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I'm not a real person.

I'm not a real person because I wake up in the morning and put myself together with a makeup sponge and a mascara spoolie. You don't realize that this is who I am—who I am not—because CoverGirl cleverly disguises their products as personal appearance ameliorators instead of admitting the nature of the beast. I wake up in the morning and choose who I'm going to be by putting on these clothes and wearing this eyeliner and using that toothpaste. I create myself each day and watch myself swirl down the drain every night, reflected in the silently dying bubbles.

I'm not a real person because I'm a blank slate. I am the ideal. I am perfect. I have not emotion; I have not envy or sadness or confusion or anxiety. I do not acquiesce. I die with my pride rather than live with myself as human.

Real people aren't perfect; I am not a real person.

I'm not a real person because you don't treat me like I am. You don't treat me like you realize that underneath this coat of makeup and these cotton layers and this hard shell of cynicism and critique is a real person, someone who's soft and spongy; someone who absorbs the real world and metabolizes it and hides it away in some dark secret place. You act like you don't know that I'm just like everyone else, that I pick up this mask in the morning that doesn't come off until I'm alone in the dark and my Daily Self, my Face To The World is draped over the back of a chair, waiting patiently for me to wake up in the morning and put it on after the early sunlight shines on me during those precious rare seconds in which I'm maskless, defenseless. Those precious few seconds during which I'm a Real Person.

I'm not a real person because I'm a pathological liar. I'm mentally ill; I have a condition in which I can't help but tell the blatant, dishonest truth to myself. You're dumb, you're fat, you're unvalued and unworthy and unloved; you don't deserve this—you don't deserve anything. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because who's going to disprove me?

It doesn't matter because even if I win, I lose.

I'm not a real person because a real person would have stayed. You told me to leave; you said "go away" or "get away" or whatever combination of those words you said that I don't think you meant. You told me to leave, and a real person would have stayed and sobbed and apologized, and I laughed, and I left, and I am not a real person.

I'm not a real person because a real person would be able to open herself and tell you who she is, tell you that she's just scared and confused and small and tiny, curled up inside of her Face To The World.

A real person could admit that she was kicking out the world before the world could kick her.

A real person could say all these things; she could show you all this like slides on a projector, detailing each flaw, each fault, in minute detail. She could disclose her humilation and her fears and her fiery, hidden hope. A real person could say, "This isn't who I want to be."

I am not a real person.

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