I was the first to jump in as soon as it begun. Naked wrists and frozen fingertips, witty vulgar zapping through transparent minds, bending over and gliding through simulated drama, songs that cluttered my guts and thickened my dark veins, showing them off whenever I felt a bit more dead on the inside-out. It felt exciting in the beginning, I felt untouchable in the beginning, I trusted that, in all that chaos, logic would never find me, that however badly I fucked it up, I could always trick my way into the limelight. I cried and knocked my fists into phantom walls, then moved my ankles faster and faster and twirled in the overbearing ruffles of dresses which have always drawn iridescent maps of irresistible snares in which I felt most at home. Some days were quickly sealed and sharp as a razor cutting at the root of my childishness; others were choppy and dull, casting a slippery tide of insecurity on my back-and-forth trial steps. I never doubted the power of the stars that had been pledged to pull me out of the threat of insignificance, however hard I tried to cover myself away from their forgiving shine upon my instinctive misfit.
I stood in fear of not growing fast enough and out of mediocrity, I feared not standing up for anything except endless excuses and procrastination, I feared not being able to weave the nourishing threads of a hurtful apprehension in front of all the structures I wished I had never fitted in. Then, I would run away, diving into the foggy waters of nihilism. What if getting to a shore never really mattered? What happened if the same futility had greeted me on dry land? Such was the disappointment, that I killed the mere thought that at least swimming might take me somewhere, somewhere different. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been the best place, the one which I felt I needed to be in, but it would have been the outcome of a struggle I could actually account for. The anticipation of failure caused the very worst escape-engineering – turning my back from the burden of making a choice and facing the necessary evil tied the knot of the halter even harder. The only fad which I never refused to grant myself was misery, to such great heights that it eventually felt like genuine happiness. I recognised myself in the beseeching grief of aborting bare possibility, in the blame I treated my confusion with, in sky-scraper standards to which it seemed inane to even attempt climbing, in denial of how unbearable my life had become.
I know that liking what I see when I look in the mirror is of no helpful purpose, but hiding beyond the corner and swallowing pain, weakness and cheap fancy cannot and will not drag me to any given outcome. Masks don’t help cover up damage, yet self-reflection can also snug the most obvious. What is there left? Anything, but for asking that question one too many times.
Dress courtesy to MsDressy
Photography by Ana Tatu
Hair & make-up by Monica Popmark