Slowly, sudden death
“Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.”
― Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
It all starts with a feeling. I’m dying. I can’t breathe. I’m drowning in pure fear. It is anxiety. A slow burn that is with me since I have known myself, as myself. I live in a box. It is shaped like trauma. It shapes my life, my dreams, and my sense of self. It is an ego thing. Only if I could destroy it. I can’, I have tried. Suicidal artists are not a new thing.
Maybe art is just an excuse. To talk about the unspeakable. Like that short story, “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”. I must scream. I want to scream. But I must keep quiet. Because I am afraid.
Fear shaped me. Shaped us. Our society. We live in a constant battle against this shadow. This big, big brother watching over us. It is a... conspiracy of sorts. I have my own Orwellian dictatorship in my head. Someone put that in my head. He put it there when I was not even able to know, perceive, prevent, or scream. Now I am the only and one left to deal with it.
Deal with the constant feeling that, slowly, I am dying. But, hear me out: I never had a problem with dying. In fact, many times I wanted to. It is a pure contradiction. It is a duality. Painting the sorrows in a vain desire to speak. Speak what I cannot speak. It is a silly attempt at enduring the test of time. It is a idiotic and violent way to fool myself into thinking, that, maybe, maybe I can face the person I see everyday in my mirror.
Every artist is, in the core, Narcissus looking himself in the water. That is my job. Suffocate in that water until my vain attempts fade into time. Maybe time, the universal force, can remove this box from me. This rotten, fetid and horrendous box of secrets that sails into my heart. Maybe I’m afraid that being happy means that I cannot create. Maybe I am just crazy. Maybe I am just a stupid one that fools herself into a greater meaning. Giving myself a purpose of sorts, to mask the truth; It does not matter.
Maybe I'm just a shadow.
I put myself in these positions, watching my made up heroes, like a child. Fooling myself that this is salvation. Believing everything that happens has a purpose. Me, being in this constant numbing hell of pain and anxiety, is what I deserve. That being like this, I can maybe, become — become something — I just don’t know what something is, or if I want it.
I fear passing by this Metamorphosis. I fear the change. Because I am changing. I’m no longer that person. I’m no longer in that hell. I’m on my own. I created it for me because I didn’t know any other way. It is my only way of seeing. No more. I started it. The moment I paused, alone and decided to see myself. To see that, this violence, this inheriting violence passed my own blood is not who I want to be. I just fear. Fear falling into my old and well knowing state of misery and desperation.
Every day. I stare at blank screens full of noise. I do it because this does not allow me to hear my own noise. I am afraid. Of what? Of the screen killing me? Yes, of course. I am afraid of death even if I fool myself into thinking that being suicidal means that I am not afraid. The great lie. I wish I could believe in some sort of being to take me out of this turmoil. I just push it all to the back of my mind. Lock it. Tight. Encrypted with a blank canvas. I don’t remember the key. I forgot it. I could even make it all up. Is it more simple this way? I’m happy this way. Even if this knot in my throat constricts my breath, I’m happy this way.
I’m no longer human. I’m a thing. I don’t feel. I don’t like it. Other people, I’m afraid of them. Afraid that they will look into my eyes and see. See that I'm an egoist. That I'm a fool trying to blind my senses, deceiving behind a mask. A role, a role that I have given to myself. The hard worker. The smart. The artist. The creative. The one who can beat any deadline.The good daughter. The good friend. The one that can keep others happy. The one who does not say no.
A role. A mask. A clowning. Drama. Theater.
I learned well.
I stitched that mask onto my face like my life depended on it. It depends. I’m burning this one inside of me. She is locked.
“For someone like myself in whom the ability to trust others is so cracked and broken that I am wretchedly timid and am forever trying to read the expression on people's faces.”
Maybe I am god. After all, I create. I fought the fear. I painted it. I lay down all those colors. Maybe that is the only thing that matters. This thing. This power of creating. Is this god? Is this reality? It does not matter. I can only be in this. I raise my hands to the sky, oh! The great eye. I see it. It is me.
Mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror... sink down with me. With my tears. I want to be this ideal. If I can just be beautiful so I can be happy. . I can do it. I can eat only cubes of ice. I am made of wind. I can transcend in my own ribs. I can throw up everything bad and look at myself in the mirror. Finally, finally… I am beautiful. I want to be beautiful. It’s petty; it’s frivolous, but it is the only thing that matters. It is the only goal. If I swim in the pain, I’ll transform. I know that I'm fooling myself. We’ll be forgotten. We’re machines for the processing of desires. ¹
“It takes less than ten minutes to burn it all down. You can make it disappear as if it never existed.”² I watch those movies, in a foolish attempt at numbing my own mind. I put myself, there, at the barn, burning. I feel the fire. The blood. I attempt to throw myself from book to book, from movie to movie. To Faulkner to Dazai, from Sono to Tarkovsky. Maybe I think I can be as good as them, or maybe I'm just trying to feel safe within those characters. Because what I know is what keeps me safe. I know desperation. Even now that i’m safe, I think that i’m in danger. I project. I’m paranoid. So paranoid. Anyone will kill me. “It” will. It, is myself. I’m gonna end up doing it. Because I don’t know any better. There is no happy ending. Like in those stories. Or maybe, I’m just... thinking that this makes sense.
I am a Widow. I’m mourning my own death. I died when I was six. Now I'm just another person. That other me died. I am afraid of a lot of things. But spiders are the greatest one. Maybe because they can draw their own destiny, while the only thing I can do is stand here, waiting for a god that has given up on me. I will catch this spider and put it on my shoulder. I will be friends with her. Until I realize that I am still afraid of her, of her destiny. And I will smash her as the clock runs.
I can observe. This estate. It comforts me. Knowing that I am just the tiniest and most easily forgotten thing. I’m just a woman. Nothing more; Nothing less. The system, the universe, can handle the rest. I’m just passing by. I’m just this. I don’t have anything to prove. I am a forgotten song. I’m alive.
I faked it. All this data. This safe box. I know the password. I know how to unlock it. I know what is inside. I know I have to unlock it. I know I can unlock it. I know I can. I know I can. I can’t…. I can??? I can! Maybe with some help. No, No one can help. It is my journey, my shadow. It is my cross, my secret. I’m the only one who can unlock it.
“The world, after all, was still a place of bottomless horror. It was by no means a place of childlike simplicity where everything could be settled by a simple then-and-there decision.”