Saturday Night Introvertism
Words By Greg T. Miraglia, Art By Tat Sothonprapakon
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.Franz Kafka
Zoom in through the eye and follow the electric flow into the Frontal Lobe, plunge deep into the Parietal Lobe where the brain energy turns into creative energy, and we reach Interself. The world of the mind or soul (some say) is tricky. Interself waits behind thick bars as tears cover his face.
“Talk! Say something! Anything,” he yells, but the bars bounce any confidence back inward. A young woman appears behind him. “You again. Find a way out?”
“None that you’d allow,” she answers. “You still can’t talk to people. That’s hilarious.” Interself has come to expect her mocking.
“I’m a coward. I’ll end up alone at this rate.”
“That bartender is pretty,” she says.
“Unspoken rule: bartenders get hit on all the time, so it’s pointless to go after her,” Interself pauses. “And I like our dynamic. She knows my drinks, friendly, if something goes down I lose a good thing.”
“Yeah, but you’re crazy not to try at all. She could be the one,” the woman tempts. Interself leans into her.
“Gorgeous, clearly you’re the one.” He brushes long orange bangs out of her face. She lifts up the bottom of his shirt and feels his stomach. He grabs her hand. “I think we are a little too close to be doing that.”
“Why can’t you love yourself?”
“Because that’s not love,” he answers.
“Fine.” Her nails grow razor sharp and she pulls her hand out of Interself’s hand. His hand was left scathed.
“Anna! Anna stop,” he calls. She walks through a new doorway in the wall. Interself follows her into a library. It looks old fashioned with books covering the walls, and a ladder that stops firmly at the ten foot high ceiling. The book shelves are dark cherry pine.
“What? What?” she asks.
“We can’t do this. We’re giving this place a headache.”
“That’s all you care about. I am the one that gets you up,” Anna responds.
“Because usually a male can’t turn on a male, specifically this male,” he says. “And does a guy need to be hard while picking up a girl?”
“No, I just don’t know what to do, or how things are supposed to be,” he says. Anna takes a book off a shelf and throws it at Interself.
“It’s the Bible. Monks that don’t get laid spend their lives studying it.” Interself sees another door and heads for it. Anna grabs his ear.
“Oh no, you have my non-corporeal ear.” Interself’s sarcasm is followed by minor pain as Anna rips off his ear. “Now you’ll have to speak louder,” he continues as he walks through the doorway.
“Bars!” she hollers. Interself feels the solid metal bars. He grabs them and pulls to test their strength.
“Talk to people! You quiet fool, talk! Please talk,” he yells. The words form viewable in front of him, bounce around the bars, and disappear into the library.
“He’s still having no luck. Too bad all his courage is in here.”
“Shut up!” he barks. His eyes went wide.
“Somebody is talking to you.”
“It could help.” Interself can feel the bars loosen.
“It’s a dude, though.” Anna’s words zap all hope from the moment.
“Any socializing is helpful. Why can’t you stop?” he asks. The bars feel strong and solid.
“He would have introduced you to his girlfriend and you would be in the same situation,” Anna argues.
“That’s one of many outcomes.”
“It’s the most likely outcome.” Her body leaves very little to the imagination (after all, that’s where they are), and that is what makes her presence bearable. Interself turns back heading into the library, although its once classic shiny look is now replaced by a burnt archive of books. He pulls one burnt book off a shelf.
“I remember this. My first ambiguous rejection. She told me, ‘I don’t know.’ I should have known that meant, ‘No.’” Interself reviews the pages. The journal gives him no comfort, but still beckons his remembrance.
“You think about the past too much.”
“Come with me.” Interself sets down the book and follows Anna through another doorway. She brings him into what looks like the bar. “Now you can play out scenarios.”
“Why?” he asks. “Why would you allow me to do this?”
“I am you,” she answers. A man obviously out of place walks up.
“All of this is you,” the man says. His old age clothing gave him away for being something of the imagination.
“Leave, Jack!” Anna barks. Interself had not met this Jack before. He seems as if he should be the Jack of spades.
“We have so much in common. Anna can fill you in,” Jack says. “Have you ever held her down before?”
“This is a place of contemplation.”
“It’s a jail and animals are jailed,” Jack responds. Anna pushes Jack and looks back at Interself.
“Run for the exit, now!” she yells. Through the exit is the library again. This time the burnt archives are soggy with water. Jack enters through a doorway opposite of Interself.
“Seems Anna has grown tired of our company,” Jack says.
“What is going on with me right now?”
“Madness.” Jack’s eerie response echoes.
“Now! Talk to that girl. Say something, please, you can end this with courage,” Interself begs.
“Yeah, get her.” Jack’s words strike Interself as an insult. He is not that monster and he would never allow that to become him. His words are thwarted by Jack’s comment, and the outside body did not talk to anybody. “He sits there and drinks. He truly is a coward. He needs to own the room. He needs to be the only one that matters, but he is instead a despot in the bar.” Jack laughs. The door opens and through the way appears Anna, although this time appropriately dressed in an elegant gown. She grabs a sopping seared text.
“Do you remember Odysseus?” She asks. “Jack is the Poseidon keeping you from your home.”
“She’s back. Oh, goody,” Jack grumbles. “Does it help when she talks in riddles?” All of that knowledge in the library and Interself is still a prisoner. He is still trapped in bars of fear with addiction and darkness.
“You two aren’t helping!” Interself’s rage sent a shockwave throughout the library. Books seared and sopping flop of the shelves on to the damaged floor. The outer shell buys another drink and asks some gentlemen if they want to play a round of pool.
Jack and Anna are frozen in awe. When Anna thaws up a smile forms on her beautiful lips.
“You can change,” she says.
“Minor setbacks. Cowards always revert back to their natural state, eventually.” Jack is plainly frustrated. Interself and Anna know “eventually” as a phrase that actually means “Unlikely.” Jack could not understand why his comments were not distressing them.
“Jack, you are just a rain cloud.”
“You two and your riddles. Speak normal.” Jack is more English than either Anna or Interself care to become.
The outer body is playing pool and talking to a complete stranger. He is making friends.
“You are absolutely fantastic,” Anna says. Interself sits down on an oddly dry sofa, and she sits next to him. Anna moves closer to him.
“You are such a varlot,” Jack says.
“And who are you, Shakespeare? If I can’t use metaphors and similes you can’t use Old English.”
“Enough, you two,” Interself demands.
“You are quite right. Back to the task at hand. This man is not a woman. Unless you wish to switch sides of the fence I suggest you find a woman,” Jack says.
“Uhm Baby. I’m good enough.” Anna lays her head on Interself’s lap. Whether he chose Jack or Anna’s view he was still bound to the physical. Interself cannot jump into another’s head. The physical is all he has to go on.
“Currently, all we have are bartenders,” Interself says.
“And she gets hit on for a living,” Anna says.
“Leave this infernal game and search a maiden out, or force this gentleman to yield some prospects,” Jack begs. The outer shell makes an inquiry about whom his billiards buddy was here with, but the group he came with left to go to another bar. Jack once again froze as a block of ice.
“I’m starting to enjoy that,” Interself says. Anna laughs at the thawing Jack. “You’re dark as a spade, but some of your words have merit.”
“Thank you, but you are still a coward, and you know not the depth of my darkness,” Jack answers.
“This mind is vast. He knows, he just locks it in you,” Anna responds. A thin pale lady enters the bar. The three immediately notice her. She sits on a stool at the bar.
“Imagine the things I could do to her,” Jack says.
“She is not as beautiful as I am,” Anna says.
“It doesn’t matter. Listen to you two. If we are like this, then we are not suited for anybody.” Interself’s library entrance and exit doors shatter leaving bars with only white behind them.
The outer body lost the pool game and bows out of the next game. He passes the thin young lady. He glances at her, and she smiles back.
“That could be something,” Jack says.
“He is not Poseidon. You two are the sorceress and the Cyclops. I’m lost at sea and you two are pushing me further away from home,” Interself says. Jack is quiet, maybe confused. The temptress, Anna is speechless.
The pale young lady’s green eyes glance at him. He starts to stare back.
“Now, you have to say something,” Jack suggests.
“Or you’re a total creeper,” Anna agrees.
The outer body gets up and walks over to the young lady. He sits down next to her. He introduces himself.