These moments, often late at night, when you simply don't feel enough, but you feel too much at the same time. [[Volatile relationships|NoLove]]; self-imposed exile. [[Paranoid thoughts|NoSecurity]]. [[An unstable sense of self|NoFace]]. [[Self-destructive behavior|NoBoundaries]]. [[Prone to anger|NoControl]].
You are simply metal. You do not think or feel, you have no malevolence. You're pretty strong, however. Strong and groundbreaking. But you're just metal. Just a metal rod. \n\nThere's one thing you share in common with humans though. When you're under stress, when you're constantly put under pressure, eventually it reaches a point where it gets too much, and you [[snap.|BrokenBones]]
People do make a big deal out of it after that, because once you've seen it you can't fail to notice it. It's kind of mean but kind of funny at the same time, the things they say behind this person's back. It's harmless, though. It's what high school is all about. And nobody seems really bothered by it. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">He will only be forgiven as the flesh peels from his bones, his rictus grin split by decay, his cadaver jackal body crumbling to dust.</FONT></html>\n[[Everything moves on|Professionalism]].
This isn't the first meeting you've had, and you're not the first specialist the patient has seen. Cloudy photographs sit tucked away in a file. You're thinking about [[getting home|IExistBelieveMe]], out of this stifling hospital atmosphere. You're thinking about [[a lot of things|TellTheTruth]]. \n\n
That kid's being a bit annoying today. They're actually one of your best friends, but best friends fight, right? \n\nYou say it before you've even thought about it. One of the names people use. One that you know will sting, but come on, you're friends, and the kid will understand, surely? It's not like it's your fault, really. The comparison is obvious, it's hard to think it's //too// offensive. \n\n'And besides,' you say to the kid, when it looks like they're a bit upset. 'Trust me, people call you a //lot// worse.' \n\nAll in all, you came away from that fairly [[unscathed|FriendshipLasts]], you think.
Eventually you decide to admit it's a waste of time. You're thinking about the surgery. There are others, elsewhere, who can do it. \n\nYou think about [[keeping quiet|DecayInside]] to save your pride. It begins to sound more and more appealing.
That person sitting there, there's something wrong with them. They don't know it, you think. And you know them pretty well; you've never noticed it before, either. But there's definitely something wrong. Not their behavior, no - something else. Something you can see. Something you can only see here, sitting like this. \n\nYou consider [[saying something|AggressiveDiagnosis]], but there's a part of you that figures you should just leave it, because it's [[probably nothing|PassiveDiagnosis]].
In this scenario you have created, the surgery fails. Perhaps the patient's heart stops, or perhaps there are complications during the procedure itself. \n\nPerhaps the patient is paralysed from the waist down. Perhaps they died. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Perhaps, if only, perhaps.</FONT></html>\nPerhaps they got what they deserved. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">I would have deserved it.</FONT></html>\nYou'll never know. This doesn't exist. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Rise.</FONT></html>\n- The End -\n\n[[Go back.|OpenThemUp2]]
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of [[discomfort|UnderTheSkin4]] and [[pain|ChokeYouNow5]] and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Visible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?//
Rise, fall, rise, fall, stop. Somewhere along the timeline, you ended this before it began. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Deep in the bowels of the ship, something stirs.</FONT></html>\nYour choice, killer. Live with yourself. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Rise.</FONT></html>\n- The End -
A void. A vacuous, empty chamber of echoes. [[Voices|CountingBodiesLikeSheep]] call out in the darkness.
Do you know [[what happens|Talk1]] to people who talk? Do you know [[what happens|Reach1]] to people who reach out? Do you know [[what happens|Hope1]] to people who hope for the best?
All The Dead Bones
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of [[discomfort|UnderTheSkin3]] and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Abrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?\n\nVisible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?//\n\n
You're in class. You enjoy this class. It's one of your favorites. The teacher is nice, and the subject is something you're interested in, so you tell yourself.\n\nThere is a person sitting near you. You're sitting on the floor, and so are they. You notice something. You stare, then you look away, then you [[stare some more|BeingWatched]].
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Itchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this? \n\nAbrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?\n\nVisible, too. Obvious. Needless. [[Why are you doing this?|NoSalvation]]//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and [[pain|ChokeYouNow4]] and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Itchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this? \n\nVisible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?//
You are hopeless desperation. You are despair. You are crippling pain - life-changing, dream-ruining pain. You are high doses of opiates. You are the creeping, sickening feeling that this life can't go on much longer, that it has to be ended. \n\nYou are a [[sudden flash of hope.|OpenThemUp]]
You see that kid in the hallway, alone. It riles you, today, more than it usually does. So you walk up to that kid and you shove them, not hard, but enough to knock them against the wall. \n\nThen you feel the hand on the back of your neck, and the fist hitting your ear. You're shoved across the hallway, clattering against some lockers. You look up at the guy who's assaulted you, who's stopped your (fully justified) attack. \n\nHe tells you to [[leave it|Language]], to move the fuck on, so you do.\n\nYou don't know this now, of course, but in a couple years that guy will be dead. Genetic condition. \n\n
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and [[misery|TheyWatch3]], because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Itchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this? \n\nAbrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?//
[[Dead bone|ReOperate]]. Bone from a cadaver. Cleansed, disinfected, and placed inside the living. [[Dead bone|ReOperate]] as structural support. [[Dead bone|ReOperate]] to save a life, again.
You don't say anything. It's not really your place, and you might get in trouble if you talk during the lesson, and you don't really know how to approach it anyway. It's not your fault. It's not something normal, something you'd be equipped to deal with. It's fine. \n\nIt's almost a year before someone else notices, and you realise oh, it was something after all, and the person's not in school so much [[after that|AbsentFriends]].
You can't talk about how the only way you've been able to move on is by shutting yourself away. How a part of you knows - not because you feel it, but because society dictates it - that it's not healthy. \n\nThat every now and then, [[it|NoChoice1]] [[all|NoChoice2]] [[comes|NoChoice3]] [[flooding|NoChoice4]] [[back|NoChoice5]].
That kid makes you uncomfortable. Deep down, you know that's probably not right, not okay, but you can't help it. It's natural to feel like that about something so physically, so visibly wrong, yeah? Sometimes, just looking at that kid makes you angry, and a little sick. What right do they have to just go around like that? \n\nYou want to say something. You want to [[DO something|Violence]]. Problem is though, some of the other kids, the rough kids, they like this one kid. They're not friends as such, but there's kind of this unspoken agreement that you don't push it //too// far. You'd better [[leave it|Language]].
You are a shopper. You are buying a bottle of milk, because you're almost out. You're not the type to wait until it runs dry before stocking up. \n\nYou glance at the other people around you. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just a bunch of regular people, going about their business. \n\nYou're looking around when you spot a person acting strangely. Not in a dangerous, threatening way. They freeze for a second, and you notice a wobble in their right leg. For a second you brace yourself, expecting them to collapse to the floor. A shudder goes through their body, so pronounced you can see it. \n\nAnd then they're walking off as if nothing has happened. You [[put the milk in your basket.|FreeOfTheCage]]
The surgery was a success. Your track record remains unblemished. The patient, for the first time, is able to look in the mirror and see a relatively normal shape, a socially acceptable form. \n\nThey are [[free.|LifeIsLies]]
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and [[pain|ChokeYouNow2]] and [[misery|TheyWatch2]], because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Itchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this?//
These moments, often late at night, when you simply don't feel enough, but you [[feel too much|LetGo]] at the same time. [[Volatile relationships|NoLove]]; self-imposed exile. [[Paranoid thoughts|NoSecurity]]. [[An unstable sense of self|NoFace]]. [[Self-destructive behavior|NoBoundaries]]. [[Prone to anger|NoControl]].\n\n//It's hard to get close to people when people used to turn away.//
You sit in your office, corpulent and judging, a product of living rich and getting richer. Your porcine eyes survey the patient before you. \n\nYou are retired. And yet, still, [[here you are|LearnToLetGo]].
You are young, carefree, and as innocent as stretched definitions will allow. You have no meaningful choices to make here. Sometimes you [[play alone|PlayAlone]]; books or toys or videogames. Sometimes you're in a [[group|InThisTogether]]. Sometimes you play with your [[friend|PityThem]] who lives nearby. There is nothing to care about. \n
The anger, the resentment, the hatred.\n\n[[Relive.|NoChoice6]]
You go home and you never think about the incident much. Thankfully you never see the person around again. Maybe you feel guilty, years later, but you're comfortable in the knowledge that when it comes to something that fucking freakish, you're far from the only one who's reacted like that. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">And you're far from the only one who'll burn.</FONT></html>\nSome people just [[deserve|Intimacy]] what they get, don't they?
You're in class. You don't have to be here. You could be anywhere. But instead you take it all in, like a little drone, submitting to this barrage of useless information.\n\nThere is a person sitting near you. You're sitting on the floor, and so are they. You notice something. You stare, then you look away, then you [[stare some more|BeingWatched]].
You can't talk about how the only way you've been able to move on is by shutting yourself away. How a part of you knows - not because you feel it, but because society dictates it - that it's not healthy. \n\nThat the physical pain, which doesn't get easier, is only 10% of it. \n\n[[That every now and then, more now than then, it all comes flooding back.|BurnAway]]
You're in class. Are these classes [[mandatory|CutOutTheirTongues]], or are they [[optional|SubmitYourself]]? Did you [[choose to be here|Surrender]]? \n\nThere is a person sitting near you. You're sitting on the floor, and so are they. You notice something. You stare, then you look away, then you [[stare some more|BeingWatched]].
You sit right next to your friend, and occasionally your shoulders bump together as either of you move about. And why wouldn't you do this? Why wouldn't you be comfortable with this? \n\nIt's easy to switch your mind off. Easy to forget, if you're looking away. Easy to tolerate. It's [[no big deal.|EnsembleofShadows]]
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of [[discomfort|UnderTheSkin]] and [[pain|ChokeYouNow]] and [[misery|TheyWatch]], because it's something you know how to do.
[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/theend.jpg]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Rise, bringers of chaos. It's a new world (dis)order.</FONT></html>\nTwitter: <html><a href="http://www.twitter.com/ashtonraze" target="_blank">@ashtonraze</a></html>\n
There's that friend, that one friend, you hang out with them a lot. Sometimes in a group and sometimes just the two of you. Best friends, perhaps, because a concept like that still means something to you, you're a child. Or maybe it doesn't, yet, but it will for a while, in retrospect. \n\nThen one day they move away, or you move away, or something happens anyway. You promise, like children, to stay in touch but after a few half-hearted attempts, you [[drift apart|MoveOn]].
You are young, carefree, and as innocent as stretched definitions will allow. You have no meaningful choices to make here. Sometimes you [[play alone|PlayAlone2]]; books or toys or videogames. Sometimes you're in a [[group|InThisTogether]]. Sometimes you play with your [[friend|PityThem]] who lives nearby. There is nothing to care about. \n\n//Sometimes it's nice to be part of a group. Solidarity. Equality. Belonging. Nothing to think about apart from each other. Superficial. Wonderful. Right.//
Life is beautiful. Memories slide away like water down a window pane. No restrictions any more. Nothing holding them back. No resonance, no remnants. Friends, lovers, colleagues, happiness. A fulfilling, sociable life. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">You are buried alive. No-one can hear your screams.</FONT></html>\nThat's the dream, isn't it? You wanted this delusion. You're an eternal optimist, or maybe you just want to be. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.</FONT></html>\nIt's a wonderful, glorious light, free from persecution and post-trauma, free from the past. It really is that easy. All you had to do was [[click|BeautifulLie]].
They say it's important to talk. They say you should reach out. They say it gets better. [[They say a lot of things.|BleakWorldView]]
You are a specialist. A surgeon. Six months ago, the patient came to you, and even though they hadn't received treatment during the developmental stage, you knew you could still perform the surgery, that it wasn't //entirely// too late. \n\nSo now you stand over their body, open before you on the table. You can [[fix this|SuccessStory]]. You know you can. But something could still [[go wrong|FailState]].
This isn't the first meeting you've had, and you're not the first specialist the patient has seen. Cloudy photographs sit tucked away in a file. You're thinking about [[getting home|IExistBelieveMe]], out of this stifling hospital atmosphere. You're thinking about [[a lot of things|TellTheTruth]]. \n\n//Home, to what? A wife? Maybe. Kids, grandkids? A comfortable dressing gown and a glass of port and a roast beef dinner. Or whisky and loneliness. No. Perhaps not.//
Perhaps they realise it, and they feel pity, because they don't realise it's a choice. No, not a choice, a necessity. Because they don't know. Because you don't tell them, you can't tell them. \n\nYou can't talk about the last time when you were around people for a long period of time. You can't talk about why, now, it's too draining and difficult to see people for more than a few days in a row, and then [[nothing|NoChoice]] for months, or years.
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Do you know [[what happens|Talk2]] to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know [[what happens|Hope4]] to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Slice off their hands.//
A group of you are at your friend's house. //That// friend. You're all sitting around. Well, they all are, you haven't sat down yet, you went out into the kitchen for a cigarette first. \n\nYour friend, the friend whose house it is, is sitting on the sofa. The only spare space is next to them. You sit next to them happily. Why wouldn't you? It's not like something like this is catching. \n\nBut you make sure you [[don't sit too close|DistantRelations]] anyway. Then you realise that's absolutely [[stupid|Tolerance]].
Most friendships drift apart, and as things get worse for your friend, it gets harder to maintain the friendship. They're on even stronger meds now, and sometimes that's hard to deal with. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">I will reject you.</FONT></html>\nThe [[distance|FalseRecords]] isn't inches any more.
You're in class. You're pushed into this. You long to think for yourself, but you're force-fed information, thought processes, specialization. You are the machine.\n\nThere is a person sitting near you. You're sitting on the floor, and so are they. You notice something. You stare, then you look away, then you [[stare some more|BeingWatched]].
The correction is much better this time, too. You can't see there was anything wrong, not at all. Nothing on the surface, anyway. Nothing but the scars, which heal and fade over time. [[Scars on the surface, anyway.|TimeNeverHeals]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n[[At least...|NewStars]]
You are simply metal. You do not think or feel, you have no malevolence. You're pretty strong, however. Strong and groundbreaking. But you're just metal. Just a metal rod. \n\nThere's one thing you share in common with humans though. When you're under stress, when you're constantly put under pressure, eventually it reaches a point where it gets too much, and you snap.\n\nSomething [[snaps|BrokenBones2]] inside.
You are the future. The sunrise. The promise of a new life. You are all the doors that open. You are bright. You are wonderful. \n\nOr perhaps you are fleeting; false and fragile. It's up to you, really.\n\nDo you want [[the truth|TheEndBegins]] or [[something beautiful|TheBeginningEnds]]?
'You say something,' you whisper to your mate, laughing. \n'No, you,' he replies. 'Go on you fucking pussy.'\nSo you all approach, and you open your mouth, and you shout. \n'LI BRX'YH WUDQVODWHG WKLV,' you yell. 'L ORYH BRX.'\nOf course, that's not really what you say. What you really say is what you see. The truth. You have to point it out. You have to. You have to make the person aware of just how disgraceful it is that they've [[ruined your day|RipOutHisLungs]] by being out in public.
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know [[what happens|Reach5]] to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n[[At least...|NewStars]]
Do you know [[what happens|Talk5]] to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n//Slice off their hands.//
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/selfimage.jpg]]
It's hard to let go. It's not your fault. You don't have to let go. It's not your fault. There's no reason to let go. It's not your fault.\n\n[[Let go.|Caged]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n[[At least...|NewStars]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know [[what happens|Hope3]] to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n//Slice off their hands.//
Everything is interwoven. The strings of Chaos tangle around an obsidian thread. Stories [[live|WakeUp]] and [[die|GoBackToSleep]] in a heartbeat.
You are young, carefree, and as innocent as stretched definitions will allow. You have no meaningful choices to make here. Sometimes you [[play alone|PlayAlone]]; books or toys or videogames. Sometimes you're in a [[group|InThisTogether2]]. Sometimes you play with your [[friend|PityThem]] who lives nearby. There is nothing to care about. \n\n//It's nice being by yourself. Enjoying your own company, lost in your own imagination. But it's nice to know you can reach out too. Isn't it?//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Visible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?\n\nAbrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?\n\nItchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. [[Why are you doing this?|NoSalvation]]//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and [[pain|ChokeYouNow6]] and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Visible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?\n\nItchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this?//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of [[discomfort|UnderTheSkin3]] and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Abrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?\n\nVisible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?\n\nItchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. [[Why are you doing this?|NoSalvation]]//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and [[misery|TheyWatch4]], because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Abrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?\n\nItchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this?//
You are young, carefree, and as innocent as stretched definitions will allow. You have no meaningful choices to make here. Sometimes you [[play alone|PlayAlone2]]; books or toys or videogames. Sometimes you're in a [[group|InThisTogether]]. Sometimes you play with your [[friend|PityThem]] who lives nearby. There is nothing to care about. \n\n//Sometimes it's nice to be part of a group. Solidarity. Equality. Belonging. Nothing to think about apart from each other. Superficial. Wonderful. Right.\n\nBut it's nice being by yourself, as well. Enjoying your own company, lost in your own imagination. But it's nice to know you can reach out too. Isn't it?//
[[This is my cage.|Caged1]] \n\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/xraysmall2.jpg]]
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'I'm pretty sure I just pulled a muscle,' the subject says, when you go back in. 'It doesn't hurt that much at all any more.'\n\n'No,' you say. 'It's definitely more than that. Come and have a look at this.'\n\n[[You lead the subject into the small, shielded room.|CutApart]]
You are [[therapy|EndItAll]].
You'd think. You'd think. You'd think this choice could save somebody.\n\nIt could end here. You could win. It doesn't end here, and never will. \n\n[[Try the fuck again.|NoSalvation2]]
The whole incident is forgotten, and a couple of years pass. Maybe, occasionally, you think back to it and feel a tiny bit guilty, but other people are still using the nicknames, and you realise the kid knows about it now and they're obviously not bothered. They're doing fine with their life, anyway. Friends (including yourself), a lover, whathaveyou. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Your insidious deception will never be forgotten. You are many.</FONT></html>\n[[It's only words, right?|SchoolsOut]]
You have to say something. It's not normal, and high school doesn't look favorably on things that aren't normal. \n\nIt's as if fate has conspired to help you. Ten minutes later, the teacher steps out, called to the office. You lean over to the person, tap them on the shoulder and tell them what you've observed. They frown, they don't understand. \n\nSomeone nearby overhears your conversation. A boy, a mutual friend. He looks for himself. 'Hey, you're right!' he says, his face creasing with mirth. 'That's hilarious.'\n\nA couple others join in too, but you back out of the conversation because, in your opinion, the first boy is making [[too big a deal out of it|FlamesWillConsumeHim]].
These moments, often late at night, when you simply don't feel enough, but you [[feel too much|LetGo]] at the same time. [[Volatile relationships|NoLove]]; self-imposed exile. [[Paranoid thoughts|NoSecurity]]. [[An unstable sense of self|NoFace]]. [[Self-destructive behavior|NoBoundaries]]. [[Prone to anger|NoControl]].\n\n//It's hard to look at yourself when you know what people used to see.//
You are me. You're not who you think you are. I can guarantee it. \n\nYou build up a career as a writer. The internet is great for that. Work can be completed and submitted without ever having to leave the house. \n\nWhy would you want to leave the house very often? [[Remember what used to happen?|ShutIn]]
It's a cardboard set, a broken stage. An illusion, frozen in time, shrouded in misconceptions. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Your world crumbles to dust.</FONT></html>\nIt did not go like this. Perhaps it should have. It would have been nice if it did. But this is a beautiful lie. In this place you've led us to, behind these smiles, behind this facade of happiness, every soul is starving here. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Rise.</FONT></html>\n- The End -\n\n
You are a specialist. A surgeon. Six months ago, the patient came to you, and even though they hadn't received treatment during the developmental stage, you knew you could still perform the surgery, that it wasn't //entirely// too late. \n\nSo now you stand over their body, open before you on the table. You can [[fix this|SuccessStory]]. You know you can. Nothing will go wrong.
Elsewhere. Another life. \n\nYou have this friend, and honestly they're a very good friend. Like, a really good friend. You love them, in the way that friends love each other. But they have that... thing, don't they? And you know it must be really goddamn hard for them. By now, they're on pretty strong pain medication, so you're guessing it's pretty bad. It //looks// pretty bad. And maybe a bit gross, if you let yourself [[think like that|Unproductive]].
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Abrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?\n\nItchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this?\n\nVisible, too. Obvious. Needless. [[Why are you doing this?|NoSalvation]]//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of [[discomfort|UnderTheSkin5]] and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Visible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?\n\nAbrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?//
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Itchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this? \n\nVisible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?\n\nAbrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. [[Why are you doing this?|NoSalvation]]//\n\n
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of discomfort and pain and misery, because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Visible, too. Obvious. Needless. Why are you doing this?\n\nItchy, uncomfortable, cumbersome. Can't sleep, can't relax. It's a heatwave, too. Why are you doing this?\n\nAbrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. [[Why are you doing this?|NoSalvation]]//
High school, a time of transition. Hard for anyone. Hard for you? Perhaps. Perhaps it was. Studies, peers, expectations. The overbearing smell of sawdust and woodburn. Metal. Grass. Second-hand smoke. A giant furnace of brick and glass, its smokestack belching out education as fluorescent lights flicker overhead. \n\nDoes //anyone// really have fond memories of [[high school|BehindTheWall]]?
So you keep quiet. There is a surgery you //can// do, but you know it won't help. You infer to the patient that they'd die on the operating table. You tell them this is their life now, that they should get used to it. And when they tell you, again, about the pain they feel, you suggest that maybe they should have the dangerous, useless surgery, knowing it'll keep them quiet. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">There will be no respite as scalpels slice your flesh for eternity, carving and reshaping you into the appropriate broken form.</FONT></html>\nIt works. Well done. [[Call in the next patient|ViceVersa]].
These moments, often late at night, when you simply don't feel enough, but you [[feel too much|LetGo]] at the same time. [[Volatile relationships|NoLove]]; self-imposed exile. [[Paranoid thoughts|NoSecurity]]. [[An unstable sense of self|NoFace]]. [[Self-destructive behavior|NoBoundaries]]. [[Prone to anger|NoControl]].\n\n//It's hard not to blame yourself when your self was to blame.//
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n[[At least...|NewStars]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know [[what happens|Reach3]] to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//
Do you know [[what happens|Talk4]] to people who talk? Do you know [[what happens|Reach4]] to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//
The person's friends turn to look at you before they do. The friends shake their heads, and keep quiet. Then the person's looking at you, and even their face makes you sick. Making eye contact with them makes you uncomfortable, and that's understandable right? \n\nThey're the first to walk off, and their friends follow. They leave the park together, and you and your friends take your seats and [[enjoy the rest of your day|GoneHome]].
Do you know [[what happens|Talk3]] to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//
These moments, often late at night, when you simply don't feel enough, but you [[feel too much|LetGo]] at the same time. [[Volatile relationships|NoLove]]; self-imposed exile. [[Paranoid thoughts|NoSecurity]]. [[An unstable sense of self|NoFace]]. [[Self-destructive behavior|NoBoundaries]]. [[Prone to anger|NoControl]].\n\n//It's hard to care about yourself when you don't know who you are.//
You are a stranger.\n\nYou're walking through the park with your mates. You're having a laugh, everything's good, everything's fun. You're looking around, at the other people here. It's a nice day. \n\nSomeone catches your mate's eye, and he nudges you. At first you think he's pointing at the way the person's dressed. Then you see it, and Christ, it's not that at all. Jesus Christ. That's sick, that's fucked up. How do they even have the audacity to be out in public with... that wrong with them?\n\nYou have no choice here. You have to [[say something|BleedOut]].
You go out sometimes, but not for very long. Not very often. People, friends and colleagues, can think you're okay because when you see them, you are fine. Sociable. Quiet around some, maybe, but not in a concerning way. \n\nPerhaps they don't notice, or perhaps they don't mind, that they only see you once a year, twice at the most. Perhaps they don't notice that nobody's really seen you for over a year now. \n\nPerhaps they do notice, and perhaps they think you have better things to do. Perhaps they think you're busy. Perhaps they think you see other people.\n\n[[You don't.|ItsAChoice]]
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/chair.jpg]]
Next time you see the kid in the hall, rage bubbles up inside you. It's disgusting. It's not normal. \n\nBut you know better than to do anything. So you just look at the kid and mutter, under your breath, words designed to hurt. It enrages you even more when you're ignored, but the bell's going and you have to get to class. \n\nIn another life, maybe you could've [[been friends|WithFriends]] with the kid, but it's probably not worth [[dwelling|SchoolsOut]] on that now.
You're hanging out with a group of friends. That one kid's there, the one with, well, you know. All of you know, but you don't talk about it all that often. Not when the kid's around, anyway. Sometimes you have to let off steam about it though, to vent, and the others have a couple [[nicknames|SliceYourLips]] they use to describe this kid. They're careful not to use them very often though, in case they slip out (it's only happened once or twice, so no harm done).
You are a [[misdiagnosis|CentralBulletin]].
Surgery again, two operations, a week apart. One involves detaching the ribcage, and leaving it this way until the next surgery. It's all pretty standard. After the other part of the surgery, things can move on. For the second time in three and a half years, the patient has to teach themselves to walk again. \n\nIt's easier the second time, though. Much, much easier. That's what the evidence suggests, anyway. The first time, it feels like your spine is going to snap if you so much as take a step. The second time, it still feels like that, you just [[know it won't.|BreakOut]]
You are the surgeon again. You're talking to the patient, the same patient from a couple years ago, who is back in hospital again, requiring further corrective surgery after the metalwork snapped. It's a risk of spinal surgery, particularly when the patient is already fully-grown at the time of operating. \n\nThe patient's spine has already begun to curve again, quite noticeably, although nowhere near as bad as it used to be. But without further surgery, it won't be long. \n\nYou talk to the patient about the procedure, about removing vertebrae, about the fusion process, and about the possibility of using [[allograft.|DonorBone]]
It was definitely something, and the person explains it to you later, but it's not really something you can get your head around too much, and they're still the same person they always were, so you [[go on with your life|Professionalism]].
What acts as support can also be a cage. We are all entombed. All trapped in these cages. Rib cages, detached from our bodies. Cages of bone, of metal, of mind. Of substance and of nothing. Trapping, trapping, trapping. \n\n[[A cage made from all the dead bones.|ThisIsMyCage]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n[[At least...|NewStars]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know [[what happens|Hope5]] to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know [[what happens|Reach2]] to people who reach out? Do you know [[what happens|Hope2]] to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know what happens to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n//Slice off their hands.//\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//\n\n[[At least...|NewStars]]
Do you know what happens to people who talk? Do you know [[what happens|Reach5]] to people who reach out? Do you know what happens to people who hope for the best?\n\n//Gouge out their eyes.//\n\n//Cut out their tongues.//
You are young, carefree, and as innocent as stretched definitions will allow. You have no meaningful choices to make here. Sometimes you [[play alone|PlayAlone]]; books or toys or videogames. Sometimes you're in a [[group|InThisTogether2]]. Sometimes you play with your [[friend|PityThem]] who lives nearby. There is nothing to care about. \n\n//It's nice being by yourself. Enjoying your own company, lost in your own imagination. But it's nice to know you can reach out too. Isn't it?\n\nAnd sometimes it's nice to be part of a group. Solidarity. Equality. Belonging. Nothing to think about apart from each other. Superficial. Wonderful. Right.//
The pain, the discomfort, the restrictions.\n\n[[Relive.|NoChoice]]
You are a radiographer. You stand at the computer, looking back and forth between the subject and the screen. The subject stands there, in front of the plates, topless and shivering slightly. It is pretty cold in here, actually. It's not usually. Odd. They seem okay though. In a bit of pain, maybe.\n\nLooking at the screen, you're not surprised. A jagged rod of metal, split in two, emblazoned across the X-ray. Sharp teeth where it was once solid. One of the ways in which [[corrective surgery|Revelations]] can fail.
The looks, the glances, the sneers. \n\n[[Relive.|NoChoice]]
... that's how it seems to me, a lot of the time. \n\nBut I don't know. <html><a href="http://www.beyondthefinalboss.org/" target="_blank">I'm sure it does get better</a></html>. <html><a href="http://takethisproject.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">I'm sure it does help to talk</a></html>. I don't know. \n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">Sometimes it feels like I'll never forgive.</FONT></html>\nMaybe, for certain reasons, [[I'm not the best judge of these things|Requiem]].
The betrayal, the disappointment, the disregard.\n\n[[Relive.|NoChoice]]
The comments, the anger, the disgust.\n\n[[Relive.|NoChoice]]
You are simply metal. You do not think or feel, you have no malevolence. You're pretty strong, however. Strong and groundbreaking. But you're just metal. Just a metal rod. \n\nThere's one thing you share in common with humans though. When you're under stress, when you're constantly put under pressure, eventually it reaches a point where it gets too much, and you snap.\n\nSomething snaps [[inside|LookInside]]. \n\n''SNAP''
You can't help it, and you know it's nonsensical, but there's a barrier there, one you can't quite get past. It's not like you don't understand it; it is what it is, after all. It's just... it's not normal, is it? It's a little uncomfortable, being too close to someone with something like that. You don't understand why, entirely. You just know it's a normal, [[human reaction|EnsembleofShadows]].
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/drug2.jpg]]
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/brainscan.jpg]]
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>
There is surgery, you know. You know. Surgery that younger, newer doctors perform all the time. It's not your surgery, not your time. It's not yours. You don't do it, the world has passed you by. It's successful surgery. Commonplace. It's not your surgery. You don't do it. \n\nSo you do what you do, you offer that instead, even though you know it's all for nothing. A year, two years of nothing, of [[discomfort|UnderTheSkin2]] and pain and [[misery|TheyWatch5]], because it's something you know how to do. \n\n//Abrasive, sharp, digging in, then when you take it off, it all falls apart. Why are you doing this?//
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/memory.jpg]]
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/binary.jpg]]
A. Raze
These moments, often late at night, when you simply don't feel enough, but you [[feel too much|LetGo]] at the same time. [[Volatile relationships|NoLove]]; self-imposed exile. [[Paranoid thoughts|NoSecurity]]. [[An unstable sense of self|NoFace]]. [[Self-destructive behavior|NoBoundaries]]. [[Prone to anger|NoControl]].\n\n//It's hard to trust people when they're not to be trusted.//
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/drug.jpg]]
[[This is my cage.|Caged2]] [[This is my cage.|Caged3]] [[This is my cage.|Caged4]] [[This is my cage.|Caged5]] [[This is my cage.|Caged6]] [[This is my cage.|Caged7]] [[This is my cage.|Caged8]] [[This is my cage.|Caged9]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">We are all entombed.</FONT></html>\n[img[http://www.ashtonraze.com/files/people.jpg]]\n<html><FONT COLOR="#000000">No freedom.</FONT></html>\n[[They watch.|ItGetsBetter]]
You're still in school, but only just. It's the last year. You still don't know who you are quite yet. You're still young.\n\nYou don't realise it, but you're presented with a choice. There's someone else in your year, someone who isn't quite right in a certain way. Are you [[friend|WithFriends]] or [[foe|NeedEnemies]]?
Eventually you decide to admit it's a waste of time. You're thinking about the surgery. There are others, elsewhere, who can do it. \n\nYou think about [[keeping quiet|DecayInside]] to save your pride, but dismiss this, and instead send the patient to another specialist. [[Of course you do, right?|HalfTheLies]]