Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Essay on Shame #19

Of course it's fine to make a promise, but if I don't keep it I'm setting myself up for shame: Remember that time I tried and failed? Remember that time I made that promise into a lie? Or sometimes I say "you", twisting the flathead screwdriver into the gap between who I actually am and who I want to be: at that moment, I'm speaking as the person I want to be (mistake-free) to the person I actually am (riddled with mistakes).

But when I say "you", I'm speaking cruelly. Mistake-free me, with her glowing skin and her perfect pitch for clothing, is a mean jerk. She calls mistaken-me a stupid whore, a useless cunt, a vile piece of shit. My impulse was to say, "I don't talk to anybody like that," but of course I do. I talk to myself like that. The urge, the rage, to talk to someone like that is present in me. It is me, and periodically, it fills me entirely.

It occurs to me that mistake-free me is a somewhat high school version of a perfect person, like a puppet with really long, smooth hair. What does she want the shame of others for? Why is it so important to her for me to be someone else?

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