The Burning Princess
What if I do have a monstrous deformity, one that can’t be seen, one that affects my thinking, my feeling, my perception of reality? Would you correct this deformity that is me? Would I be me without it? Perhaps I am the deformity, an asymmetrical thalamus made for communing with things left undisturbed by proportionately formed minds. What if I choose not to use my deformity to pray for money, health or peace? What if I don’t care whether there is a god greater than me, or if it hears me? What if I am only interested in the quest, in rescuing the princess from her deep slumber in the inky hot depths reeking of sulfur? Not because I have to, not because it would make me good, or better than any other pale ape, but because I heard her call out to me, I heard her say, "Please help me. You are my only hope."
So I run the gauntlet, which looks like a cluttered apartment filled with children and the belongings of a displaced girl and a tangle of electronics; computers, cameras, and cell phones. I make my way through the deadly maze that is blonde hair and blue eyes and acne scarred skin stuffed into tight jeans.
From the outside, from beyond the glass-less window they might look in and say:
"Her life is a waste, look at that dump that she lives in, she has no car and lives off government money. Why won’t she get off her ass and do something, make some money?"
"Mother," I say, "They’re playing our CD on the radio."
"Will you get any money?" she asks.
Money, money, money, and things, that is the measure of worth from that other side of the window. Without it you will suffer. Worse than not having it, is not wanting it more than any thing.
But no, I can see the princess burning down in the flames, hear the crackling of her flesh, the rustling of her shackles.
"Please help me. You’re the only one who hears me crying. Please, please…"
If I am the only deformed creature that can hear her plea, then she is unreal. Yet she is real to me, as real as any other thing, the deformity which I am acerbating causes me to see it that way, so I will have to best the labyrinth, make my way through the pattern forged of hopes, fears, desires, things made in the intense heat by a clumsy smith.
If I run this road, it will change, with every step it is made anew. I can run rabbit run and it will be known to me only as it is coming undone and reconfiguring, like grains of sand lifted by a wind and laid back to rest.
If I am ill made, will you stop me?
Tell me why, if my princess is imaginary, why should you stop me?
What has the world to fear from deformities like me?
What have you to fear from imaginary princesses?
I need more time in the dark, away from the prying light of illuminated minds. I need a dank place to nurse my defective nature into full blown monstrosity. Then see what comes forth from this point of convergence called human, from this crossroads where sacrifice should be made on behalf of shadowy things. One day of sun can be undone. You have witnessed its undoing.