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.