I know I’m not the first person to lose everything.
I know I won’t be the last.
And I know I shouldn’t let it get to me.
But it does.
I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m very, very far from perfect. I didn’t really have any friends as a kid, and so I spent all my time either lost in my own world, or reading books. Lots of books, sometimes as many as 10 a week. And they were books from all over the place, all different eras, and worlds, and cultures, and customs, and nothing was ever the same.
I learned what it meant to be a man from a book. I learned what I wanted to be from books. And when my parents divorced…well, I went to some dark places. And I learned to be okay in the dark places, because my “heroes” were all the ones who were in those dark places and learned to thrive.
Of course, my heroes were generally the ones considered the Villains. The ones who took control of their lives via power. Who slaughtered their way through those that opposed them. Because that’s what you had to do, in the dark. There wasn’t mercy, or compassion, or any of those things people tell themselves are real and that exist for people who are in a place where they can believe in such things. Instead I let go those things, because trying to hold on to them was only going to get me killed.
Of course, I died anyways, in the end. But I came back from the dead, in a way.
But there was a price, and that price was my humanity. Both mentally and spiritual, as well as physically. I never really learned how to be a “human.” And anything I had learned was offered up on the altar of survival.
And…I’m losing the ability to fake it.
I got called into the office at my job. Turns out it was to give me my “last final written warning.” Why? Because due to the stress (and pain) of my health issues, the stress of being surrounded by tons of people caught up in their needy entitlement of holiday shopping, my uncomfortableness with being around people (especially large crowds of people), and my apparent willing defiance of orders when it came to wearing a winter hat in a freezing store, and my penchant for breathing out hard (in an attempt to calm myself) and “stomping” (because one of those inhuman things of mine is difficulty controlling my body), I have an unprofessional and defiant attitude problem.
Nothing like being told you’re failing at trying to present a presence of normalcy and professionalism, when you were actually trying your best.
Oh, and apparently giving one’s significant other a quick kiss is “unprofessional” and is an offense worthy of being fired over. And despite the stupidity of declaring any public affection (no matter how small) as “unprofessional” well…”those are the rules, and we don’t make them up.”
Well, no one doesn’t. But apparently someone did and was allowed to keep their job.
I mean, never mind that those small, tiny bits of human affection might be the only thing that gets someone through their day. Never mind the myriads of scientific data showing that humans are social creatures who need affectionate social contact in order to survive and be mentally healthy. Someone might be offended or mildly inconvenienced for a few seconds, and that would be unprofessional.
Of course, my definition of professionalism was informed by Mercenaries, where in the definition of professionalism tends to flow along the lines of “achieve the objective if at all possible, don’t shoot the client unless they double cross you first, finish the contract, and we all know we’re in a shit show so just try not to let the kaveching get too out of control (but we know some is going to happen). Oh, and try and let the little things your fellows do that annoy you slide a bit. We’re only human, and everyone needs to vent somehow.”
Which means I let a lot of things my co-workers do that annoy me slide, at least the best I can. Unfortunately, this is not a thing that seems to be reciprocal. But whatever. I can’t change people.
But I’m losing my ability to fake being one of them. Hel, seems half the stuff I get complained about is stuff that other people were already doing. I’m just mimicking them, trying to fit in. Being nice, playing along with their jokes, not taking anything farther than it seems they do. And sure, I know occasionally I have an edge but…I’m a monster. I can’t hide 100% of my darkness, even if I wanted to.
And…I’m tired. I hit 30 this year. And looking back…a little over four years ago I “had it.” I had a long term relationship with someone I loved. I actually had a full time job, with benefits, that was looking to promote me into management. I was finally living on my own, able to pay all my bills and set money aside to do fun things with the woman I loved.
And in the end…I lost all of it. I lost the girl, I lost the home, I lost the job, I lost my health (which, admittedly had not been that good for years, but I lost what little I had left). Hel, I even ended up losing what few friends I had managed to get, people I’d known for years. I nearly lost my life, several times, by what would have been my own hand. That I haven’t was the only area I got lucky in. And sure, I ended up crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentations of their proverbial women, but…
But I’m still left with the ruins of a proverbial kingdom. I’ll admit, I honestly thought I’d be dead or in prison by this point of my life, and the fact that I not only avoided those two fates, but had achieved a semblance of a moderately successful life (at least by my small standards). And then…it was all gone. And I’m left with what hopefully is not a chronic illness, in a dead end part time job that I apparently can’t even do right, unable to get any semblance of benefits. Sure, I’m dating again, but that’s…that’s not turning out the way I had hoped. And…
I’m getting to the point where I don’t care anymore…
Not caring is dangerous for me.
When I say “I don’t care anymore” I don’t just mean like most people seem to. Where they no longer have an emotional attachment to the situation and things can just go however. I mean I don’t care about my job, my life, my world, the laws surrounding me. I mean I quite literally do not care that things are “wrong” or “illegal” or “existent.”
It means I’m left only with the same basic instincts that got me through what previously were the worst years of my life. And those instincts at this point put me into a place of either killing what is in front of me, that which stands in my way…or walking away. And Hela, wonderful, merciful, loving Goddess that she is to me…taught me not to raise my hand to the innocent.
Hela’s grace, but most of the time I don’t even raise my hand to the guilty.
And that just leaves walking away.
I don’t want to die anymore. Not suicidally anyways. Though, if I just happened to go to sleep and never wake up…I don’t think I’d be to disappointed. I’d be in Helheim, in a world were I do function, where I do succeed. A world where I have friends, and a wife, and a big sister who is…nominally more homicidal than me (you don’t get a name which means Great Killer by picking daisies).
But…I don’t want to live here anymore. I don’t have it in me to keep faking humanity. Where jobs and money are important, where being professional is more important than showing someone you care about them. Where no matter how good you do, its never enough. Where you have to keep wearing a dishonest face and hiding what you are and what you feel for the sake of someone else who feels entitled to be served, who thinks they’re better than you because they’re the other side of some counter.
For someone who doesn’t even see you as a living person…just a cog in a machine to make their lives pleasant.
You can’t take a demon, and expect him to be a serf. No more than you could take a whale, and expect it to be a bird. Not because one is better than the other by dent of being what it is…but because they’re so alien to each other.
I just don’t have it in me to keep struggling to make something, only to have everything reset back to Zero a the “start of the week.” There’s a reason such an existence was considered the worst torture a soul could be put to by the Olympians.
I just want to walk away. To just pick a direction and put one foot in front of the other. Because that’s all I’m doing now, putting one foot in front of the other as the fake smile on my face slowly slips away…except I’m on a treadmill and it doesn’t take me any where, it just slowly breaks down until the ride stops.
I don’t have any more bandages. I’ve run out of needles and thread. My fangs have dulled, my claws are broken and cracked. The wellspring of power has all but run dry. I have no more faith in my humanity. And almost no energy in my monstrosity.
The title for this post was inspired by Nietzsche, who had “human, all to human.” It was a book he wrote during his own crises….when, after years of seeking the “ubermensch” and trying to achieve all he believed…he discovered that he, himself, was human. All too human.
I have spent years seeking the human. And now, I have discovered that I, myself, am just inhuman. All to inhuman.
I am the monster I always was. But like a whale cast into the sky and told to live as a bird, I am bereft. Nothing I valued or needed as a monster remains, I am without water to carry and cover me. I am merely floating, as if in a vacuum. I try to summon the anger that once allowed me to live…and it vanishes. I feel the sorrow that consumes me for my death…and it too vanishes. There are no foes to lay low, no blood to slake my thirst. There is not even a scabbard where in the sword of my existence might be returned to rest. I am made brittle by wars I was not meant to fight, and drained by lies I was not meant to tell. Betrayed by everyone I have ever known, and abandoned to die after no longer being of use.
I feel as if I will not even shatter, for that would be too much energy. Merely that I will crumble into dust.
And…I don’t think I have enough left in me to truly care…