I’m part of a secret society. We live in darkness, breathing in shadows and spitting out light. We conjure horrors and wake up the next morning utterly lost and looking at our wake with the disinterested grimace of an unappeasable father. Our brains are such that when working properly you wonder whether they are working at all, running like cheetahs through the brush and when intoxicated run just as deftly into every wall and casualty the world dares to throw at us. We live and breathe in the space between moments, taking in fractured particles like gods riffling through toy boxes.
We live in notebooks, computers screens, and the occasional typewriter. We live by pencil, finger, and pen. We sabotage ourselves because we are the only ones who can be depended upon to do it properly. We relish the break, the sundering of focus into chaos, stupidly—joyously inhabiting that tiny, ill-advised place in between.
There is a toxicity in our blood that morphs the world into uncanny shapes, augmenting pigments to packets of raw data that can be ciphered through and reappropriated at our whim, allowing us to pretend we are big and the world is small. We shake pillars just to see what falls, wishing for bodies but hoping for answers. On winter nights we feel the cold and the hunger permeating the earth like buried titans, searching the dirt for the abandoned magic to resurrect them. In the deepest throes of summer we dare the sun to burn us to ash, imagining what hell may rain from the sky in the eons flowing between this moment and the death of the universe.
We smile when we cry and swallow our sadness through a shot glass. We live under altars in cathedrals we swore would one day complete us.
But it never will.
The secret of our society is that it does not exist. Some can sense it somehow on the fringe of yourself—hope it’s tucked away some place you just haven’t found yet. In the meanwhile we sit—booths, barstools, or benches—toiling in self-critical madness, building walls and knocking them down for being the wrong shade of green. Then surrounded in the ruins of our failed creation we idle in loneliness, trying to justify the day’s earnings against the yardstick of our own mortality.
But then maybe that’s just me. It’s a secret after all.