excerpt from the book FutureYou
I wanted to impress Maena because she impresses me. And I thought no one could hear me. The shame that I’m doing it wrong squeezes my rib cage where the joints move to allow the lungs to expand, a parasitic backpack I carry like an infant nursing as though a separate helplessness. Not wanting to put it down where I can constantly see it—and when it feels gone, I know it can sneak up on me. What does it want? Blood, proteins?
Don’t say resurrection and peace because I’ve tried that so many times. I could make Halloween a day of the week. These are not demons and they are not saints; they are like emotive entities tied into me, living in my nerve endings. First thing in the morning and late at night they speak—not in words but in the feel of words and sometimes a symbol breaks through. Longfellow called the human voice the organ of the soul; these voices might be several organs come together, the beginning of tissues, a petri dish of consciousness that agreed to manifest. Agreed in pattern, agreed in likeness, agreed in tension, agreed in fear and solace. Agreed to try again and be our own children. I’d carry the obedient and the willful, the lost and the weary, the brave, the angry, the fools and the wise; carry them with me as family. Family tired of fighting and reconciled. You would not tell your lungs they are bad. You would not curse your eyes for all they’ve seen—no matter how much society says conflict is motivation.
We passionate automatons, clinging to story, clinging to a cast that exists outside of ourselves that we can relate to through a tight character we believe we should be. I ride the winged ram to the heavens so we can name the stars in the next galaxy, perhaps stand on the next new earth unfolding new myth under a new sun. And conjure the beasts who will take us there on their own form of oxygen. Star creatures.
Where else to go but middle earth, where else but cracking time, where else but the reaches of the ocean and the limits of our knowledge in the limits of our senses in the limits of our minds in the limits of our fables. Stuck on those first stories and the gender of holy trinities. Stuck, just separated from nature and caught up in tribal warfare and witchhunts and drama, lazily redeemed with religion and not internal peace. I welcome you, Maena. Come to me. Speak.
It took the story of the twin to explore another explanation for Maena’s presence without worry of madness. This was my gene, divided; my split sister who I took into me. Our brain, our voice, our heart, her soul. After I knew for sure, or rather wanted to know for sure, I started courting, summoning, and pleading with her.I could feel the way the others took over in the moonlight, in the filtered reflection of the unseen sun casting safe hiding spaces for shadows. They can grow desperate there but it’s more like feral and afraid. So many dullards will tell you that welcoming parts of yourself makes you insane; theirs are lives only realized by the measured light of day, while the natural world has use for all variety; its imagination conjures everything and tries to keep what functions. Expressiveness is key.