... She wanted to be everything she'd never be and almost was; an average joe and a landmark in history. Matilda was lonely and longing for solitude, afraid and wishing she could feel. Impossibly, she wished she were different.

Her mother told her not to worry so much, but this never helps. "What should I not be worrying about?" she worried. She thought about war, hunger, poverty, and ignorance; intolerance, prejudice, bigotry, and dispassionism. And yet, all she could find to worry about was herself. She thought that everything else would work out just fine.

She hated that she was introspective, and tried going to an analyst to discover the source of her self-obsession. After twenty-two weeks they decided it was self-inflicted, a means of compensating for lack of wounds during childhood. The psychologist prescribed a strict regimen of Actinyl VI(R), but she left the prescription unfilled and under the carseat, sensing that she could give herself her deepest scars.

Whenever anyone asked her to consider a fantasy of pure happiness, she would think of running out of some space without a care in the world, jumping and frolicking in the shade of a large tree, and climbing it to laze in the crux of its branches, like an embrace from the Earth. She wondered if most people imagined themselves with other people in their fantasies, and immediately felt shameful at craving such separation. But of course she knew that fantasies never lie.

Matilda was born in a big city, but wanted to live in a small town. She enjoyed the anonymity that allowed her to be a different person each and every day, or even every few moments if she wanted. But at the same time, Matilda yearned for the sense of belonging that always existed in small towns in movies. Bedford Falls, not Pottersville; Pleasantville, before the fall; the generic southern towns of To Kill A Mockingbird and Cold Sassy Tree. She wished she had been born into a life where there were only humble options and where people stayed together all of their lives instead of scattering with the winds and thinking only of themselves. But she usually wondered whether such a place and time had ever existed, or if it was a collective yearning for an imaginary place.

Matilda was cursed with that most unforgiving of curses: the kind that others are jealous of. She could never find sympathy for her too-many talents and choices, since no one else noticed that while most people have no idea what to do with their lives, they often don't have nearly as many wrong options. She couldn't see why someone would hope to forsake their life as a humble farmer to head to Hollywood, or the truck driver to host a TV show. But of course, as these things go, she wouldn't want to be a truck driver or farmer, either.

Once in a while she would get in her mind to write a story. It would start out fine, but eventually she would get to the question of where it was going and how it would end. Matilda was impossible with endings, and strove to live in the moment while planning how to achieve such a personality-change. She hated it when her stories became memoirs, her poems epitaphs, and her essays diaries. She hated that sense of self-pity that perpetually permeated her work, and drowned her sorrows in more words, hoping the reader would become confused or that no one would read it at all.

Later on, she would become content with its direction. She got a sense of the story's style, and could see the mirroring patterns of each paragraph and sentence. She still wondered whether anything important would happen in this story, or if she would get to the end having gone nowhere at all. All she knows is that she wished she went to the concert and seized more opportunities. But more than that, she wished that people wanted to go to concerts with her, or, more precisely, that she was someone who people would invite to go to concerts.

Matilda often cannot complete things. She received this note from a teacher on her report card, in the "Notes" section. She gets an inspiration and follows it with great relish, but either becomes distracted or lost as demands for a conclusion grow louder. It is either that she cannot tell the future, or cannot decide which future to take. She is lost in the lands of minutiae and 100-level classes.

She wished her teeth were less crooked.

Con`tra*dic"tions (?), a.

1.

Filled with contradictions; inconsistent.

[Obs.]

2.

Inclined to contradict or cavil

[Obs.]

Sharp.

-- Con`tra*dic"tious*ness, n.

Norris.

 

© Webster 1913.

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