The young man had stood and gazed at the anonymous activity through which he passed without notice. He never saw persons, only mobs; he never heard voices, only noise. Standing on street corners the gap between himself and the oppressive closeness of those bumping into his body was a chasm – un-filled and un-crossable. A recent development, his new-found isolation was born of mortality, a frustration with inevitable doom. A terrifying sense of inescapable finality led him to see only walking corpses, not fellow-travelers.
And so he withdrew. Left with only himself for comradeship he examined his only friend. He ceased seeing the world about himself and looked inward, pondered his own depths. He cast off the weights of what he was supposed to know and to think and to want and searched for what lay within, un-obscured by the exterior world. Amazed, he discovered unknown desires and unfelt passions. He found a love of art and of dance and of writing and of all creative expressions of the self unbridled.
He finally discerned that the space that existed between him and the others was not a chasm but a mirror. The concerns and fears and unease that he had allowed to control his life were extant in all of those around him. And most importantly, they too had passions and desires – hidden and unexpressed and beautiful. He knew that everyone was bound but could free themselves.
And so he destroyed his old self, the self that saw only barriers and traps and voids. He became a new self, expressing what was so long repressed and misunderstood. And he looked for the same, always looking, in those who lived in his shared world.
And when he had killed his old self he was free. He realized that death – killing the self – was metamorphosis, was rebirth, and not a terror. He finally understood. He thought, “Is this dying? Is this all? I can bear this. I can bear this. I can bear this.”
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