The Real Thing

The Real Thing

You bury her.

Down there, in the box, the darkness that you love so much but are wary to let free. She’s wild down there—the darkness. Wild in a way that feeds you strength, wild in a way that is intoxicating. The darkness is seductive and your favorite part of yourself and also destructive to the world you’ve worked so fucking hard to build. So she stays in the box.

Until she lets herself out.

And sometimes she takes you to a teashop in South Korea. You step out of the airport and onto the subway alone—awash in a language and culture you don’t understand but revel in and feel so blanketed by. And you are reminded of the goodness of people in the world.

Sometimes she takes you to mountaintops—the highest in the whole United States—at dawn. She hikes with you up to the summit in the pitch black, the world above strewn with stars, diamond-white and clear, and the world around you so quiet, so complete. All that exists are footsteps and breath and the knowledge that you are ferocious and strong and goddamn the world is a beautiful place.

But sometimes she isn’t so nice. You go out with your friends and she buys shots because of course she does and you end up sick in the alley. I’m too old for this shit, you say. She laughs, but not with you.

Sometimes she gets in your head, twisting your thoughts, leaving you exhausted and alone in your apartment and on the couch and fuck isn’t there more than this anything more than this? You are so tired. So alone.

And sometimes it’s just so fucking hard to care.

But ultimately, she picks you back up again. The darkness looks at you, cold, brutal, honest, and says, you are better than this. You are made for more than this.

And you stand. Re-ignited. Re-forged. A phoenix, you rise from the smoking ashes of your own destructive habits.

You buy a bike and you start a company and you earn your MBA and you put her back in the box – locked deep within – an iron core of strength that you rely on and cling to and crack open when you need a hit of… something.

Or until she lets herself out again.

I am darkness.
I am light.
My own enemy.
My best hope.

The real fucking thing.

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