Thought Catalog: Show me your ugly

There is an animal inside every person, and yes, our animal wants to get blood on his mouth when he eats, he wants to fuck and hunt and run. He wants to do all of the things that look good in Baroque paintings and make us feel like we dominate our territory. But our animal also wants to cry, to lick his wounds and have them licked, to limp in front of the group without being attacked while he sleeps. Our animal is a victim, deeply wounded by the sickness in our need to be pretty, to be strong, to be brave. You are so good at being brave, at putting on your smile and your shirt and your slate wiped clean of messy history. To everyone else, you are the hero of a book we could all be characters in. You have won.

But I don’t want that, because that game is rigged. Trip once, let your ugly bubble to the surface just a single time, and you are no longer of use. No, I want to burrow down into where all of your most unacceptable thoughts and secrets crash into one another, in that tiny cage they’re kept in. I want to put in jars of formaldehyde and neatly label like a Victorian scientist every nasty little thing I find. I want to form tinctures from the noxious fluids I extract, take them like medicine when I can no longer stand the inanity of having to be 100 percent presentable 100 percent of the time. We will be sick together.

I am tired of the words “I love you,” of “beauty,” of “romance.” They are putting in a neatly-wrapped package a million squirming feelings, only some of which the world would consider appropriate. We all approve of “I love you,” but do we approve of the disgusting things that love sometimes makes us do? Do we approve of the fights, of the tears, of the noises when bodies squish together, the aching thoughts of wanting to possess someone entirely? Surely these things mean “love” more than most, yet they imply love for parts of us that we are supposed to constantly be telling to quiet down.

Don’t quiet yours down. Show me your ugly, and I will show you mine. And nothing will ever be an unpleasant surprise again, because we will have known (in a way most people do not) that the other was a real human being all along.