Something that I often must think to myself when I have a sick desire to mess with people's emotions. I'm not sure if this is normal or not, because I know that my mind should not be considered normal in any sense of the word, but I think that this is a natural thing that happens when you come to the realization that you could inspire vastly opposing mental states in a person with a few well-chosen words. There is a rush that comes with this, because at that moment, you have power over them, and you begin to contemplate which path would be the most fun for you...

Then you come to your senses...mind games are bad things! (And those who play them even worse!)

People are not my personal playthings.
People are not my personal playthings.
People are not my personal playthings.

...until the urge passes.

I woke up one day, and had a dark side. Part of me would like to say it was a gradual progression into it, but who am I kidding. One day I awoke and understood people; and all the facets of humanity. The world was different; it became a sum of covered weaknesses that make a whole. The haze had been lifted; I had eaten the apple that was given to me.

Look around you. A person on the street, the student across the way from you, the professor, the cop, the old lady... All of them have something to hide; a weak spot, an old memory, a guilty conscience. Something that makes the pit of their stomach drop out just to think about. I could see it in everyone, mostly because I saw it in myself, and it burnt a hole in me.

He's insecure about his sexuality
She doesn't think she is pretty enough
He gets frustrated too easily
She's ashamed of smoking for all those years

In my many years of trying to come up with myself, and to put myself together, I've taken a look from many angles, and in many different lights. There have been more than a few hats worn and discarded. On the way, I've seen other people the same way, with all of their flaws, points of polish, and intricacies, wating to be prodded, poked at, and interacted with. We are all puppets, but I decided I wanted to pull on the strings.

So I started the games with people. I told them what they wanted to hear. A facade came over me. The truth, language, emotion, and language was my tool over them. People believed what they wanted to believe, kept the secrets I felt they should keep, knew what I wanted them to know. The game went on for so long; I never knew why. Maybe it was because I could use this knowledge, and I felt I should. In looking back there was a sick sort of altrustic justice I looked for at times; try to make right what others made wrong by using their faults for their own good.

It went so far as I would "practice" messing with people online. ICQ and other chat rooms were a lab to learn people. I knew people... Not trolling for a response, but rather the emotion I was going for. Elation, self-loathing, excitement, arousal, depression, compassion, love, trust... Never so much as to push me away, but so that in my emotional darkness I could warm my the candlelight of the true feeling I instilled in them. I played many different roles then (male, female, sane, sad, married, old, happy, inquisitive). I spoke to people I would never see or hear from again, if only to find a new person to interact with, to predict, to unwind. I could hear the thoughts and feelings of everyone tick like an antique clock, until it drove me to see the gears. It felt good, in an empty kind of way, if that makes any sense. I had crafted a world where people were my little personal playthings; until it came apart. I forgot the truth, I had started to lose me. Ahh, the puppetmaster, lost in the dance. One cannot live by the shadows and not be consumed by them. My web had entangled me. I soon discovered how I had hurt many people who I loved, and who loved me; many of whom I didn't know until it was too late.

People are not my personal playthings, anymore. I've found me, and have decided to invest there, rather than in the fleeting bursts of humanity elsewhere. Those were strange days and nights spent as others, with others, and in others. Those who are close to me now can see this dark side, and how I fight it back. I'm glad to know me, but now ashamed to be me.

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