Some of you have noticed this already, but I'll point it out anyway: I don't talk about myself that much on E2. Even though I have a handful of daylogs scattered about the nodegel, most of them are about what I'm doing or what I've done, and not about who I am. When I do write about who I am (see December 31, 1999, April 26, 2003, and October 20, 2003), it's always in the context of what I'm doing or what I've done.

Some noders—Ouroboros and panamaus come to mind—have vocally wondered why I'm not in "the community." Indeed, I've never met a noder in person for all of my 1.5 years on E2, and I think this is by choice more than anything else. For me, sekicho is an alter ego of sorts, someone who needs to have a different name and face from my own.

I mentioned this briefly in my daylog on October 20th. What I didn't mention in that daylog was that right after my blase date, I went to an appointment with a psychologist.

At this point, let me give you a very brief summary of my life, just for background. My father is from Ireland, and he grew up in the same basic setting as Frank McCourt, although he thankfully had a father who was slightly responsible, and who actually worked to support the children (there were ten, although they were spaced apart so that there were only eight in the house at the peak). At sixteen, he left the south to join the Irish Defence Forces, where he learned how to work on aeroplanes, which landed him a job with Aer Lingus, which brought him to America several times, where he met his wife.

She had a halfway decent father but a woefully negligent mother, and she bounced around the mid-section of the United States for most of her childhood, living with aunts and uncles at first, and eventually graduating from high school while living in a children's home in Houston, from which she began a long series of odd jobs that eventually landed her in Florida, where she met my father.

I was born in Florida, but my father's airline job took us from city to city. His first position was in Oklahoma, but by the time I started school, we had moved to North Carolina. As I was finishing sixth grade, he was transferred to South Florida. Now, my father had always been "fond of the drink," as they say, and while it never turned him into a drooling idiot, it did put serious strains on my parents' relationship. There were accusations; there were cold wars; there were threats of divorce by the time I was ten.

But as those threats were beginning to get serious, my mother began getting hives, which turned out to be the symptoms of a ridiculously rare disease I can't remember the name of. After the hives came kidney stones. After the kidney stones came lung cancer. In the fall, as I was starting seventh grade, she entered the local hospice unit. Needless to say, she didn't survive for very long after that.

My father kept working, but he drank more, and he spent much more time being generally fucked up. I began spending less and less time at home with him. What time I did spent at home was usually eaten up by Prodigy and a short list of local BBS systems. I learned how to program and played a million games.

Escapes. You have escapes, don't you? First, it was my Hot Wheels and Micro Machines and Lego sets, vast cities spanning the width of my bedroom, sets for a million dramas narrated and voiced by me. Then, it was Trade Wars 2002, SimCity, Commander Keen, and a dozen flight simulators. As the games began to get old, I escaped into writing fiction. Then I went to Japan, which didn't start out as an escape, but quickly turned into one. There were layers of virtual worlds growing in my mind, layers of knowledge and layers of memories, nothing at all leading to a logical conclusion, everything serving as another plane to separate me from reality—the reality that I didn't have a reality.

I finished and destroyed three separate novels by the time I discovered Everything2. Now, just a year and a half later, I have over 20,000 XP. I'm ranked beside, or ahead of, really good writers who have been here since the days of E1. The reason is simple: E2 is my modern escape.

I'm a very moody person. This wasn't brought about by any particular events in my life; it's been the case for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, every teacher tagged me as "emotional." I was always the smartest in the class, and at various times even the smartest in the school, but I could lose my good spirits in a heartbeat and be reduced to quivering tears by absolutely ridiculous things. No matter; I was just "emotional."

After my mother died, I began trolling on Usenet and goofing off at school. I often picked up the big knife in the kitchen and thought about cutting myself open with it. On a few occasions, I got very close, but logic kicked in at the last minute and stopped me. On one occasion, I lashed out at my father, trying to kill him. Still "emotional," also just a teenager.

Now that I live several hours away from my parents, they seem to think that I've gotten better... but not much has changed. There are days when I can't get out of bed; sometimes there are a few days in a row. When the valley passes, I sigh and piece together the rubble, thinking that it's not going to happen again. That always turns out to be wishful thinking.

I finally bit the bullet two weeks ago and took some online screenings from my school's mental health center. The manic-depressive screening picked up a score of symptoms; the schizophrenia screening was a little better, but not much. When I finally got in to see a psychologist on Monday, she heard most of the story that you have just read, and then wrote me up to see a genuine psychiatrist wielding the superhuman power of Zoloft.

I still haven't gone. I might never go.

It's not that I doubt that there's something seriously wrong inside me, nor is it that I'm afraid of the diagnosis. I want to be cured. I want to be freed. I want to control myself, not fight with myself... but this is my mind. It's fragmented and unstable, but it's done so much. It still does so much. It's kept me in college despite my problems; it's going to get me into a decent law school.

Is psychosis driving it to do these things?

More importantly, will psychosis drive it to do something important?


I would only change my mind if it would end the torture... if it would mean that I could finally make commitments, if it would mean that I could finally live for my lifetime and not just for the moment.

Now, if somebody wants to know who I am, I can say many superficial things... but nothing feels genuine. There is no real me.

But there is a real sekicho, lurking somewhere in my matrix.

So now, I hope you have a better idea of who I am outside the ether, and why I will probably be a prolific noder for some time to come, but never a part of the flesh-and-blood "community." It's because I node to escape, to try to link that matrix into something greater, something fluid, and to try to create a body of thought that someone, somewhere, will find to be beautiful.

I apologize for being GTKY. The daylog is the only setting where I would dare write something like this.