This was the time I studied under a bigoted professor, withstood harassment, stood up to racial slurs, received unjustified grades, re-entered myself into a mental hospital and came to a conclusion that it is always easier to be brave for other people.
(I hasten to add that this happened a year or two ago; I only write about it now because I am able to be objective enough to not start crying about it.)
I am seven years old and unsightly: overflowing cheeks and burnt skin from being made to swim everyday. Dad wants me to be a boy. He makes me dress like one, act like one, eat like one and live like one. I am stout and silent from abuse, obedient yet frustrated. I participate in outdoor activities I do not care about.
This is the world I live in.
Dresses and cute things are not for me. They are wrong and I will get scolded for liking them.
“You are ugly,” Mother tells me. “You will never amount to anything.”
I want to go out and play. My mother hits me for wanting this.
She calls me a brat, a perverted girl who will one day grow up to be a whore. She kicks me in the ribs and stomps on my back when I tell her I cannot find my Nintendo.
My dad hits me on my thigh. He just got home from work. He enters the bathroom where I am and hit me after I said something that made him angry. Hot tears fall down my cheeks, and I feel pathetic and dirty. I sit on the toilet half naked.
It is morning and the house maid is braiding my hair. I am clean and content and fat. I am eating a packet of Oreos. Some of the crumbs get on my shirt. I try to wipe them off but my fingers are dirty.
The black crumbs get smudged on the cotton.
My mother catches me. She stalks towards me and screams, “You fucking pig. You filthy dirty brat. What are you doing?”
I meet her eyes. My mother snatches the packet of Oreos out of my hand and slaps me hard across the face. She hits me again on my arm, and again on my thigh. She drags me out of the chair and throws me onto the floor. She brings out a long wooden ruler and sits down on the sofa in front of me.
“Get up, you wretch,” she says and prods me with the ruler.
I get up.
“Strip,” she says.
I cry and take off my clothes. I am standing in front of the house. The door is open and the neighbours are watching.
“Why did you wipe the crumbs on your shirt?” she says.
“It was dirty so I tried to clean it,” I say.
“You brat! Of course it’s dirty. You wiped your filthy hands on it! I am not giving you clothes again. I will make you stay naked, you fat fuck.”
I sob. I am fat and ugly and naked. I want to die.
“I was wiping my shirt because it was dirty,” I cry.
My mother smacks the ruler on the tiles, and I jump at the sound. My skin crawls.
“Why did you wipe it on your shirt?” she says.
I fumble for words and choke. My mother isn’t listening. No matter how many times I try to explain, she doesn’t want to hear the truth. I cry harder and louder because I cannot reason with someone whose only goal is to humiliate her own daughter. I am ugly and hated. I am standing in front of the house naked, and my mother makes sure I know that I am disgusting.
President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates.
The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.
Caw hurls the 143rd corpse onto the platform, his face contorting in disgust. His hands are all slippery, reeking of human stench. He cannot, for the love of his future, understand why he’s picked to intern for a lowly Mortician when, taking Caw’s rank into account, he could have chosen any prestigious job. Instead here he is, hauling corpses after corpses onto the Body Dock, before the waves manage to wash them up on Bone Beach and scare the sunlight out of the tourists.
Where do these dead humans come from anyway?
It isn’t until he takes off his hat and calls it a day (night, whatever) that he notices a barrel bobbing in the middle of the black ocean. The Mortician never told him about floating barrels, and for the three months Caw had been labouring his haughty arse, a barrel is the last thing he expects to see.
The moment Liam falls into Neverearth, the Mirths take him in. Berndt Mirth, a brother only in title, tells him that his attempts to return to his past life is more trouble than they are worth. And he would be lying to say he hasn’t once thought the same, back in Dolemrok, when he had been upset and alone with a dying mother, three siblings and an estate to look over. He had been barely of age when father abandoned him to serve the country. He couldn’t understand it then.
A compilation of well-known fictional characters I have so far typed, ranging from English books to Japanese comics. This is the most reliable list, if I say so myself! Laughs. Even so, these are open to changes. Continue reading…
I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education. I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I’d become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.
I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn’t, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.
Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago.
Liam is well liked everywhere in Neverearth not because of his achievements but in spite of it.
Liam is perfect, it is all he knows how to be, and if there is despair behind it that is his business. Liam notices that his kindness intimidates some of his classmates, so he responds, moulding himself automatically to present the type of perfection they prefer. He modulates his speeches and actions accordingly, and after a while they forget that his eagerness to throw himself in the path of danger used to frighten them, that his curiosity had once been the talk of the school.
He is just like them now, if not always a little above, and he feels himself slipping into the role with despair. It is nothing, really, just as his life is nothing.
He is still as capable as he ever was, spotting the tiniest of inconsistencies and following them, leaping across the landscape of suicidal impulse, but he slows his thoughts, picks his words with meticulous care and is careful in how he presents himself. Hard work, devotion and dedication, not the fact that he simply is willing to die, is the reason he rises above them.
Liam Mirth will go far, they say, and Liam knows it also and does not care. Liam knows that if he just has the right tools he could leave this world, never mind being the greatest wizard, and all his achievements mean nothing with this knowledge.
He knows there has to be a way out, that there must be something else to strive for, but he gave up a long time ago, perhaps even before he fell into Neverearth — what does it matter? He might be broken inside but his veneer is perfect.
Here I was, once again, looking into MBTI and coming across an interesting thread on the internet. What is new?
It is pretty amusing that the users were trying to describe each type with only one word. I applaud their brevity and of course they’ve got to be doing this on an INTJ forum. Conciseness and INTJ do walk hand-in-hand after all.
I am an INFx so I wouldn’t know anything about that. Or, I try to but my indulgence with proses seem to get in the way. Maybe I could ask an INTJ to mentor me to be as profound as they are. I have just got to find one who won’t emotionally wound me too much.