Everyone has a story, I'm told. Let me whisper in your ear, and tell you mine.
In the darkness of a midnight drive, ask me how I got the scar on my leg and I'll tell you how I spent a week mixing white phosphorus to stand up for something I believed in, and how it went beautifully wrong, how the result was perfect because it was nothing like I expected.
I'll tell you of the time my heart was captured on a riverbank one summer evening, and broken on the same, months later. How I went into reclusion for nearly a year, spending my twenty-first birthday alone in a restaurant crying behind mirrorshades, emerging on the other side with a pocket of catastrophe and a resolve not to let it happen again. If the timing is right I'll tell you how you've broken through those barriers and what it means to me that you took the chance.
They brand people down on Baker Street, human canvasses volunteering to be eternal showcases of the art. I came close, once, but a tickle in the back of my mind told me I'd regret it, and I'll tell you how I fell through thirty feet of industrial webbing to get away. How I give speeches to no one in particular when I'm by myself, letting my idea of other people respond, tell me what they think of my imaginings. How, as a child, my friends and I would draft mighty war plans, executing against the neighbor's children, needing a concrete enemy to lash out against as catharsis for our own misgivings and self-doubt. How I spent a night in jail and got to know the detrius of society firsthand, how I got lost in New Haven with but seven dollars and a cigarette in my pocket, how I cheated my way out of high school and was still graduated, how I wandered directionless for six years jumping from job to job before deciding what to do with myself. How I saw a man gunned down by police on the streets of Saint Louis, and saw that no one cared, or how I was laid up for two weeks in the delirium of feverdream, shivering next to a space heater and under piles of blankets, singing things out of memory.
And when the house lights go down and the music flares up, bass pounding steady rhythm into the floor, I'll tell you how I lose myself in movement, how the lash of a whip brings me out of my headspace, how the softness of your lips sends me somewhere that smells like rain. How many are the ways I've found to lose myself entirely, and how I embrace them all.
Everyone has a story, I'm told, so listen. Listen. Listen to me, and I'll tell you mine.