For him, the one that flaunts his darkness, courts his anguish, and revels in his debauchery, along with being a complete arrogant, know-it-all, is one of the finest artists and intellects I have ever known.  I admire and respect him for his gifts and empathize with him his demons.

Relationships have always been cages for me. Some cages were nice, some shabby. Some have even been fun for a time. Others provided what appeared to be safe havens. They all, however, inhibited and chafed ultimately. This applies to all relationships . . . acquaintance, job, friendship, family, lust, love, sometimes even my relationship with myself (otherwise known as life).

The moment contact commences; the cage starts taking shape. First the walls materialize setting the parameters on who I am allowed to be within the confines of the association . . . acquaintance, novice, companion, mentor, guardian, partner, lover, whore, adversary, stranger . . . one-dimensional pieces of my essence nurtured at the expense of my collective whole.

The ceiling appears and the potential for something more innovative ends, curtailing any opportunity for progression or variation. Now the relationship has been defined. It is camaraderie, fascination, infatuation, sexual encounter, obsession, rivalry, rejection, abhorrence, yet in the end always nothing. Amoebic entities that singly are unable to sustain the evolution of my individuality.

This also signifies the last opportunity for escape and I must soon beat a hasty retreat. I do not wait for the door to form slamming shut to stifle my spirit and smother my soul. I no longer abide that. I have suffered past cages and this feral heart can not survive a return trip . . . never by choice . . . never without a fight.

This is why I am alone. I fear the cage so much more than the dark loneliness I wrap myself in. I find my solace in random connections made briefly and broken before the fear can find me. I measure my relationships in weeks, even days. I strive to perfect my emotional unavailability. Each new encounter strengthens my resolve. If no one ever gains access to my inner self, I can never again be controlled. My singularity is my armor, my shield against the manipulation of my conformance to another’s paradigm.

It is freedom and liberation. It is selfish and arrogant. I fully acknowledge that to live a life based on using and discarding others without thought to the impact on their egos is wrong and I am maxing out my karmic credit card. Still, it keeps my fears at bay. It allows me the affectation of humanity without the cost of endless emotional trauma. What do I care for their distress? Let them learn their own lessons . . . at least, those that are awake and alive enough to realize it is a myth that relationships enrich us.

It is the lie the masses swallow, but I perceive the charade. Life’s pain has given me insight and I am strong enough to open my eyes, to see past the facade. I hold to my vision and the intensity of my character supports me. I opted out of the dream . . . love, the cosmic joke. I see the superficial superiority of those that look down on my pursuits and that which gratifies me; the wretchedness of the happy little clones trapped in the ruts of their sad little lives; the delusion of the spiritually enhanced crying out to gods that do not exist.

Then one day there you were. The affinity was so strong from the first moments, my fear was immediate. I tried repeatedly to runaway, but destiny and some strange attraction kept drawing me back. The wraith in you called to the chimera in me. It seemed this was not our first time together. It seemed you shared my secret. It seemed you understood the duplicity. It seemed you could see inside me.

Things you said made me think there was a chance that in the universe there was one that could see past the fiction to the reality of me . . . would not condemn my choices, my deceptions . . . accept me without changes . . . had no need to cage me. What music it was to me when you said you did not wish to “label” me, as that would limit me. You knew, but you would not see. You felt it, but you could not accept it.

I quietly watched and waited. I hid under the soft, fluffy veneer that has always deceived others and conceals my true nature from the world. I pushed the pretty effigy forward and held back the dark bitch. At times, I believe you sensed what lay beneath. Was that not the true attraction for you? Did the pretense not confuse you?

We are so much more alike than different. Alas, you chose the muted version, the milquetoast princess. Never questioning how the rendering presented so easily understood you. You, who flaunts his darkness, courts his anguish, revels in his debauchery, would not put together that it truly takes one to know one. How is it that your soul missed its mate mirrored in my eyes? Or did you see it and you too were afraid?

Now the opportunity is past. It is too late. You chose the path that all before have gone down. You have become just another random connection discarded in too short a time. I no longer want you. I am complete within myself and you will not have me . . . you will not know me . . . you will not touch me . . . you will not cage me.

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