With each keystroke I leave a little bit more of myself. With each drag another portion of me dies. Another night goes by and I sleep very little. I toss and I turn, trying to find a comfortable position, but it is not until my my mind, all but exhausted from running about wildly gives up that I fade into sleep. The hour is too late and my responsibilities come too soon. The whine of a small fan is the lullaby I know, the distraction to my wandering thought. I am so tired and this is my existence.

Someone, anyone please wake me up. I waddle through this mist, with my eyes closed tightly afraid of what I might see if I open them. I am so in need of rest but I don’t want to sleep anymore for I fear what it brings to bear. If the world that I should happen to gaze upon is anything like that in my head then I dare not open my eyes. Is this all in my head? Does the realm of what is real and concrete conspire with the world inside my mind to make all sorts of weird and contorted shapes. I dare not wake, I mustn’t, but I am so tired and this is not sleep; this is not rest.

When I remove this mask and place it at my bed side the the demons are released. Schizophrenia is its handle, so many temperaments it wields. All of the people I have been accustomed to know the display and compete for reign over me. This is why there is no rest at night. I am no longer the happy go lucky friend, the eager employee, the nurturing and inquisitive companion, the wise cracking jester, the obedient son, the longing little boy, the scared child, the fiery and angry KAD, the wise prophet, the eloquent fashionista, the man searching, I am none of these things and all of them at once. I own not one of these things and my diversity is not heralded.

I decide to do what I love most and that is sit under the night sky. The warm glow of orange and red dangle from the end of my mouth and I exhale slowly towards the heavens. Little shards of me fall to ground as I flick away the ash, these are pieces of me. Even in the dark of night, far beyond my vision in the black of the woods I hear life stirring. I think a family of deer mat down the long grass and fancy themselves a bed for the night or a borough of fox cubs play about whilst their mother looks for food, but it is so black that I can not be sure. All I hear is the noise and the hope of life within the darkness, hope is that which I can not see. The only light now comes from the tip of my cigarette and and that is always fleeting. These small tools don’t slow the pace or muffle the voices, but it is habit now and I am so accustomed to it. And it seems that even with this I leave a little more behind.

I lock up for the night and creep slowly back into bed, the background of my computer reads “For a Tortured Soul” with an outline of two men standing against a fading sun, their hands clutching swords. The small fan is still buzzing and I pray that I find rest tonight. Tossing and turning it doesn’t come as the thoughts jockey for position. I find every excuse to stay cocooned there and yet every other excuse to stay awake.

I want to find you find you and ask why you did it, why was I given up. I picture it always. You standing there wondering who I am. Despite our physical similarities you do not recognize me, you struggle through your memory to discover who this man standing before you with wet eyes is, but it doesn’t come. Choking and sniffling I struggle to tell you who I am, but you do not know English and I know no Korean, so instead you just stand there a bit bewildered. There is sympathy in your eyes, not the kind you would have had for a son, but the kind of sympathy you hold for a normal human being who you view to be obviously pained, and this is what hurts the most. In this vision I wish you knew me, I wish that a signal that is inherent  in our shared genes would be set off and you would not view me as a tortured soul no different than a stranger off the street, but as the infant you gave up so many years ago. I wish for you too see through my weeping eyes and understand the pain I have had to endure for you and for those who raised me. I want you to see my nose, my mouth, my ears, and realize they came from you. That this sulk before you is your boy. But this is only the way it is in my head. I dare not open open my eyes.

Entangled in this vision is glimpses of my family. The mother I have hurt, the father I have ashamed, the sister who wants me to be whole, the brother whom I hold no regard. There is more anger and sadness and frustration. For as I seek out that from which I came a widening gap is formed between myself and those who I have come to know. The lack of communication is apparent as the sheer look of bewilderment and shame lights their faces. If I could only tell you how I feel then maybe you would not be so upset. Maybe it wouldn’t feel like I am betraying you or that this is goodbye. I know you have done your best, and perfection is not a plateau but a far off vision that we run towards. I know there has been love in abundance too, but even this is not always enough to nourish a soul. Oh if I could only tell you these things but I can not. I can not bear the disappointment any longer. I have tried so very hard for you but this life is mine and at this point in the journey I think it best that I navigate it alone. I know you will always be there, but it is your terms which I can no longer live up to. There will be very little sleep tonight.

The sadness is connected to the anger through a mist of frustration, but this mist does not cloud, rather it illuminates a path between two raging storms. It builds and it builds as it guides me along the way. Leading me to a tempest of power and emotion. I realize that anger and hatred are not real power but delusions of grandeur, yet inevitably I end up here thrashing around this pool, this quagmire. It grows thicker and its binding power holds tight to my skin, fueled constantly by the mist of frustration. The futility I feel in this adopted existence. This is where my brain ends up and it must be when the mind has become spent from fighting through the muck and the grabbing hands that I finally lay to rest. If only this rest could be forever more, but fleeting it is, like a dream had but not remembered.

When I awake my body is stiff and sore, a result of the struggle for power. Hardened and in need of comfort I rise. If I only knew love and compassion I might be spared this cycle. I cry inside, eyes still shut. I know that this path leads to a place where those who travel it are swallowed up and forgotten. But I have already been forgotten. The day I was given up I was forgotten as a human being. Forgotten as a being that needs love and affection. Forgotten as someone who has needs and desires. This path leaves my true intent lost to the rest of the world and no kind of flare or GPS could find me. Yet still I keep my eyes closed to the world outside and pray to be found.

No one voice has come to the forefront and yet again I am forced to put on the mask before before I even consider walking out the door. Maybe that is why I have such a  big head, maybe I was meant to carry around all of these identities. This ability to dispense them freely and quickly like a business man does his card at a convention. I suppose I need all of this space to fit them all. But I don’t subscribe to fate so I suppose this large head of mine is just another genetic result that you won’t recognize.

I want both of you to know me. The one who spawned me and the one who nurtured me. I want you to understand clearly my intent. I want to rest.