New prose by Alexandra Erin

Getting Real (Inspired By Actual Hallucinations)

You think you know the real me? I ask him. You think you've seen inside me? I laugh. I laugh bitterly and gaily and I see that now he's the one who's uncertain, he's the one who's afraid. He's twice my size and would tower over me even if I wasn‚t the one on the ground, but I've seen the look on his face too many times in the mirror to mistake it. There is no real me, I tell him, and though at first I was just sputtering I know now that the words that tumble from my lips are the truth and so I let them keep on tumbling. The real me is a fictional character, I say. A figment of my imagination. I have spent twenty-six years lonely and afraid because I didn‚t know the answer to the question who am I, and now I finally realize the question should have been who are WE. We don't have an answer for that yet, but we do know this: we are not amused, and we are through being used.

For there is strength in numbers, and our name is legion.

Is that real enough for you?


• Alexandra Erin leads a life of prolific creativity punctuated by episodes of an ongoing mental breakdown and also writes www.starharbornights.com

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