“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” — C.S. Lewis
I know the type of individual of which Lewis wrote. He turns down every invitation, he leaves only his absence once he is gone. He invests nothing in those around him because they are nothing to his soul. He shuts the world out and holds only himself in his hands. The things he does are entirely for him. People may try to come around, but he quickly shuts them down, because the most important thing is time, of which he has none for anything but his lines; Yes his drugs of choice, and the occasional self serving urge.
He smiles as he looks his prey in the eyes, not because he’s happy, but because what he wants is easy to take! Yes, it’s willingly given, but only because he lies with good taste. What should I drown the world out with tonight, he wonders, perhaps a telling of how great he is. That always feels so good. Or maybe he’ll go find someone to tell him, so he can coldly not reciprocate, once again leaving knowing nothing could be lost.
I know this man because at one point in the story I was him. I never gave a shit about anyone. I did it all for my own gain and pleasure. I wanted the world not so I could share it, but so I could give it out as my gift to those below me, or not at all. I had to have what I wanted, but what was I expecting to pay for it? No, I was owed it!
At one point I could without falter, claim that I knew no love for a single being in existence. I had to lie a lot along the way, fake it till I made it. I’d say I got pretty good at mimicking what I had observed. The words came easy. They were all so easy. And it was all to make myself feel good. I made it about me. It was about me. What selfishness I now detest! The ground could not bare to hold me. So vile was my path; Yet it was one I had to walk to know anything of what I was. As I went along I learned to dance, to feel, to bleed in different ways. I came to know it all through those who touched me. Every point along the road gave me something more to hold. I knew something had changed when I finally gave in to the animals. I no longer found them without purpose, I no longer found them worthless. It was bizarre to see what I had been, after living lies for my entire life. It was confounding to say the least. Especially at the epicenter of the mainshock, and closer to it. Imagine you woke up one morning to discover you’d been acting a role! That none of what you felt had actually been anything but a means to an end; That you had been cold and corrupt all along aiming only to serve yourself with little more than a candle to the wind held for others. Do you at that moment drop the act? Do you stand before the audience with your hands motionless at your sides and stare blankly? Some may, but I didn’t. I was determined to be authentic. I was determined to find true emotions. I went on, and on, practicing daily. Many times did I observe my coldness which sent a chill down my spine. An electrical charge was firing, and it knew of what it was seeking. I knew by this that I was making progress. Of course when you act for so long you can turn like wheels on the bus; You forget the act exists and blend into the scene. I’m not sure if this was color rubbing off on me or if it was all blurring together as I became numb to the motions. I spent a long cold winter alone after the last collision. I never had more time to twist and shake, shiver and cringe. I came out of those nights knowing a lot about what it meant to be cold. When you’re alone there is no act. It’s just you. And when you spend enough time alone without the act, you really settle into who you are. I found summer again and was determined to thaw myself for the final time. I never wanted to be frozen through to the marrow again. Of course as I began to warm, the stage got wet. I didn’t know much about standing in water, the pressure, the warm air hitting my cold frame; I did my best to weather the ensuing storms. As soon as I could shake free of the last few icicles I had to run. I ran away because it was all too much for me at once. It took time to get used to the thaw. It took time to comprehend the flow of the rivers when no ice was clogging their veins. And then I found myself so natural and free. Eager! It was no act. I was simply me; No stage, just rivers, beautiful rivers you can drown in.
I’ll have whatever I please because emptiness takes a lot to feed.
If it’s cold enough, walking on the ice is safer than you’d think