I’ve noticed the mind has a tendency to retreat from its own thoughts. It seems like a flaw for the human mind to be wired in this way. How does God (if he or she is real) expect us to exist when our own consciousness conflicts with itself, a divided battlefield? I wonder if it’s a fundamental flaw in the human condition that we can only see the truth when we allow ourselves to, and we only allow ourselves to if we’re aware of the fact that we want to, which we often pretend or forget that we don’t. However, this can change when we're pushed to the limit by another person.
You exhibit everything that is wrong with the human condition: lack of self-awareness, extreme selfishness, and inability to see people for who they are instead of just what they can do for you. Looking down on me to make yourself feel better, you call yourself my friend after pushing my buttons to make yourself laugh, after telling your friends I am desperate and lonely while I tag along as fifth wheel, humiliation that makes you feel giddy and thankful that at least you’re in a relationship, even if it’s a failing one. The next day you’re the nicest person I’ve ever met, crying to me about how hard your life is. All is forgotten; we all make mistakes.
I cut off your feet and wear them over my own, walking a hundred miles in your flesh. It grows over my limbs and into my bloodstream like leprosy, making my insides as filthy as the insides of my brand new shoes. It feels like something is wrong, but I don’t know what. Anxiety overcomes me, my lungs sucking down air without oxygen the way you try to suck the last of a milkshake through a straw slurping uselessly at the bottom of an empty glass. Curling up in bed under the covers in the middle of a sunny afternoon, I hope that if I lay still long enough I'll be able to breathe again. I seek help for this disease that has overcome me, swallowing all memories of who or what I used to be. I can’t remember who I used to be. I don’t even know that I’ve forgotten. I just know that something isn’t right.
Your bike is prettier than mine, my boyfriend isn’t hot, my boyfriend is a jerk, I don’t deserve it when my boss says good things to me, according to you. You need me to do extra cleaning around the house because you let me use your expensive kitchen appliances and when I say no it angers you. There’s no time to hang out unless you know for sure that you don’t have a date that night, but now that you hair needs fixing we should go to the grocery store together and watch a movie after I fix your blond highlights. Months go by without asking how I am doing; meanwhile I know every detail of every man you have fucked, every person who has wronged you and every pet peeve and irritation you face every single day. Everyone I meet through you seems surprised when you introduce me as your friend, which makes me question things.
I feel like you treat me like I’m nobody, I tell you one day.
I don’t do that, you reply, and I don’t hear the rest.
I cut out your tongue to stop your chatter. I cut out your eyes to stop the look of disdain, the crazy look of desperate fear that is ever present in your pathetic face. I cut off your ears to make myself a sandwich. You never listen anyway. It’s easy to do, like slicing through a bagel and slathering both sides with butter and cheese. You’d love that wouldn’t you, you self-righteous bitch. You make the rest of your kind look like assholes or freaks. So I eat your flesh and watch you bleed, screaming wordlessly. It’s music to my ears.
I should have told you the truth and walked away, glancing over my shoulder to see you shattering into pieces on the ground while I shed your skin and left it for you to find and slip back over your broken self. I would have looked at the fragments of your self and seen the image of my bloodied, mucus coated face reflecting back at me: the person I was when I met you, the only sort of person who would have ever allowed anyone to infect me with this unnatural state of mind.
Instead, I only walked away. Instead, I cut away the flesh with a cheese grater, unsure of where the seams connecting you and me began and ended. So I grated away until the core of my being bled through the cracks of the seams torn apart. The remaining bits of you, I just picked off as though they were scabs. I’m afraid to look in the bathroom mirror. Then water flows over me, washing my raw face clean.
Nowadays, I’m mended and fresh-faced, anxiety banished to where it belongs. Feathered wingtips are emerging from the splits in my skin slowly healing shiny pink. And you? We don’t talk anymore, but every time I see your face in a facebook photo or in a news article, all I can see are the cracks in your armour just barely holding together, dull armour that no longer shows me my face.