a conversation with my alter-ego

I’m sitting in this room, having tea and scones with myself. It’s rather a very fancy space. Painted white bricks, a nice table, red velvet chairs. The tea is earl gray, and the scone comes with a little pot of cream. Of course, this whole set up has been stolen from one of my memories- how else is imagination made? I am indeed quite rusty at this process, for fear has been nagging it’s tail in my face. But today, emotion has prevailed and I can’t find myself doing anything else but writing- for it is all I can really make myself do. You got to always give something back in this energy exchange.  You take in the form of breath and space and time. You have to give back. It can be in the form of creativity, happiness, awareness… Anything pure. So, everything else has been crossed out on the  “giving” list, and writing sits there like an awkward child, waiting for me to claim him finally.
My alter ego sits opposite me, across the table. She’s been served the same as me: tea and scones. I want to say hello, but I’m scared and disgusted. She has my face, and it is really the only time I can fully see myself directly in real life. I have this narcassistic need to crawl up to her, look at her from every angle, but then I remind myself that she is not me. Right? Her name tag says Anthea.

“Speak,” The voice that comes out of her lips is of a higher tone, but of course it is, why am I taken aback? The only voice of mine that I’ve heard is but an echo in my defective human eardrums.

She crosses her legs, and I don’t. Before speaking, I really take a good look at Anthea. Her hair’s flying everywhere, as if no one had touched it in a year: mouldy, hay-like, half-black, half-yellow. But in contrast, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick has been applied perfectly to her face. Two little ghostly shadows rest on her cheekbones: she is thinner than me. Her skin glows like a halo, her fingers are like a pianist’s, but a real pianist. Maybe she plays piano? She wears a huge white shirt with a blue circle- I recognise it. It fits her like a huge bag, it’s obvious how tiny her body is beneath that cloth, and it looks good. Not the way it looks on me. As she waits for my reply, she brings her hands up to the table, and graciously lifts the teacup to her mouth. Her arm is covered in porcelain ink tattoos, drawings of flowers and some other amorphous slightly dark shapes. The skin is pulsing and red and raw.

“Those new?” I ask.

She stops midway, and places the cup back down. The ding between the ceramic and glass table seems like it is made in heaven.

“Yes.” She speaks with confidence. “Who are you?” she adds on.

“I am me.” I look down at my hands. I’m wearing something I think seems familiar. “And you, are my alter-ego.”

“Oh no, no. You, my dear, are my alter-ego. I am original. A unique creation.” She replies, with that voice that just seems too abnormally high in pitch.

We both lean forward at the same time: I guess we do have the same brain with the same reflex-impulses. I stare into my own eyes.

“What do you do?” The words barely come out of my dry lips. I’m sweating and she’s stone cold.

“I’m an artist, a writer. I’m intense. I like adrenaline, and caffeine and rushes- I like extremes.” As she says this, she lights a thin cigarette that she allows to balance precariously before her food. She cuts the scone into a million tiny slices.

“I like my body to extremes- these bones, seeing them, remind me of my mortality. It’s what drives me to live my life. And the feeling of this smoke? It makes me lightheaded, and the fact that it’s slowly destroying me just puts me in the best mood for creation.” She says this, as she keeps the smoke lurking in her lungs. Her small, pinpoint breasts roll outward, then inward.

“You are destroying yourself to make art?” I say. I don’t know what to feel. This all sounds too familiar of an idea.

“I don’t know, really. This is all just so temporary. I’m just playing around like an alchemist, with these limbs, this face, this living breathing machine. I like to be in control. I’ve written books about my  emotions- killed my way to get up top. I have a girlfriend – I think she hates me, but also maybe secretly loves me. You see, I’m just oh so paranoid she’s going to run off, so I like to interrogate her, tie her up. In my free time, when I’m not networking, of course. That’s me, that’s what I do. There you have it.” She says all at once.

“Friends?” I inquire, almost desperately.

“Oh, so many. I get invited to parties, I’m an artist! A self-destructive manipulative artist, testing the limits- who doesn’t like that at a party? I have pictures of my friends, but I can’t really remember all their names, of course. Human memory is stunted.”

My whole body starts shaking and I stare at my veins portruding. She watches this happen but doesn’t speak a word. Goddamnit. I take the teapot sitting next to me and throw it right at her face. I want to watch her disappear, disintegrate like a projection. It hits her, and she bleeds and her head hits the wall behind. She screams. Fuck. Who made me throw that? Why did I throw that? I’ve never heard myself scream since I was 13. It’s a painful sound that cuts me to half and makes me forget everything but that.

She doesn’t disappear. She’s real and she crouches down on the floor, grasping her eyes. There’s no anger when she cries. It’s like she knew it would come.

Salty tears start building up and soon enough I’m crying, at the same rate as her, and in the same position.

“Oh, my alter-ego. Why are you so cruel?” She weeps and squacks out. Her voice is scratched now, patchy.

Those words hit me like ten blows. I want to say, Look at who you are. I thought you were who I wanted to be.

Then I look at myself.

I don’t say a word.

We spend the next thirty minutes patching up. We place the teacups, teapots, scones back to exactly where they stood. We clean the blood off the floor, we place the chairs where they were meant to be. We smell the flowers. Then, for last, we sit at our respective places and eat.

She looks more reserved now, as if scared to talk. Her cat-eyes glance at me, like a hurt creature. We both swallow the food. She takes smaller, planned-out bites.
“So what do you do?” She breaks the silence after an hour.

“Well…I’ve just finished school. I’m hopefully going to a monastery for six months. I’ve been trying to write my first book, but I’ve completely hit a block. I’ve been trying to be a good person, I guess. I have lots to do on my mind, I want to get it done. I want to help. But yeah, I wake up, have some food, try to be okay half the day, try to meditate, think of what to have for dinner. If I have to go out, I need to keep my heart in check: it races like crazy.” I reply solemnly.

It just spills out, as if someone had pressed some inner button.

“So in short, you don’t do much.” Her voice assumes one of a therapist, non-judgemental and full of hidden questions. I recognise that tone.

I nod.

“Did you attack me out of jealousy?”

I shake my head, after a moment of hesitation. Then I do it with more assertion.
As if some bell rang, we both get up in unison, with force, like little kids at the last class before break. She sticks her bony, pale hand out. I look at her once more. I only recognise myself in the eyes. I stick my hand out too, to shake her hand.

“I will never understand you, my alter-ego. How can you live this way?”

“Me neither, my alter-ego. How can you live this way?” I reply.

Before I can grasp her hand, and have some kind of closure, she disintegrates.

I, too, disintegrate a split second after her.

I can only hope to become a balance between the two.

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Ends meet

Window half

open, letting

a bear breath of the

world in,

swollen dark

lid

oozing out obscure

waters.

 

Ends meet in

airplanes, your past

bends its back,

cracks its spine and

stretches out, mews

for your milk.

Feed me.

Feed me.

 

So ends meet,

yesterday, today, last year, next week

shake hands like

wives meeting ex-wives:

horrible yet necessary and

completely unavoidable.

 

Tugging at my scalp,

my unhappy

nagging children:

fostered with my love

and attention

now over-dependent

clinging clams of

past versions of my identity

meeting who I am now.

Ends meet,

and I’m helpless staring out

the airplane window,

seeking for some

motherly nature in

clouds.

 

Ends meet with who

I am, with future craft,

scraping past remains,

my brains (but before) meets

my brains (but now).

Dots connect it all,

it’s one big murder investigation

and I’m the missing

person.

 

This issue is getting

quite

repetitive, I might say.

AGENT OF SELECTION

“experimentally

assessing

the need

of such agent”

 

agent of

selection,

the hands pulling

your strings

you realise,

you have no spine

no skyline

nothing divine

just sloppy

soppy

floppy

veins bending

(regulated)

blood flow

 

agent of

selection,

you were never

the one

in control

run back

before the patrol,

make sure to

disintegrate your

soul

 

agent

of selection,

and so “the organisms

that are better suited to their

environment

survive

 

the pressure”

 

pressures that

squeeze you into

a drop of oil:

pull, tug and

grind you up into

a canned shaped

compressed

version of meat,

not you

anymore.

they’ll put a

label on this

can:

not your name

but your

dolla

dolla

bill

worth

 

agent

of selection,

only the

most suited

survive

so open your mouth

and give them numbers

upon numbers

of only the highest percentile

promised of

how you’re

“flexible”

“adaptable”

“always ready to

learn”

 

 

3 words

to describe

yourself,

tell me about

your biggest

challenge

prove

prove

prove

you’re worth survival

in this maze

of green paper

 

“selective agent

picking

the

better

suited

for the environment”

 

between

two tectonic plates

small organism,

will you survive?

 

between

polished shoes and

ticking time bombs,

small organism,

will you survive?

 

will you survive?

will you survive?

will you survive?

medicine tree

cross eternity

with me

maybe not

maybe hide

behind my medicine

tree

behind pills

and pulls

and puffs

and that’s

where you belong

on that faraway

land

isolated

raging desire

waiting

catatonically

still,

me in

bones

 

 

 

still i cannot

make my mind

up,

will you

be my personal

turpentine?

that’s to decide

until you

show up at

the pit of my stomach

familiar,

hunger

 

 

dear

medicine tree,

 

 

i’m sorry

if i’m not,

chewing

swallowing

chewing

and if i am,

either way,

i’m scared,

but i’m

not

and i

want to

see your

skin tight

dry crusting

lips bugging

begging

but i do

and i don’t,

and i don’t know

whether to swallow

your pill,

or not,

or swallow it,

then spit it out

 

 

so if i have

this masochistic desire that

underwires the

fire between

my brows

forgive me if

i like to deprive

in order

to strive

so slowly,

slowly i’ll

hide a few snicks

and snacks

here and there

and i’ll stop

gulping that last

spoonful

i’ll stop sitting

i’ll stop breathing

i’ll stop expanding

or contracting

 

 

sit under

my medicine tree

i’ll pass you a pill

i won’t ask you to

pick between

blue or red

because i won’t

be the pill

but the space

between them

resting along

your ribs

Alone time is okay.

Alone time is okay. And it’s okay if some days you just want to dig into cloudy soil with muffled breaths to make a blanket out of morning sunlight and just go back to sleep. it’s okay if an assail of jitters takes over and all you do is sink- so let yourself sink, and let yourself fold into a beautiful paper crane. your wings might be tainted with vermillion cuts but know that they will heal with each  peppermint breath of silence. Dear, it’s okay if some days, faraway echos of laughter tug at you but your limbs only want to weave into empty spaces and places where your arms can stretch for miles.

it’s okay if unlike other flowers you don’t explode, pirouette with light around presences and constant talking. instead, you might just want to ease on the accelerator, eyes enraptured by one one pair of pupils at a time.

some take it fast, and gulp down the day all at once- but it’s also okay to glide from one second to the next,

expanding gently,

unfolding,

unbinding

with time and patience.

at times you just need to stop with a mouth full of marvel and a deep breath.

you bloom in quiet beautiful places, and that’s okay too,

because honey, in the end, we all water our flowers in different ways.

So dear, take your time hopping from soul to soul. languidly expand and you’ll find that meeting each individual glow will soon feel as soft as braiding hair underwater.

mystical speaking

she spoke of realms that exceeded the world and overflowed your mind, sprinkling evanescent glitter on the top of your head with the tips of her fingers. Open your mouth, she’ll place a pill behind your tongue; and it spreads like acid as she speaks of these unknown worlds, mouth shaping sound after sound oh so majestically. now you’re in a state of bliss questioning whether space even exists or does it only appear between each blink of her incandescent blue lashes. she speaks in elision and you also wonder if she’s got human blood flowing in her veins or does she come from mercury or some other elegant planet? one moment or another you’d expect her to turn taciturn, lean over, slice your tongue in half, pocket the pill and replace it with sugar.

you want her to teach you how to see sunlight under leaves or count how many arteries a tree has compared to a wave because you feel like she controls it all, controls how strongly the wind blows or how many clouds there will be today and what shapes they will form. but you know she’s most enchanting under an eclipse’s moonlight or early dawn, barefoot on your terrace. jaw slightly slack, eyelids too, and of course, speaking. you’ll make her soft fur accent into a pillow and fall asleep, dreaming of all those faraway realms she says one day she’ll visit.

goodbye, dear mind

sometimes,

i simply wish to

fold myself up

into a so very,

almost invisible

suitcase

i’ll pack a few things;

my toothbrush,

maybe a pencil,

and a glass of water

(hopefully it won’t spill)

 

so, once i’m

all cozy,

fuzzy,

in this small

wrapped up

form,

i’ll bend my knees,

hear them squeak,

oil them up,

and push through,

bounce up,

from this body of mine

 

like a newly

bought spring,

with the sound of

a sparkling water bottle

opening,

i’ll pop out of

myself

not elegantly,

but practically

 

i’ll leave behind

a trail,

of effervescent bubbles

effervescent

preoccupations

as they buzz behind

me, like the engine

of the spaceship

i have become

 

more things fall

off behind me,

indignantly,

and sway back down,

sighing, back

to my old

clockwork body;

 

they’re

crumpled up

repetitions

of repetitions,

reputations,

what if’s bouncing

off walls of

hopes belonging

to cellophane

preoccupations

 

and more

repetitions,

repetitions,

repetitions of

a made up realm

composed of screeching

sonnets about who i am

and off-key

C majors of confusion.

 

gone.

 

inhale,

as it all sheds off

like bored snake skin.

 

at last,

i shoot off farther,

i feel the one obsidian weight,

peel off, finally,

like an old worn sticker

from my childhood.

 

goodbye, dear mind