Be wary

What I am about to do now, may in some ways sting. I would say that I am being cruel to be kind, but truly, that has nothing to do with it. I am not kind. I am very seldom gentle, very seldom generous, very seldom anything close to what you know. I will not ask your forbearance. Rather, I will push you back, so that you can see me fully and know me for what I am.

I came into your lives too subtly, I fear. I tiptoed in, tucked my life, devoid of artifice, in amongst your favorite fairytales. At first, no one noticed, but now they have, and that is my fault entirely.

Since the website began, the majority of readers have delved only so far, probing to suss out the verity of my statements, or making only slight reference to me, choosing instead to focus upon the supposed quality of my work. But things have changed. The book is doing very well, and I do feel something of a measure of pride for it, as I do all the broken things I reassemble; however, I drastically underestimated the quality of its reception.

Many of the most vulnerable have seen fit to follow me, talk with me, lay bare their problems, confess feelings of kinship, friendship, trust. I have told them how unwise this is, but to no avail. And yet, they press. Not to make me uncomfortable, but perhaps, in some way, to have what they seek — a connection to something other than this reality they know. My protestations make very little headway. They tell me that they know I could never hurt them, that I am funny, give me nicknames. They reach out, “With open arms” as someone said, from their own generous spirits.

But there is something amiss. A perspective is askew. This thing, this journal, it has given you a very narrow glance, one tailored by the very thing that is its subject. You see my friendship with Rebecca and my aversion to harming her, and you think yourself safe. You follow my relationship with Chef and view it is a melodramatic love story, you even laugh at my confusions, my misdeeds. All these things are carefully crafted. All these things are tales, told by a monster whose chief desire is to eat, who excels at fine-tuning himself to the circumstances that arise.

You like me.

You have not the slightest grasp of who I am.

Do not mistake the trappings of humor, emotion, and self-reflection to be anything more than clever camouflage. I have known from the beginning that no human would ever care to read of my life without a pleasing presentation. I am clever. I am devious. I am a monster.

You cannot fathom how much time I have watched pass by; so much that I now remember less than half of that which remains hidden from me. These things you do — school, work, entertainment, fashion, gossip, television shows — to me are unfathomable. It is a charming kaleidoscope of strangeness that will inevitably pass away. These conversations that we have will vanish. These things you say to me will drift and lose focus, and eventually, I will not remember ever having them. In my head, are perfect, but entirely unusable maps of long-destroyed cities. In my thoughts, are words from languages no one sees fit to resurrect. I am a graveyard, and all things pass through these gates into oblivion. So please pardon me, if I seem at a loss, bemused, annoyed, or otherwise distant. Pardon me, if I do not rise to your tenderances. Pardon me, if I do not like being given pet names or told that i am charming. So many things have a brittle quality to them, as if at any moment, the clock will strike, and the sheer force of the sound will shatter all of this constant busywork to pieces. It is nearly impossible for me to find sure footing, peace, sanctity.

There are no such things to me, and if there were, no capacity to enjoy them.

I am not kind. No, not even a little. I could list for you whole populations of people I have ended. You declare kindness because I refuse children, help underdogs, carefully select criminals, but I am errant to give you that impression. These are lessons hard-learned, and some of the greater divides in my life are filled with corpses of those who did nothing more upsetting than to look at me in a certain way. Perhaps to the modern human, with so much knowledge of death and carnage beneath its documented belt, a discussion of this is not so upsetting.

Pluck it down then, from that shelf on which you keep it. Examine death for what it is — the total cessation of all that you are. Imagine what it would be like to lose the person you care for most, and then blame me. Blame me, if you be wise.

Those humans who know me, understand this. All of them are broken. All of them walk a fine line between reason and madness. Every single one of them has known appalling violence. Every one of them pegs me for what I am — a signpost at the end. Do you honestly think that any of them truly love me? No, of course not. They are terrified of me. They are certain that I will snap. Every one of them has escape routes, contingency plans. Every one of them knows that I am a ticking bomb that may one day suddenly decide to abandon all of this, as I have before, and leave nothing behind me.

This experiment was meant to prove that no human would believe. Now I see that the situation was worse than I imagined. Humans will believe, but they refuse to be afraid. There will always be a hero, the curse can be kissed away, that creature you should fear, is but a prince in disguise.

I am not. I am ancient, I am cold. I am very very cruel. I meet you now in a shape that is pleasing, I greet you with but one one thousandth of my lifespan. I hand you a few moments here, a few there, and you see this as representative of the whole. You message me and find me agreeable, but never see the twisting discontent inside my skull as I try to compress the enormity what I am into this tiny instant. You tease me, and find my replies amusing, but this is all predetermined, by a thousand such conversations I have witnessed, time and again.

You read this journal. You think you know me.

You are wrong.

16 responses to “Be wary

    • This is the misconception laid bare. You are not pushing me. I am pushing you, and you do not even realize it. If one such as I can sneak into your thoughts and your heart, then you should look on me in horror and tighten your armor.

      • You don’t know my scent, or have my address. You don’t even know how to find my IP address. As old and wise and terrifying as you are, I trust you will not find me. What you will find is that I have no armor regulating my mind, no defenses in kind. Simply because you cannot hurt me. Not because I’ve been hardened, but because I know at least some small part of you wouldn’t enjoy it. No matter if you are a monster, you are a living being. My morals dictate that you deserve care because of it, what kind is where the question lies. I do not want to fix you, just understand.

  1. You are interesting. May I watch you for a while? You see I live in the future and like to record information on things that interest me. I will stay out of the way.

    • Do as you like. No one is stopping you, although, I should point out that time travel is a paradox, and I have a good many centuries behind me.

  2. Simon, there are some out there who have been left hanging off the cliffs above the proverbial pit a multitude of times. We have faced “monsters” that could do far more damage to us than you could ever imagine doing. So it’s not that we aren’t afraid. We are always afraid, it keeps us on point, it keeps our blades sharp and perception sharper. It’s that we are brave enough to tread hostile territory, with a monster around every possible corner, in search of answers that better help us understand ourselves. Because we either come to an understanding or we waste away in a torrent of self loathing, fear, and confusion.

    I understand the narssasistic outlook on life, being higher on the food chain is reason enough. But don’t begin to think you understand the world for what it is. Not even a 5 thousand years into the past would award that understanding. You may see and understand the emotional, physical, and mental of an individual. You may see and understand that of large culture of people. All first hand!
    But what you do not understand is the world of people. You cannot fathom how vast that pool is. Unless you somehow gain control over some dormant reality warping power of yours, you will never be able to comprehend it. And in a pool that vast you will continue to find more and more unique animals.
    Instead of trying to warn us that we should be talking steps in the other direction, realize that we are creature that watch and learn from the actions of others to understand ourselves, and you have given us an opportunity to ask our subject questions without inhibitions.

    If you must think of it in a logical fashion. Take it all as a learning experience to help you be prepared for the others like us that are smarter, more capable, better equipped. They are dangerous, possibly even to you.

    BTW what’s the protected picture? That’s exciting.

    • Your statements are very presumptuous, but taken in the intended spirit. I am too old not to be humble. Too much an outsider to ever believe I have found every dark corner of the human heart or the world.

      Perhaps I should tell a few stories to paint myself the villain. I wonder if that would serve to educate. You have only what I give you, after all.

      The locked picture is a portrait. I will keep it locked.

  3. I’m not entirely sure what to think of this or really have any idea what to say. But I’ll ramble on anyways like I always day. First off, I’m mentally ill. Since I was young, I was diagnosed with a number of disorders: bipolar, agoraphobia, social phobia… and now that I’m older, I continue to suffer from other disorders: psychosis, PTSD, depersonalization, dissociation etc. That being said I don’t really consider myself safe from you– its just that I’m hardly safe to myself as it is. I suffer from hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety and more. Just this past week, I tried to kill myself and the next day, went on to do work as if nothing had happened. I’m very unstable. If you’re not the thing to do me in, its only a matter of time before I am. You may have stated before that you do not eat the mentally ill, but as far as I’m concerned, all I have is your word on that. At any moment you can snap and decide people like me aren’t worth living– and to be honest, you wouldn’t be the first– humanity has always been trying to wipe out the mentally ill due to religious beliefs about demon possession or whatever.

    That being said, you don’t know where I live, or my real name so there’s very slim chance of you finding me anyway. You seem to think that a lot of us humans simply trust you or underestimate your power– but the reality is that some of us really have nothing to lose.

  4. If you’re in cohorts with powerful human politicians, which I have a strong inkling that you are, then I can see some sort of social engineering being carried out for the future, an agreement with politicians and your species to make human farms to feed your species.
    If evolution tells us anything (and you’re also saying from what i hear in your essay) you’re interacting with us now so you can eat us later, and so your species can have major control of all the lands of earth.
    Actually you’re probably cutting out the rug from underneath the politicians. I see I see.

  5. If you’re not in cohorts with politicians and corporate ceos you eventually will be especially with all this open public fame you’re bringing upon yourself

  6. Hi Simon! I have a theory for why we (I) are so willing to “like” you

    Human brains are designed to recognize patterns all the time, which includes during social interactions. Because you show so many “human” traits (using language, curiosity, hobbies, moral code, etc) we add them up and decide “Oh okay, this person is ‘something like me’.”

    Even this post contains lots of our “human patterns” I think:
    You said you’re not kind, but we’ve met kind people who say they’re not, so we apply that pattern to you.
    You said your human friends don’t truly love you, but we’ve seen people who think that, and we’ve been trained to respond with support.
    You said you only show us the agreeable part of yourself, but that’s true for all humans, it’s normal for us to have different “personas” for different situations and there’s nothing too wrong with that.

    Then again, I’m just a dum lil teenager who trusts too easily 🙂

    Also: Kinda unrelated but I love your quote “Humans will believe, but they refuse to be afraid. There will always be a hero, the curse can be kissed away, that creature you should fear, is but a prince in disguise.” That sums up my favorite thing about us I think.

  7. Old post with some really good comments already but I can’t resist remarking on this. Despite the fact that I associate more with you–as you have presented yourself, at least–than other humans (I am human), I would absolutely stay away from you or any of your kind. I may interact with you online but that is from a safe distance, and anonymity. I wouldn’t call the people who seek you out dumb but they certainly have a lower sense of self-preservation than I do, which is ironic given my bouts of suicidal depression 😒

    • Oh, I should add that I would absolutely love to be “penpals” or online “friends”. Talking about all kinds of things and such. But you can’t eat me, or truly hurt me, if you can’t physically touch me 😆

      • After reading more of your writing (books, blog posts) I realized my comments may come off as offensive. What I mean is, I may like a bear but I’ll only get near it if it’s safe, like at the zoo. Or if I was trained in bear handling 😅

        The internet is a kind of virtual zoo. I can “visit” and interact with people behind the safety of my computer. I treat most people this way, not just you. (To be clear I consider you a person; one doesn’t have to be human to be a person, imo.) Since I’m not a criminal I’d probably be safe if you’re well-fed, but I wouldn’t be likely to test my luck.

        Hopefully that makes sense. I don’t mean you’re repugnant.

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