Prologue: The Reader
If there's one thing you should know, it's that I am an original work.
I have successfully authored my own individuality, blue-penciling any errors in myself that would have stopped me from becoming the living, breathing manifestation of my own dreams (but this, ladies and gents, is just between you and me). Because the world is peopled with rough drafts and D-list novels, I don't see bodies and faces, but characters and stories. Timeworn cliches, caricatured depth, lackluster dialogue, and indented heartbeats with underwhelming narratives that never break the fourth wall.
People don't dream about whether it's more fun to be a run-off sentence than it is to let periods and commas dictate where expression stops; they're content with being shut inside parentheses and punctuated with, "The End." This kind of typecasting makes everyone everywhere an easy read.
But I can't read her.
"You look beautiful..."
I can't even remove her from the shelf.
"So...! This is what a party looks like."
It's not that she's a closed book; she tries to be that and is working hard at it.
"And what is that amazing smell?"
The problem is that she's a lighthouse with automatic lamp changers, leaving you blind with the afterimage of the smile before. And the thing with the chocolate...
"This is so nice!"
This Mother Theresa has gone through more metamorphoses than a caterpillar, taking turns being warm towards her sister, cold after her touch, timid in the chapel, smug before the ballroom, accessible to her guests, and inaccessible to her suitors. Every twitch in the fingers is contradicted by the control in her voice; the breathy lilt in her speech is contradicted by the sauciness in her sarcasm ― the cackle to her laugh ― the soften of it when she hides her mouth behind her hand.
Every action reveals a new, unexpected layer, each one peeking out from underneath what's supposed to be and revealing what could be before scuttling back into what is...or isn't. She is transmitting so many mixed signals that all I'm getting is static. When her own freedom begins to frighten her, she's back to curling those gloved hands inside her chest, arranging them into a perfect "V" of straight control and regality.
"Thank you, only I don't dance..."
Yet I swore I saw her drumming her fingers against her knuckles just now?
"But my sister does."
This is seriously like trying to read a book in a carriage and getting wagon-sick. Her format isn't totally anchored down by periods and commas, but she's trying hard to stay in between the brackets of her own script.
"I wish it could be like this all the time."
Therefore, she is not a closed book; she's working hard to be that.
"..But it can't..."
The problem is that her pages are flying rapidly, and neither I nor she can hold them down when that window flies open.
"Well, why not, it—"
She glances in my direction with heavy eyes, looking past me and somewhere distant...
I wonder if she blue-pencils her own errors before she faces people, too...?
"i had a dream of a porcelain girl who called herself 'disease,' and when i tried to shatter her it was only killing me..." ~*Intricately-ordinary, "Existentialism and Shoddy Metaphors"