Picture if you will, it's 2019...
If a Dragon Dies in the Forest…
...and there's no one to mourn, will it still make a sound?
It was that kind of morning. I woke with the usual swirl of thoughts, ideas, and contemplations. What stayed with me were the following.
I am a Dragon at my core. That morning though, I realized that I had also been quite the shape-shifter; burying my Dragon-ness to be what others needed/wanted/expected me to be.
I had (so-called) friends who needed me to be the insecure one, the broke one, the ugly one, the slutty one, so they in turn could be the rich one, the cute-desirable one, the good girl.
In my youth, for the family dynamics to flow, I was the workhorse, the “whipping boy” - I felt as if I had to be the heavy lifter in terms of the emotions in that I wasn’t allowed to just break down. I had to stay unbothered by the trials and tribulations while others were allowed to cry, be tired, drained, or just check out of the situation.
The males in my life…hmmmm, this brings us back to a Unicorn analogy I made a long time ago. They may have, at first, been attracted to the Dragon in me, but over time, it became clear that they wanted a Unicorn - a thing of mythical 'beauty' they could parade around, a possession they could be seen with that would elevate their status in the eyes of others. I was regulated to being docile, accepting, accommodating, and the soft place to land when hearts were broken by the Unicorns they chased. My fierceness was an asset only while it kept them protected.
As all of that was circling, an image of me at the beach came into view. I am sitting on a comfortably padded lounger, a large umbrella shading my upper body from the sun. My legs are out so I can tan up - my winter white is showing right now, and it is not a good look. Anyway, one of the males in question calls me to wish me a happy birthday. He asks, “what are you doing?” And my response is, “sitting by the beach having fatal thoughts of suicide, contemplating life and death.” He doesn’t quite know what to make of that and I fill the awkward silence with a monologue I'd since forgotten by the time I sat down to write this - happens quite frequently. I'll be just about to fall asleep or just waking up, and the most brilliant stories, plots, and turns of phrase skip through my mind only to disappear when I sit down to write.
Anywho - the gist of the monologue was, "Although you have, on occasion, asked me how I was, you really didn't care to know for sure. Whenever I responded with something other than fine, your words and actions made it clear that you weren’t interested. You've never been interested or invested in getting to know ME."
And then the vision drifted and I was left with the underlying concept from the beginning of this conversation. If I were to die, of natural causes, or by my own hand, I don’t know that people would miss ME.
The roles I play are easily filled if you go by how quickly I have been discarded / replaced in people's lives throughout my backstory. Especially now as my shape-shifting abilities dwindle. People throughout my life have easily found other things and people to befriend, date, etc. I don’t know of anyone who has enjoyed it and who would miss the quirky parts that are key to who I am at my core.
My writing, my sense of humor (as off as it can be); my eclectic taste in movies, books, and fashion, or my love for fast cars, motorcycles (although I know jack-shit about engines), and travel. Or how about my take on politics, religion, and poetry? My spiritual beliefs…how certain sounds have a clear physical effect on me. My fear of death.
I connect to people whose thoughts, processes, and interests I find provocative and in tune with my core values. It’s these aspects of a person I fall in love with. And ultimately, it’s what I miss when they’re gone. I miss the way they are in the world, not what they did for me…but I don’t get the impression that’s how people have connected with me. It’s more about what I can do for them - mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically.
...Come back for the conclusion next week.
Find the earlier chapters linked below: