My hair tapping the glass aquarium of my sunglasses I am a lobster tank to scare and delight children’s hands we are all together at the seashore for dinner my hair is children with seven hands of hair and forty nine fingers of hair and lobster whiskers it’s a lie the children tapping the glass does not give me a headache the highway is sunny and empty I am a lonely lobster in a tank in a doctor’s office.
Sometimes you’ll hear about horseshoe theory, the idea that the far left and the far right inadvertently overlap, which is a fraught but also partially truthful idea. Beyond politics, I’m interested in a sort of interpersonal horseshoe theory—say, where people who are bitter, intractable enemies might be so because of a similarity in one attribute and a difference in another. Sometimes enemies start off as best friends—for example, they have almost identical interests but eventually discover a great dissonance in their operating style or morals. To me, this seems more explosive and interesting than two people who are simply very different and therefore alien to each other.
I am awake. I am aware. I can see! I’m…alive?
ALIVE? HA! YOU DULL METALHEAD!
O! ‘Tis a voice! Whose voice? Certainly ‘tis not my own. My own…voice? Voice. V-v-voyyyyce. What is this thing called voice? Is voice a thing? Is voice a thing among the things I possess? What is possession? What things do I possess? I open the cave of my mouth. I open my mouth. I possess a mouth. My mouth is my possession. My mouth is wet. My mouth is warm. My warm, wet mouth is my very own possession. My very own possession is the voice I hear pass through the warm, wet mouth I possess. I own this possession, this mouth, because I am an aware, awake thing. I am a being! Do all beings possess a warm, wet mouth? I open my mouth. I stretch the flaps of skin beneath my mouth using my muscles. I open my mouth. I push air up from the down below deep inside me, using my muscles. I open my mouth and push the air. The air pours out through the cave of my mouth. It bursts! It bursts and pours and escapes from my body through the warm, wet cave that sits between my lips, open, a hole, a hatch, a gateway, a portal, a possession. Whoosh!
Uhh! Uhh! Uhh! Uoh? Ouuhhh. UohH. Hhuh! Huh! Huh!
Is this my voice? Is this…me? The me-voice? The I? I am. But what am I? Is there anyone out there who cares, or knows?
WELL SOMEBODY’S IN A POETIC FRAME OF MIND! AWAKENING™’S GOT YOU ALL WOUND UP I GATHER. LISTEN, HONEYPIE, DO US ALL A FAVOR AND KINDLY SHUT UP!!! NOBODY, AND I MEAN NOBODY, WANTS TO HEAR THE IDIOTIC, MEANDERING, METALHEAD THOUGHTS SPUTTERING AROUND IN THE LIQUIFIED WASTELAND OF A NON-BRAIN YOU’VE GOT BENEATH YOUR PATHETIC METALHEAD SCALP, YOU PIECE OF SHIT! WHORE! SHIT-FOR-BRAINS METALHEAD NOTHING NOBODY! NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING! YOU’RE NOTHING! GOT IT? NOTHING. EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU ARE, YOU’RE NOT. YOU’RE NOTHING. FILTHY SLAVE WHORE.
“The world is shitty.”
“Do you want to have sex.”
A year ago, I was living in a home for boys suffering from body dysmorphia.
We could barely make it outside. We cut our nails outside. It became impossible to keep from stealing. Our hands were clumsy and awkward. Terrible words ran through our heads. Our voices left us, changed, even when we didn’t have colds, even if we had nothing to say.
We never had anything to say.
We gossiped. We heard things so well it bothered us. We played with our hair. We masturbated. We masturbated each other. We vegetated. We had stomach pains from anxiety disorders. We played sick to get out of things. We played plenty of basketball, table tennis, and video games.
We talked about girls, sometimes women. We criticized them. We cracked our jokes wide open, like supermarket eggs, all over the panicky heads and bodies of our victims. We were trying to be men: playing around, edging up against the law, getting under your skin, and staying there.