I feel the night beckon. I see you all in objects. I see people I hate erupting from my skin. I see people I love on soft surfaces; they leave when I try to touch them. The people for whom I wish I feel nothing swim scattered in the partially empty water bottles arrayed around this room, taunting me with their indifference. I love most in these bottles, although I hate a few. I've seen too much, but unlike Oedipus, I cannot evade my sight with blindness; you will all follow, and you'd be all I see.
I make horrible mistakes. Most of them revolve around me choosing love when I could have chosen to feel nothing. No love is worth this spiraling staircase of doubt and regret. Small voices tell me if I said something else, or acted differently, or showed less then maybe I wouldn't be alone. I am alone. It's one of life's inevitabilities. Some people, the lucky ones, have so much love they have to choose between two, or even more. Looking from the outside, I'd choose all other love over mine. The hardships I take upon myself and the extent I avail myself to this condition are not a cry for help. I seek understanding and acceptance. I know I should feel more comfort in the presence of God, but I cannot. I must be heard. I must be heard; do you understand?
In 1997, I was happy alone. It is 1997 no longer. The night beckons, but I do not come. Where once I smiled sideways, and reveled in my unique nature, I can now only look up armed with nothing but these words. This is not wallowing or needless self-torture; my pain is real, and my words are sincere. If I could choose a way of thinking, I would be strong, I would be generous with comfort, I would smile without reservation, and I would be beautiful. My thoughts are not my conscious choices: I am weak, I take more comfort than I give, my smile is always fake, and I am ugly beyond words.
As injured my voice is with Tardive Dyskinesia, I can bear to be heard. When photographed, I wear the old mask. My smile is sideways, like I know something the rest of you don't. My secret walked with Lions at night. The secret wrote poetry meant for one set of eyes in pursuit of another. Thousands of lines crept by, slowly extending out of my open arms. I thought the truth would bring acceptance. I was wrong; my youth crawled down my throat and died. The stench took hold, and remains to this day. If you don't believe me, kiss me. You will know it.
I can't stay secret. I won't live behind the old mask concealing the old wound. I must be heard. This might be hard to read, but it's harder to write. Please, just stay. Testify my waning strength. Weigh my burden's crow feather against your cluster of grapes. Let my sincere eyes show you everything my smile retracts. Watch me show you how ugly the monster lives.