The-Might-Have-Been-Man / Guest Post by Yanai Sened

The Demented World – An Aside – The Might Have Been Man

I sit for far too long, reiterating over things I should do, or say, or should have done or said but don’t or didn’t, because I cannot assume that they will be taken like they are meant.

I like to imagine this process as grinding them into a fine powder, one which I will mix with water from my tears and mold with experiences of hardship into the shape of a man I might have been. Then I will bake it in the oven of my gut with the heat of a blush, and cool it in a refrigerator of my cold feet, set somewhere between the temperatures of doubt and regret till out will emerge the might-have-been me.

And then we’ll have a chat at the bar down at broken hearts hotel, cause I wonder to myself how many has he broken, and how many times has his been broken. Is he a passer-by here or a well known guest. Perhaps he is the entertainment.

And he tells me his story, and he’s had a wild ride, with bumps of anger and frustration down a dramatic curved slope. And he got to places, and experienced things that I envy.

And the night dissolves into the mundane notion of another-place-I-have-to-be-at, and he turns back to dough, back to meal, back to things that never were. And I am reminded that he is nothing, he is fantasy, there’s no him. And I am none the wiser.

“And I am none the wiser”. Indeed. Yanai is a very good friend of mine and this post of his was just too…demented for me not to post it. Enjoy. Here’s his blog:

Here is my response:

I’ve been summoned again, by the clay-maker. He chooses to meet me in this rundown bar where he can view what he wishes of me, only the parts he would pine over or caress. It’s been years now, ever since I have been truly self aware, that in the middle of the day (what is for him the deepest night ,or so he assures me) he summons me, to sit and talk with a glazed look in his eyes, peering into my heart. He says that they beat at the same time, only I have used its tempo to dance different songs than him. I am his other, the things he could have been or done. Do I believe him? I am not sure, for at the end of the day, he does look like me and his power is unquestioned. After all, he summons me.

The thing is, the truly nagging notion at the bottom of this occurrence, is that I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t with him. Oh sure, I can remember the missed boat from London that should have brought me to the floating coding party at that secret technology firm but what happened at the end of that night? Did I meet a woman, I seem to remember that I did, but what was her name? When I try to focus, all I can see is him, all I can hear are his unceasing questions. I begin to worry, do I exist at all? Am I the clay the clay-maker works with and if so, what happens when his eye turns away? I shudder at the only imagery that is possible for me right now: I am nestled in his heart, allowed to sometimes roam and wonder half baked plains of a so called existence.

Again, that bar, that look. Again the words speak themselves and I tell him about all the things I’ve done differently. I am convinced now that none of them happened. I am only potential, only possibility. I have no scars, that’s the true problem. I have the semblance of scars but none of them have ever hurt. There’s a tingling running up my legs now, a feeling I can only recall. I look down and see my legs start to fade away, into a formless goo. Time to leave. I look up at the clay-maker. He is in the throes of self denial, grasped by the firm hand of nostalgia and regret. This is the true pain of it, for the feeling is giving me new clarity, insight into all we both are and can still be. I open my mouth to speak, to give him some of this knowledge, but my mouth is filled with the salty mix that I am made of. He is none the wiser, I am non the realer.

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