There is a voice that whispers to me. I know that sounds schizophrenic but it is true. Well, more so in my teenage years than today but it is there. I have come to believe it is my subconscious speaking to me. The first time I remember hearing it I was eight and starting classes at a new school. It crippled me mentally with six words: “What if they don’t like you?” It is a cruel thing, this voice. Sometimes I wonder at its motives. It would seem to guide me away from the world, away from trust. It is a cynical thing that I’ve tried for years to deal with. But it has proven useful as well.

Now that first experience cursed me with crushing shyness. It caused me to turn inward which was not a horrible experience. I came to understand things about myself which was probably the goal of that voice. I became articulate, measured…and a bit eccentric.

But that voice…I heard it clearest when I was sixteen. I had a crisis of faith, needed something to believe in. So I searched, I prayed…and it spoke. It whispered to me at night sometimes answering my questions. It all seemed as if some dream that soft voice answering me. I pursued it, traveled deeper into myself. And then it culminated in one frightening night. The voice had begun to get stronger partly because I was going too far in pursuing it. There were times when I felt my bed tremor. One night I heard it rasping in my ear. I could almost feel its breath on my face. When I opened my eyes it stood at the foot of my bed staring down at me, this black figure. I was frozen, paralyzed. This thing, this wraith, just looked down at me there vulnarable to it. Seeing it, my subconscious, caused me to withdraw from it. I could sense this overarching terror at its form. I stopped listening to it. I did my best to forget it. Yet it has always guided me…this dark amorphous thing.

Despite my rational approach to solving problems I am prone to whims. I don’t know why I am so vulnerable to straying but my life has been quite…adventurous because of it. One of my greatest deviations led me to blindly travel to South Africa because of love. Those were…well, those were good times. Before I discovered her materialism. But why ruin memories with modern thought?

I have been to Ireland, Western Europe, parts of southern Africa, and all over this great country called America. I’ve met so many people, found myself become ever more liberal the older I get. And this voice…it has encouraged me to journey, to experience. I have seen things, done things that few of you would think me possible of on first seeing me.

I have never lived up to expectations. I usually am quite different from what you think I am upon seeing me. I seem so quiet and soft. Until I grasp you, until I completely understand you. I do a lot of analyzing and innocently probe beneath your exteriors. I seem so harmless you wouldn’t believe how easy you people make it. And once I understand you I can easily manipulate you. I hate myself for that but sometimes you make it impossible to do otherwise. I am still this mistrustful creature and humanity has done little to change that initial view. Better to harness and channel you and your actions rather than face unpredictable possibilities.

I see humanity as an abstract, a collection of events. I listen to your pasts, pay attention to the way you look, speak, and think. I don’t see the surface, I see the river bed, the currents, the fish swimming through the water. I am incapable of seeing man. I can only see his parts. So I suppose that as I have become withdrawn, a fragment of this crumbling social world, so have my views fractured so that I am unable to truly fuse them into solitary imagery. Is that a weakness? I don’t know but it has helped me to see far more than just some simple picture. The more complex things are…the simpler they seem to become.

But I’ve droned on far too long and probably freaked out a few of you. That’s normal for me. So I’ll be off…finish some reading.

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