What do you fear most? Heights? Spiders? Snakes? All the usual fears.
Me? I have something called Cherophobia, do you know what that means? It means I fear happiness. Oh you better believe it, I properly fucking fear those smiles stitched on your faces. The pivotal word there being stitch! You’re not happy to just stitch yourselves up, no you try to stitch me up too. You’re all walking around in a masquerade ball I evidently wasn’t invited to. I want to rip your masks off and reveal the true darkness within, the raging sadness that treads on your soul. Because deep down you know you’re just like me, a syringe of air and bubbles and when you sigh, like me, it’s simply the bubbles and air releasing from the pressure and then you breathe in and more bubbles and air consume your organs. I consumed my own lungs, I’m almost dead. The air isn’t weightless, it’s got a heavy mass to it, people describe depression sometimes as being empty, this is what that emptiness is, it’s empty but it’s heavy. Its air and bubbles, it’s dinosaur piss.
It’s the food we consume; it’s the air we breathe. I’ve felt this since I can remember, how could I not fear happiness? It is the unknown to me.
Like with most fears, I probably fear something that is nothing. As in happiness doesn’t exist in the first place, a manifestation of a prolonged childhood nightmare
In masquerade ball terms I stand bare before you, naked in all my splendour as you gaze upon the darkness. And I believe that you see your own reflection in my darkness, that you gaze upon him or her and then you look away. I fear you. You fear me. I remember as kid tiny glimpses, a butterflies wing worth of a glimpse into something that could be labelled happiness, joy, but I found it to be only veils and walls of lies. It lasted for a moment, with the click of the fingers it’s GONE! The wall tumbles under the weight of its own pressure and the veils are flung open by the wind and you see the darkness, the tears, the blood, the dirt, the consuming of one another.
And I’m lost in a sea of dancing bodies, each move they make is lit up in a different colour as the lights flash manically and I feel like I’m stood in the middle of a mass exorcism. I begin to wonder if I’m stood in the middle of a cult, disguised as individuality. My knuckles are sore and my eyes are bloodshot. The hood still shrouding my head and my eyes are puffed up from tears I couldn’t cry. A woman smiles at me with a green face and then winks with a purple face and then she’s wriggling her way around me, I brush past her and she looks genuinely disgusted that I didn’t pay her any attention. I stand outside the club, the music blaring even outside and I stand under the pink neon sign and light a cigarette. A bouncer looks over to me, in that way they always do where they suspect everyone, especially men like me. I blow smoke out through my mouth and imagine myself as a bull stood in the middle of a ring exhaling morning air through my nostrils and my front leg kicking up a sand storm underneath me, shrouding me for a moment from the crowd before a red flag waves before me and I charge. “What you lookin at?” I jut my chin forwards at him
“A mess” the bouncer replies with a sly smile
“Don’t look in mirrors for too long” I reply
He has his big tattooed arms folded over his chest and he laughs but doesn’t say anything else.
The night is through; no one wants a fight no one wants to fuck. I don’t want to fuck either. I think I might just go home, switch all the lights off and look at the walls, if I stare long enough I can spook myself out and for an hour or two I’ll be running on adrenalin and I’ll have a reason to thrive again.