The Secret Euphoria of Pain

I've never been an active participant in my own life. I've been inconspicuous, invisible, a contentious recorder of other people's experiences and perceptions of me. Until I noticed someone watching me: a voyeur studying a voyeur. We mirrored each other perfectly, my Pygmalion statuette. Before her, I used to think I was missing the foundation of myself: I couldn't possibly build upon a baseless design. I tried to assemble my personality, my identity, out of arbitrary likes and dislikes, curating my persona to avoid a certain social isolation, but still I felt so out of place. In her presence, I'd realized how homesick I was for myself this entire time: I'd been missing for years. Together, we existed in between the plane of reality and unconsciousness: the lingering, liminal space between the figurative and the abstract. We were abundant within the ample nothingness of the world. Conversations, subjects, trains of thought, that were usually difficult to navigate with others, would be completely coherent to her without hesitation: she understood the ugly, absurd, intangible parts of me, reciprocated my energy…and I felt a great, primordial and animalistic nakedness. Where we converged, we extended vertically, dimensionally, inheriting and absorbing all the abandoned love from the annals of the universe. A great oneiric planar ascension, time had become subjective, giving birth to us backwards. Of course, passion knows nothing of it's consequences. Now, I'm right back where I began before I met her: alone, detached, and yearning to be part of something real, or adjacent to real. You can't be the same, live the same, and act the same, after being known so profoundly. Knowing the majority of people will rarely allow you to be so unapologetically raw, ugly, beautiful, cosmic, infernal, celestial, all at the same time, who will accept your volatility as executive function…it makes one bitter to the point of either complete isolation or painful social acquiescence. I'm bored to death of everyone, and of myself. Her violent indifference took its toll: at her most vulnerable, she'd abandon me, dispose of me, and recoil into her own trauma. I'd collapse all the same from the weight of her cruel inertia. Life after a vicious cycle of emotional abuse is perplexing. I was trapped in these patterns of prophecy: now I'm surrounded by people who fill my heart with temporary comfort; light conversation, uncontroversial and exoteric opinions and interests; people float with me above the surface and keep me warm. Their company abates the biting dullness more or less, even if my body is physically numb. But when I'm alone, I feel the futility of it all. My mind becomes an eternal rolling fog, cut by her silver-tongue deliberately leaking angular memories into my moon-sick sulk. Her darkness is territorial: I am not sure how much of her emptiness I can accommodate. As if I'd have a choice. The pit inside me seems like a bottomless abyss, but why is it so suffocating? And why do I secretly enjoy the pain of this asphyxiation? Why does no one ever admit to the euphoria experienced when one is hurt so deeply? The saccharine honey exhaled from a romantic chasm: the validation granted in knowing you are significant enough for someone to want to destroy; because no one bothers to annihilate someone who is already broken. Where is the fun in that? The surge of energy you experience after draining a star of its magic…not enough stars in the world to revive her. Will I admit that feeling sorrow is my way of binding myself to a reality I can make sense of? Do I settle into bad feelings because I am comforted by the fact that, after all this, I am still able to feel anything at all? I am terrified that part of me wants to suffer, just to affirm the materiality of my existence by its resistance of extreme emotional depredation. I avoid analyzing my attachments to dysfunction. I always knew I had masochistic tendencies, but I only ever correlated that to sexual amusement. Is this how I must operate, after her? Must I feel such annoyance around people who feel so safe, so unbelievably vanilla? Those who excite me, but do not dare to rebuke me? Who do not speak to my profligate soul as she did? Must I remain silent around those who do not have the courage to go beyond conventional thought and emotion? Or have I become so affixed to anguish, to concentric cycles of sadness at my core, that I have lost myself in the romance and validation of her own self-destruction?

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William

artist, musician, writer, Luddite

Troy, United States