{ bad faith }

she found herself alone,

in the midst of a bunch of happy, reasonable voices.

all of them realizing merrily that they agreed with each other.

she started to think that there was something wrong with her.

even the thought of being in disagreement made her feel ill and nauseous.

she decided that her condition was due to this absence of agreement.

if she wanted the nausea to go away

she needed to agree.

she concluded that the only way to avoid disagreement,

was to accept that there must be

only one right way of being.

she took great care in the dissembling of herself,

and over time, she managed to

forget whatever it was necessary to forget.

to consciously induce sleep when it was needed,

and then, to promptly forget the act of hypnosis she had just performed.

existing in this way was difficult to do everyday,

so she kept busy.

she never allowed her mind a moment of quiet.

she never read any books or wrote down any original thoughts.

until nothing was real anymore.

inside or out.

then, little by little,

she began to feel

a bit strange,

a little more put off than usual,

a little more unamused than was previously tolerable.

at first, she tried desperately to persuade herself that this unrest was just a passing phase,

and she tried to carry on as she always had.

but something within her just would not capitulate.

a burning question

kept popping up night after night in her dreams

and echoing in the back of her mind.

she tried, but she couldn’t silence it.

she couldn’t manage to come up with any kind of convincing argument

for continuing to exist in a world that wasn’t real

in a way that wasn’t real.

she wanted freedom.

there was simply no other alternative that left her alive.

she was ready to take responsibility for her own existence.

she was ready to disagree.

photo: Shary Boyle

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