A few years ago I invented a machine that enabled me to instantly and accurately express my true, inner, nature as it changed from moment to moment. Through it I could beam out, without doubt or delay, a spectroscopic light show of what was happening in my heart, in all its infinitesimal subtlety and continental variety and pounding, bass-drum yawp.
But because my new invention was so faithful to my fears and desires, I held back from using it. In displaying my feelings so truthfully it completely exposed me. I was horrified and ashamed to discover that violent cravings, cowardly fears, bizarre causeless anxiety and much else wretched and abominable resided in me – and was being broadcast to the world. Not all the time of course, but with this extraordinary tool even a momentary flash of anxiety revealed itself to be shamefully ugly; in a way, moreover, that I couldn’t hide from or excuse. Much safer to put it away. Leave it be.
But in recent years, my life has improved. I don’t mean outwardly; nothing much has happened there. Rather I’ve realised that the insecurities, worries and wants I’d spent so many years trying to deal with just aren’t here any more. I no longer miss opportunities through vague tension and needling at something or greedy to get somewhere, afraid to enter the room and afraid to leave it. I’m not the Buddha, but somehow, in my bones, I am at home in the terrible and fascinating world, it feels, yet not attached to it.
And so I went to where I had stored my earlier work and got it out again. It seemed the time had come to put it to use – it seemed that I didn’t have anything to hide any more, or at least, if I do, that it’s okay to let that out too; I mean to take the risk, because trying to stop the bad coming out suppresses the good too. Better to cop the lot.
I have therefore started to use my incredible machine again, to broadcast the strange and lovely sensations and intimations and stupid squeezes and gaffs and big-legged gestures, that pass through me, to share with the world the vim and shunder that I am daily – hourly – host to.
I’ve also decided to give my machine a name. I call it my face.
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