such an overpopulated world. Now you are walking in my shoes.
In whose shoes, you ask? Forgive me - in my state of mind, I have overlooked the small matter of my identity. I am with you every day, but you do not see me. You do not notice. If you are unfortunate enough to incur any set of circumstances under which you are obliged to speak with me, you gather a horde of like-minded companions around you for protection and dive into the interaction as if it were a pool of nuclear waste. I am different, and you sense it. It is not immediately obvious, but it is insidious. It seeps through the cracks of my feeble pretensions to normalcy. My heart does not beat to the same rhythm as yours does, and you despise me for it. If it was not my fault when I was just a child, in teary-eyed search of companions in the playground who would not cast me out or call me names, then it is my fault now. I accept your distaste – seek it out – store it in my memory like a precious metal. It reminds me of who I am, and what my place is.
So, now you recognise me? Excellent – you are making progress. What will you do? Having recognised me for what I am – a misfit - if you have any sense, you will back away. You will revile me, because you fear what you do not recognise, or because I am not an acceptable person. Perhaps, you must suspect, I am infected. Who knows what lurks beneath my fresh, young skin? Loneliness, maybe, like a bloodthirsty insect gnawing at the stems of my heart. Misery, like a black moth rising before my eyes to obscure my vision. Anger, like a writhing mass of maggots beneath the surface of my flesh, breeding and multiplying until they’ve nowhere to go but out.
Join me, if you will, in this anger. Only a minute is required. Penetrate my skin, and witness the festering mess of my mind. Indulge yourself – revel in the pain. Allow your weak will to feed on the darkness you’ve created by refusing to rise above your sufferings. Lose yourself like a wild animal to your passions. For the time being, all pleasant emotions are superfluous. All you need know is fear, self-pity and, above all, anger. Let it burn you.
Do you like being in my skin? Cosy, isn’t it? But allow me to continue – we are not done with this tale yet.
I wonder if you’ve thought about how much longer you can hold onto your fury before it escapes you and wreaks havoc upon your fate. Fortunately, this is of no consequence: it is out of your hands. You can see someone approaching – a classmate, a co-worker, a family relation who, for their own reasons, holds you in contempt. You witness a sneer cross their face as they draw closer. A mocking, superior attitude. The cruelty burns you like a red-hot iron, but it is not over yet. Their voice invades your mind all of a sudden. A taunt, a remark on your clothing – it doesn’t matter. It is enough. Imagine the maggots exploding from inside you in a vicious white rush, and you are swept away and you don’t know yourself anymore and you’re a slave to the fury, the need for revenge and there’s blood on your hands and you’re pounding, pounding, pounding the person and you’re crying and shrieking and you’ve lost control. Shrieks fill the air, hands grasp at you – you shake them off; nothing matters but the body beneath you on the pavement.
And as suddenly as it came, the anger vanishes. In its place is an icy cold, and you’re up again and you’re running and you don’t know where you’re running but it’s urgent that you get there, it’s imperative, and you leave your mind behind you at the crime scene as you flee from a part of you you never knew existed.
When you can run no further, fall to your knees and stare at the ground, gasping. Open your eyes, look at your hands. Let the tears of exhaustion and desolation wash the crusted blood and dirt from them. There is nothing for you to do but kneel there and shake, and try to remember who you are. It’s slipping through your fingers, blowing away with the cold eastern wind. When they come to you, and drag you away in a blue and white vehicle, you are an empty shell devoid of identity or emotion. Like a Rubik’s cube.