A good question

There are evenings when I catch myself wondering how it is that another angel-faced antagonist has leapt from the page or screen, twirled the room around their finger and, having effortlessly taken center stage, seems to now mime words I keep hidden yet are none the less my own. More often than not these figurines of fabled flesh are artists of monstrosity. Prime examples of blunt force precision locked in a masquerade of human interaction. Tortured masters of mimicry, toes dangling off the precipice. Your Patrick Batemans, Tyler Durdens and Dexter Morgans. You get the jist.

They do not come from a world of monsters. Nor do I. They function, emote, empathise and retort through a blank, hollow chamber of echoes inside. They project, but not from a place within. They are like mirrors, blank slates. A swayed tabula rasa of puzzles and reflections, a boneless contortionist endlessly shedding his skin. Every encounter is like determining the trajectory of a ball based on where its thrown and where it will bounce back from. It may land a feet or two amiss, but the general area is close enough. It suffices.

It is a constant exercise of scripted clairvoyance and eloquently enacted foresight in a theater of predisposition. I understand both the triviality and the necessity of the charade as much the anger and the disdain stemming from its constant upkeep. I understand how demeaning it is. Survival and suffocation in plain sight under the blazing sun. The perspective of a caged beast through the glass, de-toothed by convention and chained by the illusion of normalcy. Kept at bay by the simple desire to keep breathing.

How truly brittle the shell of perceived safety we wrap around ourselves when the winter winds come a-callin'.

Perhaps my world is overwrought with introspection and I simply gravitate towards notions of self-indulgent wolves among sheep due to my detached nature. But I can't help but think that perhaps the butcher and the poet have more in common than most would dare to admit. At the center is a crooked parallax and the trek into the arms of others is through a treacherous, misaligned gateway. Perhaps I can simply appreciate the macabre, the majestic, the brutal and the bravissimo in equal, mutually inexclusive degree. Perhaps it is because I understand what it feels like to be weighed down by a world of masks, facades and glimpses - being splintered into tinier and tinier shards - that the notion of losing one's sense of self into but a glimmer of static feels plausible. The walls melt and the light bleeds out as the blank canvas where emotions should have left their trail disappears into the white noise. It is the cold room I've known since I was a child.

Secrecy and self-preservation are dangerously similar. Fraternal instincts sharing a bloodline. They spill onto one another - into one another - and form a dark pool bereft of flow and reflection. I do not feel like others feel, but I've learned to quell the noise, drown out the storm. Isolate the particles. Nothing is ever enough and everything is always too much, so I funnel the oceans roaring inside through the smallest straw and spit out the trickles through a smiling maw. Sometimes I feel like every word, every letter I write is a speck of blood dripping from my fingertips. I know fully well that not a single drop is truly appreciated, but that's pride talking. I consent to the ways of the world and reject them wholeheartedly. A life of banishment to a kingdom lost and stacked with riches. The melting room in the bleeding light.

This, then, is perhaps why such blood-thirsty jesters and I seem to speak with a common tongue, if only occasionally. I appreciate flamboyance and bravado when fused with purpose and lined with meaning. My world remains organized, sanitized, alphabetized, compartmentalized... and evermore but a finger's flick away from burning to ashes. The soft bed and the hard floor are a nightly choice. I revere the allegory of golden ideals draped with rotting cells, quilted with dead feathers and gloriously embellished with dabs of blood red. I celebrate the poetry of petrified flesh and the vibrancy of unquenched desire. To be complete is to be dead inside. To deny breath - to take where others would fall limp and passive - is not only a means to an end, but a test of the heart.

It is peculiar passion that drives one to slave over a creative endeavor only to watch the completed piece burn. The art of love and the insurmountable ends of destruction. I've done it so many times I've lost count.

I reminisce about a dream I've had many times over since early childhood. I come across a campfire along a dirt road in a forest. The devil - a devil - sits beside it, dressed as an old man, warming his bones. His eyes rise to greet me with bitterness and resentment. I sense danger, but not projected danger. Its body en masse, its aura. I ask the man questions of worth, greed, ambition - and loss. He responds, yet I do not understand the words. But I feel them, one and all. They reverberate through my very essence. We understand the mud is an angel's wing and the stone is a demon's grin. We hear the heartbeat of the earth and the song of the water and know - know without question - that not a single word, chord or trinket of wisdom could ever evoke this spirit into essence. We talk until the dream disappears into the flames.

A kind gesture, a faceless advance, a warm palm and a cold gaze. Some days it's all the same. Above all things I regard the brew of artistry mixed with routine the most nourishing. I constantly arrive at crossroads between calm precision and animalistic drive. My world is meticulously in pieces. Some would call it a clash of sentiments, but such words stem from a place devoid of vision. I am most complete when completely chaotic and compulsively systematic. It is how I operate. A carnivorous cross-breed of the melodical and the methodical. A series of absolutes and antonyms. A pieceless puzzle swept up by violent winds. The dead calm beneath storms of contradiction.

I enjoy thoughts like these. They keep me sane. To test the excesses of imagination until I become fearful of my own mind is to vanquish the self mirrored in others and find serenity in the throes of solitary solidarity. The pedestal beneath my feet disappeared long ago, but so did the ground. It is a calming notion to realize that under all this cool, collected control lies an unsightly labyrinth of insanity. Were it not for my creativity, this veneer would shield the machinations of a truly vile, unscrupulous person.

But the question is... would you know?