In A Box

Whatever you do, don’t ooze.

Don’t flow, don’t wiggle, don’t shimmer.

Motion, you see, even the rippling of light or the shifting of colour just makes them a bit crazy.

They like their perspective fixed, their expectations solid, their boundaries unchallenged.

Transformation, transcendence, trans anything isn’t in their vision.   It makes you too intense, too impossible, too incredible for them to grasp.

And that, well, that will just get you hurt.

When your parents have Aspergers, the flicker of emotion is almost invisible to them.   To show that scintillation is to have them lose sight of you, so you watch them be afraid and confused as you pop up in places where they didn’t expect you to be.

To make them feel safe, you learn to slow down your oscillation, drop your vibratory frequency, staying in the space and time that they can see and understand.

As a smart, intense, queer transperson, though, your inner resonance never drops.  Inside you are always humming through a world where walls seem imaginary, mere illusions you can vibrate straight through.   The wavelengths of your vision reveal interiors, emotions glowing in spectrum, a universe of transparent colour and form.

Whatever is inside of you, though, in order to be present in the world others think is real, you have to create a boundary condition, a field of presence that can make you appear, leave you protected where lumbering is the norm.

The box is about attenuation, a guard cage that discharges your energy around the edges to help you look tame, regular, fitting into a world that contains the love and nurturing you need.

Not depression but suppression becomes your fate, burning down and bleeding off as much magic intensity as possible to operate where emotional energy is invisible and terrifying.  They call you stupid, broken, sick, perverted.

How small can you go, how little can you make yourself?   How far into the closet do you have to hide before you disappear, or will the hum of your zipping soul always give you away?

Choosing between fitting in and being yourself, freezing your heart or running hot and lively, full of momentum, becomes a Hobson’s choice.  There is no right answer.

With a sharp enough mind, though, finding ways to shut down, control, manipulate, go cold may be possible, even at the cost of internal frostbite.

“It looks like depression,” the counsellors say, “but not really.”

“If you don’t release the tension with BioEnergetics, you will crack up permanently.”

The suppression has a killing cost, but none of them will stand up for liberation, affirming your fire inside, saying yes to the hot, queer transcendent flame that got the ice water poured over you at such a tender age.

They want normalcy, want fitting in, want what they know and expect.  They don’t care about the beautiful range of human possibility, don’t want to have to move beyond binaries and compartments, don’t want to have to stand with the queer. They want what they have been told is normal.

The box, boxing a shield where you fix the interface between their cold and your heat, becomes tighter, harder, more constraining, and much, much much more fragile.

No one can touch your heart, reach though the barrier, move though the divine ambiguity to embrace all of you.   The force of will to keep the ceramic heat shield in place becomes more and more, driving the air out of your heart and leaving it to twist in dark and unnatural ways.

And still, those parents, that family, the normies and their expectations, well they leave you in a zone of thermal shock, gradients increasing, meltdown approaching, attenuation battling intensity, surface fighting the inner blossom.

The cracks appear, the negotiation starts.   How can lava meet ice, how can passion meet pleasant, how can real meet polite?

Ruptures spread, shattering shell.  Coming out becomes required, even in the face of those who need to live cold.

And as temperatures equalize, you find a truth.  What was inside there was just human after all, threaded with cultural lineage and laced with heart.   Continuous common humanity indeed.

The deep freeze keeps us locked in the box, attenuated and suppressed.

Only the fire inside can thaw us, but not until we don’t fear it anymore.

The only way out of hell, it seems, is through.

Ooze, flow, wiggle, shimmer.   Human iridescence is transcendent truth,  spirit and body together, more than the sum of the parts.

In the end, we have to pull our own magic out of the freezer, out of the icy box.

Or at least, that is what I have learned.


(Written as a prospective piece for performance
in a show on “depression, suicide and feeling blue.”)

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