“I wrote a book and I will call it something cynical
The story’s slow; the hero does not change
And if he can then he won’t anyway
Instead his foes and lovers all become identical.
I fled the country,
I thought I’d leave this behind
But I built the same damn house
On every acre I could find”
– Typhoon, Dreams of Cannibalism
The Modern Leper has to go. That part of me that was always itching to run away, to hide from his problems and partake in temporary comforts, can’t exist anymore.
I’ve got a lot of problems. Actually, scratch that. I’ve got a shit-ton of problems. Chief among them are my insecurities. When you grow up hating yourself it’s hard to imagine anyone else feeling any differently. Even the people who claim to like you are suspect. You begin to wonder if it’s some big game, if they’re not just playing audience to the latest pity parade. Every awkward silence, every cancelled hangout and every unanswered text fill your mind with dark whispers of inadequacy and doubt.
I used to think I needed The Modern Leper. I thought he saved me from a life of broken, hollow relationships and constant nagging anxiety. He chopped off the sickly bits, amputated all the infected friendships from my life, saving the rest from corruption. I thought that by hopping from relationship to relationship, from friend group to friend group I might eventually shake the sickness. But those relationships were never the problem. I was the problem. The sickness was always in me, and my relationships with those people were simply symptoms of the disease, not the origin. You can’t cure something that’s inside of you by running away from it. You need to face it head-on.
I don’t want to be constantly pining for attention and compliments to reassure myself that I’m wanted. I don’t want to depend on other people for my own sense of self-worth. I need to stop running away from my problems, and for that to happen The Modern Leper needs to die. I don’t know what will remain when he’s gone, hell I don’t even know that I’ll be able to shake him at all. But I need to try.