Here Be Monsters

2011 May 4

“We’re different kinds of writers.”

This followed shortly after,” I know you like writing and all that journalism stuff.” No, I like pad thai and Christopher Guest movies. I am a writer. And you are unable to distinguish between common homophones. Journalism is how I put myself through school. People actually pay me for my words. Please don’t compare that to the corporate newsletter or make it sound like I spend my evenings writing Twilight fan fiction unless you want me to murder you to pieces. Of course, I say none of this, just turn away, doing that thing where I have to bite the inside of my lip so you can’t tell how truly angry I am. Maybe I make that face, but I pretty much always make that face.

We all have a thing. It’s our thing. Our identity thing. And we’re very protective of it, even if we can’t explain it. And maybe you can see right away what that thing is, or maybe it’s carefully hidden. But never carefully enough. You can always tell when you’re getting close to someone else’s here be monsters spot and then you have to decide whether to dart your eyes away at the last second, to bail out or to go ahead and throw yourself off the edge of this flat ol’ world. There’s that certain feeling you get when you’re on the verge of saying it, just saying it. You know it’s going to hurt, it’s supposed to hurt and the hot little creeping burn in the very bottom of your stomach tells you should just do it, not in spite of what will happen, but because of it.


Just don’t.


I’ve learned that it’s important to respect people’s identity things. Sometimes, they’re accurate. Sometimes, they’re hyperbolic. Sometimes, they’re wrong in the worst ways and it’s utterly heart-smashing and breath-stealing to realize that you can’t make someone recognize that and let go of the wrongness. And sometimes, they’re simply what we need to tell ourselves so that everything holds together and we can play nice with others for one more day.

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