I've never been the type to conform or comply. I've always struggled with myself obeying even the most simple of requests and even universal regulations. It's not that I like to rebel. I'm no shitkicker, not by intention anyway. But my mother would tell me "You'd cut off your own nose to spite your face." And I must confess she was right, for I was a bitter, spiteful child. I was already bitter about the world and its mindless and yet seemingly sinister workings. I had spite for everyone I knew because of what they were convinced they knew about me, spite for everyone I didn't know because of what I guessed they'd think of me, spite for myself for my inability to conform, and for not being able to accept what all appearances would have had me believe I was, and then some spite for the spite itself. And in spite of it, I radiate potential.

How, though, can one achieve survival let alone greatness in a world unfeeling, unbowing and unbending, without the capacity to gracefully accept subjection to even metaphysical law? Illusion, that's how. Illusion, to blame for the judgments pronounced upon me and the condemnations I awaited with much trembling. Illusion- fickle friend of the up-and-coming and the too-far-gone alike. I was certainly no master of it. Illusion, once upon a time, was my master. Illusion walked all over me. Illusions not my own had me swallowing hard and nearly had me fooled countless times. I would hide behind parades of ugly, misshapen floats; the most ineffable of my secrets. But Illusion always found me. I had empty sleeves, distressed to prove it, and I sure didn't have a hat.

I was the rabbit. And be it in matters of sleight-of-hand or detached-appendage good-luck charms, the rabbit rarely has the upper hand. Illusion played with cards and always won. Illusion waved its wand and my innocence went up in a puff of smoke as more and more people put more and more of their money on the renderings of the people who didn't get to see the show.

People will nearly always pay more for what they want to see than they will for what they need to see. People miss out on a good portion of reality that way. People fell victim to Illusion that way, but no one fell as hard as I did. We are all victims of ignorance; this is made apparent by the fact that we are all perpetrators and perpetuators of it.

Misanthropist though I may be, the blame can be placed on no individual. Therefore I place the blame on Illusion itself. Illusion swallowed my childhood whole. Illusion owes me big time, and you can bet I'm going to call it in. I'm a bitter, spiteful adult now. I will earn my living pursuing falsehood with a barbiturate-filled blowgun and a choke collar. I will profit from lies.

I will force feed you, Illusion, and you will spoon-feed me. Those bitter stomach pains? Those would be my hopes and dreams eating you alive from the inside.

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