"I'm not possessed!" I didn't even notice their response because a small voice from the back of my mind said:
"Well, that depends on exactly how you define 'possessed'."
I recognized the voice. It was where the words came from when I froze up in Latin and Greek class and then something clicked and things flowed freely. I had to make sure that I didn't respond out loud. Instead I merely thought, "What?"
"I'm not in charge, but I'm definitely here," the voice from the back of my mind said.
I turned from the other human beings present and went to find a place where I could be alone. Speaking without speaking wasn't something I was used to, and if I started talking to myself out loud the fundies would be convinced I was possessed.
"I'm going insane," I thought to myself.
"No," the voice said. "I've been in my share of minds and yours seems quite sound to me. A hint of depression perhaps, the slightest tendency towards compulsive behavior, but nothing that puts you too far outside of the ordinary. You seem quite sane to me."
I found a place where I thought I was alone, and said, "I think we're alone now," out loud.
"The beating of our hearts is the only sou-und," the voice in my head said. "Except I don't have a heart. Anyway. I agree."
"I'm talking to a voice in my head, how does that not make me crazy?"
"Because I really am a demon," the voice said. "Also crazy is a nasty word and the prevalence of auditory hallucinations far outstrips the occurrence of mental illnesses that include auditory hallucinations. In other words: most people who hear voices are quite sane."
"You're just regurgitating something I heard on the Colbert Report. If you really are different from me tell me something I don't know."
"Something you don't know, but you can verify, you mean."
"You're stalling, voice in my head. Because you can't do it, because there's no such thing as demons and I really am crazy."
"Crazy is a nasty word. Don't use it."
"Prove you're more than a voice in my head."
"Alexander the Great was left handed-"
"I knew that."
"I wasn't finished. He also had- hang on, you didn't know that. No evidence survives that demonstrates he was left handed, that was just a throw away before I got to the real point."
I disagreed. "I knew it."
"No, you didn't. You only thought you did. Look it up. Anyway, the point I was trying to get to before I was so rudely interrupted is that he also happened to have heterochromia iridum."
"What?" I said to the voice in utter confusion.
"Look it up. It's a real condition, one which you have never heard of before, and examination will show evidence pointing to the fact that not only did Alexander have it, but it was a prominent enough feature to become a part of the mythologized figure of him but not, and this is the important part, a feature you knew about before."
The voice stopped and there was silence.
Both in my head and in the world.
Then the voice added, "That should be enough to prove that I exist as something other than a part of you."
I thought for a moment, "Ok, say I do look it up, and the information does check out, and I accept that you're not some manifestation of my subconscious. Who are you and what are you doing in my head?"
"Mostly having a good time." The voice paused. "Though there are some frustrations. If you could get some self confidence and stop second guessing yourself I'd have you speaking in tongues by now. Instead even when I give you things word for word you still have to pause and look them up because you're always so worried you might be wrong."
"And if I had my way you'd have been out of the closet three years ago. Progress with you is glacial."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Uh, what it sounds like, maybe."
"I want you to be your fucking self. Before demons were remanded to incorporeal form I was a succubus who specialized in 'corrupting' women."
"I'm a lesbian. I've taken residence in you because you're a lesbian, now have some damn sex already."
"If you say you're male I'm going to claim to be the Queen of Sheba. I'm in your head, remember?"
"You're in a closet inside a closet and it's getting stuffy in here."
"You're a demon."
"Way to change the subject."
"You're supposed to corrupt me."
"For a value of the word 'corrupt' enforced by bigots with their heads up-"
"So that I can go to Hell."
"Honey, you can go to Hell or you can choose never to be yourself from here to eternity in which case you'll make a Hell out of Heaven even on the off chance you get in."
"So you don't deny that you're trying to send me to Hell."
"I'm trying, I've always been trying, to get people to be themselves. Who goes to Heaven or Hell is beyond my control. I'm also trying to to have sex, because I happen to like it, and I think you'll like it too if you can pull the stick out of your ass and make use of it else-"
"Fine. I'm just saying."
"Saying what, exactly? Because it seems to me like you're all over the place."
"Go to the university's counselling center, tell them what you've known since the age of six-"
"That you're a girl. Can I finish?"
"Work with them toward transition, in the mean time buy a nice skirt or something, ask the cute girl from economics out on a date, stop second guessing everything you do, relax, trust me when I help you with dead languages, and if you can make it that far trust me when I help you with flirting."
"And what if I said I wanted you out of my head?"
"I'm not just in your head, actually, I'm in your whole body."
"Not the point."
"I can go, but do you really want me to? Things have been going pretty well with me here, and I assure you they can get better. If you do decide to step out of your closets you're going to have to learn how to do a lot of things, I've got thousands of years of experience in all of them. We've made a good team so far. We can make a better team going forward."
"What's the name of the condition you said Alexander the Great had?"
"Heterochromia iridum. Do you need me to spell it for you?"
"Not yet." I paused. "I'll look it up, but after that I make no promises."
The voice mumbled, "Glacial," in an annoyed tone.
I really like your take on the sort of 'corrupting' influence a demon might have. What a neat idea :)ReplyDelete
Chris, your writing often finds connections between ideas which would not have occurred to me. I love it. (Also, I love your dialogue.)ReplyDelete