Under the Top Hat

Pull up a chair and pour yourself some tea; we have much to discuss. You see, I have had you all fooled; I am not who you think I am.

My mind is splintered, broken far beyond repair…yet…my madness is both my weakness and my strength.

On the surface, I say nothing; within, a cacophony of voices ring out, all clamoring for my attention. Thousands upon thousands of fractured souls, all bound up within my own; voices yearning, desperate to find a listening ear. They call to me, at all hours of the day and night. They make it hard for me to pay attention, difficult to keep my focus. They distract my days and they arrest my dreams, forcing me to listen to them even while I sleep. They wake me often, driving me to write down the things they say as I come rocketing out of a dream and back into what I am told is the real world.

They torture me, shredding my mind and pulling my attention in a million different directions at once. And yet…

I put them all to the page, one by one, planting them all in their proper places. I assault the keys, arranging letters and scribbles on the screen until each of them is given a home outside my head.

And what does this make me; who does this make me? My ego says I am the architect, the creator, the Weaver of Dreams, the ALPHA AND THE OMEGA! But…no, I am nothing. I am simply a scribe, carefully putting to the parchment the words of those who occupy my mind.

I have never had an original thought; they have all been handed to me by one of my visitors. My imaginary friends tell me things; they tell me fantastic stories, and I feel the unquenchable desire to share their adventures. The things they do and the places they go, they are things worth hearing about…or at least I like to think so.

I do not live in this world. I am never here; my body is present, but my mind is rarely resting in reality for very long. Often I find myself spirited away by these gripping tales, my eyes glazed over, open and yet blind to what is around me. I live in places where dragons breathe fire, gods wage wars in the skies, and someone is always unexpectedly caught up in the storm.

I am these voices. I am the most evil of men, hell-bent on crushing all living beings under my boots. I am the bravest of heroes, facing the darkness with nothing but a blade and my wits. I am the people passing by, in one scene and gone the next. I am the story. Bound up in every dot and tittle I write is a piece of me; the words might as well be written in my own blood. Each voice, every character, is a small part of me, each one a little shard of me. When gathered together, we are a right mess, a terrible sight to behold. However, we are more than the sum of our parts…that is what we would like to believe, anyway.

I am broken, I am fractured, and I am many. Without these words, without this medium of expression, I am a disaster. With pen in hand, however, I am whatever I choose to be.

I like it this way. It is never boring inside my skull.

You may see a man who is, for the most part, holding himself together. You are utterly mistaken. You may see a man whose mind is powered by the sparks of insanity. You have not the foggiest idea how far down the rabbit hole I reside. I am off the map, wandering uncharted territory, in places unknown yet somehow familiar.

The fact of the matter is, the madness within is barely contained under the brim of this big top hat; you simply have not realized it yet.

 

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