Dear ______,

I know that little about me makes sense to you. I know, too, that in this script I am supposed to shrug despondently and tell you that little about me makes sense to me, and I understand your confusion. I am supposed to say that. That is my next line. I am supposed to deliver it with a weary care, a note of  sadness.

It isn’t true and I’m so very tired of lying.

There is a pathology to my emotions, a precise science to my highs and lows, my wild swings from a place you know how to find and that wild country beyond. I have studied me my entire life, I have gone beyond my doctorate, I am an expert in my field. I know how to repair myself, and I can map out the more important place, the area that shows you how not to break me.

When we met I thought about writing you a technical guide to the thing that I am, but I know that things like that are in the category of reasons that I never win. It would make perfect sense and someone else could know me, too, I could have a colleague in this, my life’s unwilling work, but to give you the book implies a belief that you want to know. I am far too frightened a field to ever suggest such a thing, even when I believe it may be true.

This is one of the most important things that you do not know, this fear that leaves me wild-eyed and breathless behind whatever I am pretending to be. I am afraid of all the things you think I might be afraid of, but I am afraid of so much more.

 I am afraid that you will not like what you learn, that will find behind the skin of me a blood unbearable, a thing that is so many things you never needed to know. This I suspect you know, and know you suspect.

 I am afraid that this machine that I am was manufactured to live landlocked with love. I am afraid. I am afraid.

But I am also afraid that I will not want you studying me. I will not want you wanting to know all that I know, all the ways the tiny wires connecting the meat of me make me the things that I am and will be. This is where my science becomes as cruel as science tends to be, and makes the scientist mute. I can’t tell you that I fear I am only saying your name in reverent tones and while sweating because I need to say something, I need to know someone else’s name and believe that they know mine, and you are here. You are here.

I am afraid that I am always right when I am afraid, and I am afraid that this tested result is consistent.

 I am afraid that you will never ask what I haven’t told you yet, and it isn’t simply fear that makes me know that if you don’t I never will. I could tell you all the ways I work, all the things that leave me on the ground two steps too close to the edge and unable to work my way back. I am afraid that you are just another you, and not something different entirely. I am afraid that I know all of you now, and there is nothing new to learn, I am afraid that you are only what you are and not any of the things I think you could be.

I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am accustomed.

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