The pain and flame within

January 16, 2006


“In revealing all of this to you, I have perhaps killed myself!”
“I have such a deep love for you, but do not touch me. I am not to be touched. You are the poet, you walk inside my dreams. I love the pain and the flame in you, but do not touch me.” – Anais Nin to Artuad

How fitting is it that I wrote those words down a day before my madness escaped my body? After the fire within me was released into the atmosphere of the internet, I had the realization that I may have killed myself, just like Artaud did during a performance. I may have revealed too much of myself, too quickly, and the only reaction I received was of a quiet shockness.

I wrote everything I did because my mind and body were starting to give up on me. The daily frustrations were grinding me to a halt and I couldn’t see beyond the inner pain. My eyes were seeing red; my tears were of blood. It’s difficult to see much more than pain when feeling like that. But it was a necessary exercise for me. Regardless of how people reacted or not, they were things I needed to say and a few days later, I feel better because of it.

I chose that second quote mainly for the last line. It gave me an insight into how people may view me, without actually saying it. I’m certainly no monster, and nowhere near the level of genius that Artaud was, but I think I give off the aura of a frustrated individual too much.

The passion and intensity of my opinions on things is probably too much for people when we’re all used to dealing with the daily grind of the world. People come online to escape the real world, not to be reminded of it. They come for the good times, and I’m not a good time. I’m not one of these people who can easily carry on a conversation about nothing, filled with laughter and silliness until the parties are exhausted. No, instead I bring an insatiable curiousity and seriousness about people’s lives, and the world surrounding me.

There is a line, however, and I have crossed it too many times. Curiousity can only be taken so far with someone until it feels like an attack on their privacy. At the same time, this subtle agressiveness is not allowing people into me as much as maybe they should. I have to understand that people may be interested in me, but they aren’t as comfortable questioning me as I am of them. I have become my own worst nightmare. I want people to enjoy me, but I push them away with my constant questioning.

In the real world, my troubles lie in how patient I am with people, and how willing I am to listen to them talk about themselves. I haven’t discovered that art about opening up and sharing who I am and my opinions. Those problems cross the bridge into the internet. I may be more comfortable talking, but the only way I know how to communicate is through questions. I’ve become accustomed to asking people questions in real life, because those people tend to love talking about themselves (and are difficult to shut up).

Talking is more natural for people than writing, though. The love of talking about themselves dies as the questions become bolder and more inquisitive. When a question or comment is seen on the screen, the instinctual reaction seems to be “how can I say this in as few words as possible?” Hence the rise of internet slang, the lols, brbs, gtg, and so on. People don’t want to spend the energy in typing responses to questions, but will respond eagerly if the conversation excites them.

The conclusion I’ve come to is I need to subdue the inner flame online and allow it to show in the real world. I need to adjust how and where I express myself online – meaning more writing about the topics I am interested in, less presenting those thoughts in conversations. The less questioning of people I do, the more beneficial for all. The implementation of this is going to be a difficult one for me, and who knows how long it will take, but ultimately I’ll be more happy and less frustrated.

And who knows: maybe I’ll start attracting people in person.

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