Friday, December 3, 2021

Microstory 1770: Net Loss

I’ve always been a terrible person, who treats others poorly, and only looks out for himself. I don’t like that about myself, but no one understands how hard it is to change. I keep trying to do better, but when I think of something nice to say, it gets stuck inside my head, while a bunch of malice comes out instead. One of my therapists and I worked out the metaphor. There’s a golden net on the top of my throat. It catches all the pretty things that people want to hear, and what I wish I could say to them. These pleasantries are larger, as they should be, but it means that they can’t escape. The smaller, meaner, bits of darkness can slip out easily. After deciding to look at it this way, we began to work on ways to make me easier to work with. Before I respond to someone about something, I’m meant to force myself to smile. This apparently should stretch out the golden net so much that it breaks, and lets out all the goodness I supposedly have inside me. Well, I’ve never been able to break it, but the stretching helps a little. It opens up the holes just a little more, allowing some of the smaller pretty words to get out sometimes. It’s not enough for the Catholic church to canonize me as a saint, but I guess I would call it a start. Sadly, that’s not my only problem anyway. My biggest issue is how I behave, not just what I say to people. Sociopaths and psychopaths say charming things all the time, but if they still act selfishly, or even hurt people, it’s not really good, is it? Altering my instincts to stop just taking what I want without regard to others is going to be the biggest thing I’ve ever tried, and I don’t think I can do it alone. So here I am at this spa, upon the recommendation of one of my therapist’s other patients. They can reportedly turn anyone into a nice person. I feel like I’ve seen this movie before.

I sit on the table in the exam room. The woman who ushered me in here ordered me to remove my clothes. She took them all with her, and never provided a gown. I thought maybe it was an oversight, but when the...I guess, doctor comes in, she’s not fazed, so I guess this is how it goes. She looks me over from the door, quite clinically; not sexually, nor critically. She reaches up, and turns a dial on her glasses, like she’s seeing me through multiple filtered lenses. Once she’s satisfied with her readings, she steps over to a computer terminal on the wall, and begins to input the data. I don’t say a word. She’s the one leading this hoedown, so I wait for her. When she’s finished, she walks back over to the door with a clicker, which she uses to retract the floor. I try not to freak out, but I’m rather confident that the exam table is safe. It stops short of it, like I figured, but I’m stuck up here. It’s a surprisingly large room. There’s no way I would be able to make the jump. The maybe-doctor gives me a choice. I can wait 30 seconds, and walk out of here on the floor with a full refund, or I can take a literal leap of faith, and fix my life. With no context, she leaves. I peer over the edge, and see a beautiful glow emanating from below. My eyes adjust and I realize it’s a net. It’s a golden net. Am I dreaming? Am I just living in the metaphor? This can’t be real, it doesn’t look real. So I jump. I jump belly first. My body lands in the net, and it gives just enough to keep it from hurting. I bounce a little before it returns to equilibrium, and then I’m just lying there. Not for long, though, before I begin to feel skin ooze off my bones. It’s like the net is melting me, except it doesn’t hurt, and I’m not scared. I fall all the way through; not all of me, though; just the best parts, leaving behind only the garbage that once weighed down my soul.

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