The Beast’s Act

———-Pt. 1: Resolution
Resolutions? I toast the notion with a sneer.
This past year has been tough—I’ve been gnawing at it for a while. The bitter bolus burns as it sinks into my gut. Pain and relief.
I’m chasing it with the creamy delusions of whatever self-assurance I might muster—‘fake it ‘til I make it’ will carry me through this new year. An adage assuming incompetence … I plan to wear my lies gilded with smiles.
They’ve gotten me this far, fears and smiles. A year of Tango has made strangers friendlier. A year of Yoga has chiseled a gem from self-doubt. The ‘me’ of a year ago would be quite impressed.
I’ve been pretty vulnerable, and it’s paid off.
With that vulnerability, I’ve made friends that I’m afraid to disappoint. I’ve assumed a position of privilege that I’m afraid of losing. My career priorities are shifting from the healthy and dull to exciting and precarious.
But what was a community of friends has splintered in micro-entities. My social inhibitions rear their ugly heads in the company of these friends, close but distant. The pains of rejection intensify as my desire for closeness grows.
In the New Year, I’m polishing my armor. I’m headed into a battle and the prospects scare me.
Alone, the monster of my own emotions lurks hungrily. My blade, dulled by the silence of solitude, causes for weakness in my resolve.
With enough ‘fake it ‘till I make it,’ perhaps I can befriend the Beast.
… Or maybe she’ll make a meal of me.

———-Pt. 2: Enter the Beast
Dangerously and beautiful personified, the Beast reflects unto the wearer their fears.
‘Vulnerability’ is her name.
She lovingly lulls her victims to share their deepest fears, their struggles, their triumphs.
The illusion of kinship satiates the Beast.
But one cannot befriend perfection.
Unlike what her name may suggest, she may often not offer the gesture in turn.
Perfect, beautiful, untouchable, she hides deep in a cave of her own making.
In her lair, she remains the holder of secrets to dispose at her whim … secrets that can destroy a person.
The wounds of the Beast etch deep, now. Having danced her dangerous dance, my heart grows heavy, my mind weary.
In an effort to stave off her hunger, I have been spitefully vague in the face of, what I perceive as, unreciprocated vulnerability. I am tempted to approach her once more, though—my tainted valor stained with tears and unpleasant memories.
For now, she slumbers. Should I cross paths with Vulnerability, I must don my lies and smiles until I am once more invited to share in her world.

How long can a person fake his valor before the Truth swallows him whole?

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