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Category Archives: Self-Portraits

Sometimes you just gotta ride it out.

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Don’t mind him. Coyote has no interest whatsoever in interrupting… whatever it is you are doing.

Once upon a time, I punched my self so hard it broke.

Never forget.

This is why I couldn’t work in collections after awhile.

My mother once told me that every day, she prays that if I ever tell a lie, I’ll be found out. I don’t pray, but if I did I would pray that if I ever tell a lie, I’ll know it.

Do you ever worry you’ve lost your grip on reality? Mine has been tenuous at best from the get-go. I never had an imaginary friend, but I did imagine myself to be characters, people I made up or heard in stories. I wonder… I might have had many personalities from birth, and that was how I expressed it. I might have just been imaginative.

I remember the first time I thought maybe I was out of my mind. I was four or five, and I’d just finished performing a rendition of one of my first short stories. It was about the creatures who lived on the sun, and they would often happen to look at the sun, thus prompting (naturally) a full-throated scream. That was what one did when one looked at the sun, in my mind. I performed each scream with gusto to an indulgent audience of relatives, none of whom I can remember now. They weren’t important. What I remember is going to the bathroom and looking myself in the eye, and just… wondering.

Can you still tell lies if you’re crazy? If you don’t know the difference between reality and illusion, then is stating an illusion that different from stating a fact? If not, maybe everything I say is a lie. Hard to tell… All I can ask of myself is sincerity, but my opinions on just about everything can change from moment to moment, depending on my mood and focus and butterflies flapping their wings in China.

I don’t even know if I’m one person, or many. (That’s a lie.) Hush, you.

Ahem.

Now I’m on the subject, is there anyone who’s one person? Neurologically speaking, it seems highly unlikely. After all, a human brain is made up of many parts, awkwardly layered on top of each other in one of nature’s greatest kludges. The part of you that forms words literally does not inhabit the same universe as the part that has feelings. What does that make you? What does that make me, to be conscious of my own fragmentation? To exploit it?

I am very weary of shutting up because I can’t be sure what I say is true, or even meaningful. The fact is, anything I say about anything is speculation at best, but so is anything anyone else might say. If they can bluster and pretend they’re sure, God dammit, if they can claim to have Ultimate Certain Knowledge, if ANYONE can claim that with a straight face, to speak for God or to follow His commandments, if they can share the egotism of submission to certainty, then surely I can –

But it’s different for me, isn’t it? Always different. Why? Am I more self-aware? Smarter? Less judgmental? More freethinking? More emotional? Crazy? Who am I, that I can’t open my mouth without biting off my tongue?

Never.

On the other hand,

Always.

Which is more real?

Not worth the effort.

Ever a hot-blooded creature,

Dragon yearns to quench his flames

On a worthy target.

Finding only himself,

He proceeds to burn.

Can they find you in the long grass

If your tail peeks out from behind a stone?

Can they worship you on the high plains

If you’re more lost

More alone

Than they are?

Stop trying

And everything will be sweeter