Consist of the subject matter of stalking.
We’re all trying to leave a mark. You never know when you’re going to die and you’d like to have nudged the world a little before that happens. The thing is: there in no instructional manual for making that happen. Religion tries. There’s an old Jesus People line about the Bible being “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. But mostly outside of those large frameworks we are left to find our own way.
Some folks will simply set off in a direction to do the thing that they want to do. They have a spark within them that propels them toward a goal or a thing they want to achieve or make. The rest of us, we follow behind those leaders that make or achieve things we enjoy and we mimic them like younger siblings trying things on. We perform what we believe they are doing without their understanding of why and without that spark of original drive that pushes them to create in the first place. We follow because we want to feel about ourselves the way we feel about them. We believe that if we make something like they make that we will make the sort of mark they do. But that sort of secondary making is only ever wearing someone else’s clothing, wearing a mask in imitation. There’s always a gap in that imitation and we can feel that gap in people and in the things they make.
The line that forms the subject of this post is the sort of sign post we see when that happens. It’s a stab at heightened language, it’s a stab at a content warning, it’s a stab at wanting to tantalize with dread… but it doesn’t achieve any of those things. Instead it feels like a younger sibling under a sheet talking about how scary they are but lacking the self-awareness to understand that they aren’t or why they aren’t.
After I stopped laughing at the preening self-seriousness, I got pretty sad. This is a person who will never achieve what they want to while having a complete understanding of what is possible. That’s artistic lock-in. Being trapped in your body and knowing that it will never do what you need to. That’s the nightmare. Not just that my art will be bad. Not just that I will never really matter in my field, that I will never move the needle at all.
I have long moved in circles above my station. I talk a big game and end up in rooms I haven’t earned my way into. The night voices whisper that they’re all mocking me when I leave the room. That my little brother act is as obvious to them as this poor maker’s rough draft outline of an ARG is to those who’ve stumbled across it. I want to try, I want to risk, I don’t wanna walk I’d rather swing and miss… but this is the risk… that you get it this wrong in front of everyone.