She fears the arrogance – the bristling arrogance and defensiveness – which can drive people away, which has already driven people away. People who are more open, more honest, more genuine, more committed – people to be thought about only in superlatives. People with passions and goals beliefs and values, people who don’t ponder how much is known or unknown. People who feel, who speak, who live instead of oscillating between agonizing extremes.
Claustrophobia induced by armies of perfect people marching around her in hordes.
People who live in a way she lost the ability to, when she began to realize that the more you learn, the more you will find you have forgotten. All the facts she took pleasure in learning, expressing, declaring – all these slowly disappear, crumbling into a dust which slips through an hour-glass too huge and heavy for her to lift up and overturn for a return to a time of blissful intelligence.
She fears the emptiness inside her, fears that people will see through the façade of brilliance and pretension to see nothing within. She seems a shadow of a self, a scammer who has travelled the world tricking millions into buying into her built up persona of excellence and achievement – which, to her, signify nothing.
She sits uncomfortably amidst groups of silkily dressed, silkily speaking socialites sipping champagne, now and again excitedly leaning forward, gesticulating, erupting into laughter – engaging in conversation after conversation about themselves, others, the world in ways she only wishes she could partake in, but she can’t because she has nothing to say except what she’s heard others say, and when those others are in a room in front of her, she can’t exactly steal their words and make them her own.
As she can, when you have escaped and flown thousands of miles away across the seas in a luxury cabin which impresses those in the new land because they think it means she’s exotic, beautiful, brilliant.
And you live every day in fear that they will see straight through you.
And you live every day wondering which form of slow suicide beckons.
And you spend every split second before stepping on to the road visualizing a bright red double-decker bus zooming right towards you.
And you spend every split second before opening an email seized with agonizing fears of the expectation of a witty riposte.
And you lie every day about how happy you are in this world.
And you lie every night about why you can’t sleep.
And you lie awake every night, flipping through facebook and seized with an unaccountable rage at the sides of your friends and enemies alike having a good time.
Flipping through the news and despising anyone from your nation who accomplishes an achievement before you had the chance.
Flipping off the world, for it’s strange injustice in creating an individual supposedly so bright and yet with a withering exterior and a hollow interior where bone knocks against bone and cracks against bone to create crunches which cause you to spasm and shake in the middle of the night.
Flipping off yourself for being so weak and frightened and meek, unable to remember anything, or think of anyone, think of anything you love, cherish, admire and spend time on – except some people, people, people, who will silently step to one side and sidle past once they see through you, and see with derision the nothingness you consist of.