Introversion Impulses -short story

 

“You have to let people see the truth of who you are”, she said.

I had no doubt that her intentions were sincere, that she was trying to get me to share more of myself, more of my work and to come out of the shell I’d grown comfortable in.

I also felt that she was somewhat attracted, that she was holding back by her own standards and not divulging her interests or motives for conversation. Why on earth would she extend such kindness, such interest in me or my words? Maybe she was thinking out aloud? Maybe I’m looking too far into her words, but she continued.

“You can’t hold back if you want people to find you, you know, if you want to commit to someone whole heartedly you have to show them who you are, how else will they commit to you and share themselves with you as well?”

She strangely intertwined the idea of commitment to a person within the idea of the collective she seemed to be generally referring to earlier in the conversation.

Only in a perfect world I thought. Perhaps if people were not so mean and would not squash your heart as soon as they had full access to it, not unlike many things losing their lustre once the hardship of having to attain them is overcome.

But my mind kept going back to the question; why was she so interested in me, or my writing? Maybe my words were an easier entry point into a conversation she was holding back from, but before I could articulate a reasonable reply, it happened, like a flood on a page, the same semi-conscious expulsions that propel me to write saw me blurt it right out into the plain of thick air.

“It feels”, I paused, “so invasive though….like a devaluation of sorts. Tell me I’m wrong. Do you really feel you can share that part of you? That crevice so deep and dark that you risk someone else holding it in their hands and having the ability to toss it at will? I think it’s a protective mechanism of sorts, for me anyway. ”

“Protective?”

“Yeah, if I keep that part subdued, to myself, I can control it. If I share it, I have no control.”

“Control what?”

“The urge to hurt someone for hurting me. I couldn’t take that. Sharing something only for them to use it against me.

I might even kill someone for abusing it. The hurt would be too much. I couldn’t contain myself knowing I share a part of me so deep, because I get urged or forced into the idea that I have to be open with a partner, that I have to share everything with a partner only for it to later be used as a method to hurt me, look down on me or whatever. It would for once, perhaps show me the other side of a person who’s lost control and killed another person. Perhaps they’re just people who could not handle their vulnerabilities being known and then discarded. I don’t think I could handle the hurt, I dunno, I’d much rather keep shit to myself. Even this I feel….”

I stopped and realised what I had just said. I could see her eyes turn cold – oh no, she thought I was a monster – and then warm again. Then she surprised me, they welled up as she then looked into her lap and placed one palm over other as if to say she was ready to catch a stream of her tears.

“That’s really quite sad”.

I felt my throat swell and fill with regret.

But she smiled and continued, “and beautiful at the same time”. The tears were now just falling directly onto her jeans as if to say there was no use hiding her own vulnerabilities and the moment was urging her to unshackle her inhibitions, to share more of what she really felt.

I thought about what I just said as the silence tempered the mood into an agreed introspective freeze.

Was I really that fragile, that afraid? Unable to share the truth of myself with anyone because I was repulsed by it all or was it because I was apprehensive of rejection? Am I crazy for thinking it was unacceptable for someone to squash you at will, after you’ve slowly desensitised yourself into sharing a part of you? I rationalised that it wasn’t. That people who did that with disregard deserved to be hurt back.

Could I kill someone over that? I could. I remembered the rage I felt when I was bullied when I was younger and my work I had been struggling with for a week, destroyed by a kid who thought it was cool. I was only twelve years old. Work I had spent hours on, deeply engrossed in, only for him to think it was funny and cool to destroy it. I still remember the coolness of the steel chair legs in my clenched blue fists as I picked many up, one after the other and hurled them with everything I had, directly at his head with no consideration for his life.

At twelve, I was quite comfortable in knowing he could be seriously hurt or die, because what I lost meant that much to me.

I could kill if someone discarded something that meant that much to me.

No, I thought, grand as the the fairytale of believing perhaps that someone could hold your heart in their hands and protect it, the temptation to discard it, the ease of discarding it for their own comfort would probably overwhelm them and they’d ditch your vulnerabilities at the earliest convenience to make themselves comfortable.

I’d much rather not hurt anyone, so I won’t allow them to hurt me by giving too much of myself.

Beautiful as her tears were, they suddenly became bound by a used by date. How I wanted to give her access, how I wished she could hold that part of me forever, safely, but I couldn’t believe it and back into my cocoon I went, and it felt as if the physical space between us grew hands that pushed us away from each other and back into everyday niceties.

Her face was kind enough for me to believe her, but not hard enough to accept the reality of how dark some of us are.
Better for her that she live in a world where she didn’t have to see that part of human capability, the compulsion to meter out justice.

People cannot walk around thinking it’s acceptable to hurt others without knowing there is a consequence.

introversion- seventy five


I didn’t plan this, but I wish I had.
If I had, then I could have arrived much earlier.
Many a breath would I have saved,
many a wasted heart beat,
a dry mouth.

Perhaps I could have not wrestled with so many souls,
with so many egos,
with my own ego.

One of the greatest changes,
I have ever experienced,
is feeling the urge to answer everything,
to not wanting to answer a soul

Perhaps finding You,
means tasting everything that isn’t You,
Your largesse, although not never in need,
is only experienced through my faculty,
by what minuscule it comprehends.

W.E.

introversion seventy two

 

Living in the past is depression,
in the future; anxiety,
in the immediacy of satiation,
ingratitude.

You assume fulfilment,
and forget it causes mediocrity.

You question your predicament,
and envy the comfort of others.

Where is your recognition,
of all the lowly and base things?

Your demands,
spat with ingratitude,
have become shackles around your ankles.

Had God willed, he would give you in your entirety to the world and you could not contain your condition, and beg for pardon to be returned to being a recluse.
Don’t assume your condition is bad for you, it could be that it is saving you from worse.

W.E.

The patience of writing yourself into validity

 

I’ve patience yet,
my willingness to endure pain,
and be indifferent,
yet utterly conscious of it all,
until prose has its way with me,
is the blissful dichotomy,
that keeps the tongues wagging,
that keeps the minds piqued.

What is this expressive tragedy of a person,
who feels with his fingers,
writ tangled in webs of distance,
and still rages like he’s love yet to give.

A propensity to violence,
nonchalant and stoic,
and patience yet,
statue like patience.

Like leaves awaiting their decay,
like a woman waiting for barrenness to whither.
I have patience that gives birth to patience,
and I write, knowing,
there’s always another moment of indifference.

W.E.

 

The men and women in my family

 

The men in my family are rugged men,
with hands callused from the poetry they write for the softer women they love.
With hearts that pound like door knocks of the police,
they dance to the beat of their own drums.
We care not for the fragile women who pose with square jaws,
with toxic feminist rhetoric,
ad-nauseum, unoriginal dogma,
that looks down on the tradition of their ancestors.
I’d love to see them with their bright red lipstick,
walk mountain plains,
to fetch a pale of water,
to wring clothes by hand,
knurled knuckles to pomegranate blood red,
in rivers where streams would take you and never surface you again.
I’d like to see how they’d hold the fort as their husbands left with no guarantee of return,
to fight invaders for months on end,
and not make a single complaint.
I can’t wait to see the army of perfectly functional children they raise into men and women of integrity and honour,
and do it with grace after losing just as many in still births or death.
I know one woman, well into her late eighties,
a matriarch of sorts, who’s buried more children than she’s raised and never has an ode belonging to feminists passed her lips, but raise your brow to her if you dare and wait for her palm to remind you of who you really are as it jolts your jaw into place.
If our men are anything, it’s because the women were just as much.
The men in my family are rugged men, real men,
men with unbreakable spirits who bow only to God,
but with hearts of lambs,
they settle easily into their wives caress, because they  are soft like that.
The men in my family all die young,
because their hearts beat  beyond the capacity of normal hearts,
but they leave real women behind.
Women who don’t need false ideologies to show them how to stand up on their own two feet because their men have already embraced them with tenderness of olive branches.
The men in my family, rugged and harsh as they may be,
write poetry with their actions and their women never give them an excuse not to.
W.E.