Singing Their Merry Song

I often say that I don’t have an inner voice; instead, I have a full Greek Chorus of inner voices.

No, I don’t have MPD.

No, these aren’t real people.

They’re aspects of my personality, characterized with a great deal of poetic license, just so we’re completely clear about what I’m saying from here out.

They bicker amongst themselves endlessly.

I have an inner child, an inner crusader, an inner den mother. They love. They exist to love, I sometimes think.

An inner brat, and an inner slut, neither of which needs further elaboration.

An inner idealist, cynic, and realist eternally frustrated with the other two. They share a mental lunch table, I think, talking in perpetual circles.

There is an inner venomous self-loather that is hyperactive and, since she exists inside of me, knows just which buttons to push to cut me to the bone. Her innate mien is harmless, of course, and only ever speaks in a whisper. She doesn’t have to raise her voice, and she always sounds so very gentle, like she’s telling me the terrible truths about how wretched I am and always will be because she loves me, and I need to remember these things and keep them at the forefront of my mind always, so I don’t overreach or make the mistake of thinking I’m worthwhile. The worst part about her is she can look like any of the others at any given moment, and I fall for it nearly every time.

Make no mistake; I can and do hurt myself more efficiently than anyone else ever has, or could.

My inner smartass truly never shuts up. Somehow, I picture her as Janeane Garofalo’s character from Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, chain-smoking and throwing snark like shrapnel from a massive explosion.

And people wonder why I empathize so much with Jane from Doom Patrol.

There is a girl who doesn’t let anyone see her very often, me included. There’s no simple adjective or descriptor for her. I’d thought her dead for decades, if you want the truth. She hopes. She believes in people. She believes life can be good, and worthwhile. Life hasn’t managed to wring that out of her. It can’t, but it surely explains why I thought her long gone for ages.

There is Ms. Bootstrap, reminding me to pick myself up and dust myself off and even if I don’t try that thing I failed or destroyed again. I’m reasonably sure she’s Lucy Liu as the efficiency expert from one of the Charlie’s Angels flicks, because while she’s helpful now and again, she tolerates exactly none of my shit. She slices through both excuses and genuine reasons with the same riding crop, and she doesn’t care if she breaks the skin and leaves me bleeding for it. I’m more grateful for her than I probably should be, all things considered.

Writing about her at all reminds me of something else I need to get to, and sketch out in words.

Ms. “DAMMIT YOU SHOULD FEEL YOUR FEELINGS DAMMIT!” is self-explanatory. That’s all she says, she always yells it, and 99% of the time I completely ignore her anyway because that advice is inconvenient to carrying on with life in any way, shape, or form. If I listened to her, I would start crying this very moment and not stop until some time in 2037 due to the backlog of tragedy and pain I’ve declared resolved because it wasn’t rational, or it wasn’t going to be productive to mourn because it wouldn’t change a damned thing.

The Bomb Disposal Technician, as one might expect, collects those pains to lock away in her bomb-proof, lead-lined chest.

Lead is still incredibly toxic to the body and the brain. Well, fuck.

Elaine, the Lady of Shalott. She got a name, partly due to a long-standing joke that was too eerily apt.

She pretends it’s fine.

It’s all fine.

Watching the world from a distance instead of living life in it, it’s fine. It’s better. It’s safer. It’s the right idea.

She tells herself that over and over and knows it’s all a lie, because she is longing. She wants to live.

She’s drawn to beauty like a moth to a flame, but it isn’t pretty things she sees as beautiful — it’s the beauty of real things, true connections.

She never says a single word; she never has. She doesn’t have to.

Bitch sure does sigh expressively a lot, though.

All the fucking time.