Vampiric Tendencies

Hiding in the shadows

One can feel like a vampire out in the desert, sun blazing. It’s cold hiding in the shadows all day, but the unabated sun is hardly bearable for more than a couple of minutes.

I’m used to the constant, thick heat of Southeast Asia at this point. The sun here feels like it’s passing through a magnifying glass.

I planned to stay only a short while but it’s a difficult time to travel. Four-hour flights have turned into twenty-two-hour itineraries.

But are the shadows really that bad?

They’ve served me well in the past, sheltering me from all manners of soul-sucking things. And people. People that would literally bang on my door, day after day, looking for distraction.

I do not wish to be anybody’s distraction. I do not want to perform for anyone. Doing so brings with it far too many negative physiological side effects.

To do the unnatural; to swim upstream — is the alternative really that terrifying? Or am I alone in finding anything but the “alternative” that disastrously unpalatable?

Years ago, I remember reading a then-underground writer’s writings about introversion, and how that after a time of socializing he’d need at least a day or two alone to recover.

I was young, and this was the first time I’d heard anything like this. Naturally, it resonated with me greatly. I felt vindicated: “So that’s what I am.”

My understanding of such things has become much more nuanced since then.

Introversion? Extroversion? Labels like this don’t really help people understand themselves. If anything, they limit people by imposing rules and creating stories. It’s far more effective to examine the cause and effect of such things: what draws a person to them, and what the consequences are.

And so that’s what I’m doing now: recovering. Recovering, and feeling astonished in the face of the after-effects. It’s reminded me of what compelled me to leave the West in the first place. As beautiful as it is.

I sincerely wonder if the people who sermonize platitudes about friends and family are completely oblivious to truly and always being alone, or if it’s simply perpetual denial combined with the desire to appear virtuous.

If I could have my way I’d probably never speak with more than a single person at once for the remainder of my days.

I’ve grown comfortable with my ways. I’m not apologetic, though a force of ego that does not wish to hurt or “sleight” others does remain. This can cause me to react and behave in contradictory ways.

There’s more to it than this of course: personal details I’ll not divulge at this time.

But I miss me. I want to know more about myself, and allow what needs to arise to arise.

These last several months have been oppositional to say the least. I do my best to eliminate all barriers to the best of my ability. Or, at least, to the point I feel is acceptable.

But the domestic undertow is powerful indeed and I must grow more vigilant.

More . . . ruthless.

Because there’s really no need to focus.

No, there’s no need to focus at all.

When everything is eliminated, I just can’t help myself.