I looked right at him. Stared him down.
He had been in my head for weeks. Months. No years. Really, had it been years?
Yes, it had been about 15 years now. Hard to believe he had that power over me. Fifteen fucking years. He had controlled me. Dictated to me. Stole my time.
How in the hell did he do that?
I still had no answers. In a way, he had stolen my youth. I looked him in the eye again. This time, I wasn't budging. He wasn't flinching. It was a true standoff. He seemed to be stronger than me. Much stronger. Almost like he had no heart, no soul. But a brain and a resolve to just keep dominating me.
Why was I putting up with this?
Surely someone, something that had stolen my youth would be someone I could fight back against. At the very least, I could walk away from it. No, it seems I could not. I couldn't go a day without his control over me. Whatever power he had over me, he exerted it at all times. Even when I was not in his presence, he had me. He was in my head.
I could just feel him sucking out my energy, my resolve, as we stared each other down. I got weaker. He seemed to stay the same. Never wavered. That was it. He never changed. He was the constant. If anything, he got stronger, better, faster, as the years passed. I just got deeper into the spiders web. The deeper I went, the stronger his hold got. But he didn't seem to care either way. That was his strength. He wasn't emotional about it. He acted like he didn't care, which made me think it wasn't a big deal that he had stolen my youth.
We just kept staring. This went on all day. We both had extreme resolve. He seemed to be staying strong. I felt a weakening inside me. I had to walk away. Now. I turned, looked away from his stare and began to edge away. He didn't try to hold me there, he just got inside my head, one more time, to make sure I knew he was still the boss. And he was the boss. There was no doubt about that.
"You'll be back."
"No, I wont!"
"Sure you will."
"Why is that?"
"Because I have control of you, I know what you want and I am going to make sure you always want it."
"Well, good for you. But I can walk away."
"No, ... you can't."
"Yes, I can."
"Go ahead then, walk away. Do it!"
"Good, I will. You don't own me. You are delusional."
"Yeah, see how that goes for you."
As I walked away, I knew he was right.
The staring match was over, but he was still staring at me. I knew that, even though he wasn't in front of me anymore. And he knew that I knew. No matter what I did, even though I couldn't see him, he was still staring at me, at the blank air, just waiting for me to come back into position, so we could resume the stare down. so he could win some more.
I knew that. He knew that. We both knew that. I wasn't fooling him and I wasn't fooling myself.
As long as I was away, I knew he was waiting for me to come back. And I knew I would be back. I might as well go back. If I wasn't there, all I could think about is being there.
Might as well just be there anyway.
Fuck, I have lost all hope. All fucking hope.
In my room now. I feel free. But I am not. I am the delusional one. There is no escape. I look in the mirror. I see me. But I also see him, staring back at me. He is in every reflection, every shadow, every image. There is no escape. And he knows he has that power. That is why he can be so arrogant about it. He told me once that I wasn't the only one. He has others. Millions. Now, billions, under his spell. That was his true power. He knew how good he was at it because he controlled so many of us. Many had tried to walk away before, but those of us who came under the spell always learned there was no walking away once he grabbed hold of you. He had become a part of you. That is how he works. He gets inside you, becomes part of you and then, like a cancer, he spreads faster than you can remove any one piece of him. It took me a long while to realize that. He had pervaded me. He does it while he pleases you, so you invite him in. Open the door. Feed him. You offer no resistance, until any resistance is futile anyway.
So, there he sits, waiting, still staring, biding his time, all the while knowing that I am coming back. Knowing that even though I am not there, my mind is there. Preoccupied with him and all he brings. There is simply no escape. I am completely under his spell. I can't ever look in the mirror and see only myself anymore. He has become part of me. And he is the bigger part of me than even I am. I don't even know if this is me speaking anymore. I don't even know who me is anymore. I am him, even though I want to be just me again. Is that even possible? I don't know. He says it isn't, and he is smarter and more powerful than me. Maybe I should just give in and admit defeat.
Yes, that is what I will do, I will just give in.
I barely recall our first meeting. It is still very foggy. That whole time seems very foggy at this point. I remember the wonderment I had. I think he knew he had me at the first moment. He probably got most of us that way. He has something for everyone. He knows what you need. He figures that out, offers it up, hooks you in, then he has got you. Once that happens, there is no walking away. And he is so ever powerful, that there is literally nowhere you can go to get away from him. He covers all corners of the earth. And even when you do get away from him, he is in your mind.
" Had enough?"
"Yeah, be smug about it."
"Well, you have the audacity to think you can just walk away from me?"
"I need to have that. I have to have that hope, If I don't, I can't survive . Let me have that."
"No, you need to give in. Accept it as your fate. Then, and only then, can you have peace and contentment. I am here to stay. I am now the new superpower. Submit to me. You already have anyway."
I try to remember what it was like before him. It seems so foreign now. I remember the guy before him. He had a great hold on me too. He is still around. But he is not the superpower anymore. This guy obliterated him. I am not sure anybody can take this guy down though. He is so fucking powerful. This might be the end of all of us. It certainly feels like the end of me. Can I get me back? I doubt it. Maybe this is me now. I have to accept that. The cancer that is him wont kill me, just remain. But can't be removed. I have to learn to live with it. Accept it. As he says. He is starting to make sense. Of course I will think that way. He speaks for me now. I don't really have a brain, an independent thought. He speaks for me. He thinks for me. He is writing this right now. I better watch what I say, I don't want to make him mad. He is very powerful you know.
You bet I am powerful. And I knew it right away. You have to see this kind of power up close to really understand the significance and majesty of it.
I remember the exact moment I stumbled on to it. I knew right away the power I now had in my hands. It was plain to see for anyone that cared to notice. I noticed. I didn't even know if I wanted it. That is a lot of pressure. Having that kind of control over people. But, I learned how to deal with it.
I just don't care. I am indifferent. Uncaring, unfeeling. Once you don't care, it is very easy to destroy lives. And then you get good at it, and you kind of enjoy it. That never seems to wear off.
And now, when they resist, when they beg, when they plot, trying to find any way to get out from under that superglue grip I have over their entire being, it is an even bigger rush. They don't realize--if they just became indifferent like me--then they would be free. If they stopped caring about the control I have, then I would lose it.
But then, they are so preoccupied with breaking the grip, they hold on to it themselves.
I really don't have to do much. I just get them hooked, like a college kid just trying cocaine once to see what it is like, I have got them. They then give over control. Let me control them without any effort on my part.
The truth is that I don't really have any control. They still have control of it themselves. They just can't be bothered taking responsibility for that.
I am left at a loss. How do I stop this? Can I stop this? I don't know. It doesn't seem that there is anyone else who has figured it out either. I look around. We are all sheep, being herded by his power and control. And he knows it. He has something we have become addicted to. Preoccupied on. He is the foodstuff we need to live another day. It is that essential to us. Or at least we think it is. Is it? I think it is. I don't know. Seems like it is.
Maybe if I just pulled the plug. Took away his power source. Can I do that? I can try. What have I got to lose?
I know full well what I've got to lose. He might decide to never come back when I turn the power back on. He has that control over me. He knows I need him. He has become essential to me. Essential, yet destructive all at the same time.
Nope, pulling the power wont work. I have to change the mindset. My own mindset. I have to get back to that place. That place I was before he came along. When nobody mattered to me more than me. Where I called my own shots. Where I had control over myself. Yes, that is what I have to do. Find that place. Go to that place. That place where he can't get to me. Where he can't stare me down anymore. That place where the me still resides.
"Yeah, I'm back, you said I would be, so you can't possibly be surprised."
"nope, not surprised at all. You all come back. You need me. I know that. That is why I am so arrogant about it."
"Well, maybe I wont be back one time."
"How do you figure that?"
"I think I have found a way out. You can't follow me everywhere."
"Oh yeah, good for you. You might be one of the lucky ones. Might."
"Well, we shall see. I think you know what I am talking about."
"I do. Go for it. I don't need you. For every one of you that might escape, as few as you are, there are millions more that are just waiting to get trapped in the spiders web."
"Yeah, well, that is going to change. When I figure my way out, I am going to show them. Convince them that they have a way out too."
"Are you now? Good for you. You think they will listen?"
"I think so. They are hurting like me. They want..no..they need a way out. They will jump at the chance."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that. Many don't see it like you. They are happy to be sheep. To be controlled. They live off the fix I give them. They want it. They don't want it to end. They never want it to end."
He made some valid points. Do I want this fix to end? I don't know. It is so confusing. I know I want to try. I am afraid of the end result, but I know I don't want to continue on this way. It is a risk I am just going to have to take. I have no clue how this goes, but I am certain I have to go to that place, that place I was before he got his hooks into me. I can't be concerned with the others. Either they follow me, or become his disciples and gang up on me. For now, I journey to the place where hope lies. Where it exists.