The following entry contains references to self-injury and heteronormative issues.
I’ve referred to Foxglove as my Animus. That former name evokes to me associations with fay (in some of many definitions of them,) and it came from a desire to immerse myself in that sort of lore that is either supplemented by or articulates a personal experience. In that experience, Foxglove and I chose his name together. I would have personally preferred Kelp or Hawthorn for him, but in a strange way it’s not all up to me even when it seems like it is. His latter title, Animus, is a classification: any glamorous celebrity that any other person comes to be enamored with, can be an opportunity to witness an Animus in action.
In the first experience that I had of him, he heralded a drastic upheaval of some intense depression with which I had struggled for a lifetime. Whether I was in recovery and his presence was a side effect of that, or some incorporeal intelligence breached the wainscoting and made a notable corporeal change of otherworldly origin…I’ll take it.
Other than my very subjective personal standards or my words here, there has been no such wainscoting between a hallucination or daydream.
Since then, Foxglove has shown more personality than function (if we go by the Neo-Classical anthropomorphic personification idea in paganism), or perhaps more function than personality (if we go by a Jungian psychoanalytical interpretation than the supernatural world of invisible intelligent beings with the agency to prod us in our lives.) In some episodes that I still counted as quests, he was a shade of when I first met him, relating to the shades of corporeal people I’ve met or guises of characters that remain in my mind. Until those corporeal people come up to me in the corporeal world and say, “Hey, a fairy who names himself after a flower is bothering me and I think you can and should stop him,” I figured most of those quests wouldn’t bear mentioning. These are symbols, the movements of which I take note of.
Foxglove first appeared to me vaguely dressed like a privateer during the European age of wooden ships with sails, his skin looked white as paper and his eyelids were uncreased, and he only had one hand. Later, he had both hands and used that uncharacteristic capability to injure himself, and was given to angry shouting. Later, he moved as if his legs couldn’t function, and he dressed in blue knitted jumpers and denim jeans. Later, his limbs would be present and functioning but some painful and damaging injury appeared on his eyes.
And I refer to “later” as in what I’ve traced in corporeal time, but he goes about as if he’s always been the way he is now, and in the altered states of mind in which I meet him I don’t feel nearly as surprised as I would be had a corporeal friend regenerated a limb, even though I didn’t deliberately conceive Foxglove’s new condition and was witnessing it for the first time.
The corporeal world embodies truths in specifics. A thing is either there or is not, occupying spacetime with matter and all its qualities.
When it comes to the otherreal and surreal worlds, I try to find truth somewhere in a thematic analysis. The more versions of Foxglove I experience, the more clues I have as to what his presence is really supposed to mean. By corporeal standards, he isn’t really wearing anything, not a blue jumper or silver swashbuckle. He doesn’t have a species because he doesn’t have a body, let alone race or handicap. It isn’t English that he’s speaking, and it’s not speech through which he communicates, and it’s not communication that’s happening if I can’t know how much agency whatever manner of being Foxglove is has.
With a guiser that takes the form of a corporeal person I know, and for my own reasons named Miasma, we’ve had repeated instances of friction. I figured it’s an echo of a corporeal situation, where I’ve explained that Miasma’s presence has damaged me, and mutual companies hear me out and understand but are flabbergasted when I get upset that they invite Miasma without either warning me or listening if I say don’t or I can’t be there if…
The corporeal people, I’ve cut them all out of my life. That’s my boundary to set, and I’ll take whatever practical consequence comes with that shortsighted peace. But Foxglove has done the same to me over and over and over again, according to my corporeal documentation for the past several months, but each time feels like the first time he’s betrayed me. The betrayal feels less real than the guiser of Miasma, too, which is to say that it doesn’t feel all too real.
So, I figured that my psyche was processing the event. Maybe people who still have social circles to live in reveal these processes by complaints, projections, seeking personality types with which they can reconstruct traumatic situations and repeat behavioural patterns, and building reputations for having a “chip” on their shoulder about a specific issue. All that can come off as toxic, but never nearly as venomous I’m sure as having been in the very situation that the person has suffered. And maybe when they’re silenced, shamed for their perspective, too suspicious to repeat the same situation, or live like hermits…(or even if they can still pursue all these avenues and it’s still not enough to lose the complex) they hallucinate like I do.
And then, five days ago, Foxglove killed Miasma. Not the corporeal Miasma, of course, and as Foxglove had died once before himself and got better from it I doubt that Guiser Miasma’s death would even last. But in all these loops, that event was an outlier, and it was something new.
I’ve kept telling Foxglove near the end of these, I don’t know what, fantasies of betrayal, that whatever good he’s done by being in my life I would reject if it meant that he brought Miasma back in. As he’d done the latter, I follow with the former. Sometimes he understands that we’ve ended our relationship, and he probably complains to his friends about my oversensitivity, and how I overestimate my worth in a relationship and in the world, and sarcastically wishes me a happy and fulfilling life alone in a padded room that’s also an echo chamber where I would be free from the harm that I’m apparently always seeking for unfathomable reasons for which nobody else should bend over backwards as I demand (rather than recognizing that I was bending and have now broken.) Sometimes he tries to convince me that he understands his mistake, and I should give him another chance. To that I reply that the mistake should have never happened, and this isn’t supposed to be left up to chance: the harm he’d done me was a non-negotiable, and a change in character undid nothing.
This was the first time he’s tried to undo what he did in such a violent and final way. Then again, every tantrum and betrayal that he’s been given to has been the first of a myriad of instances that seem to get a blank slate with each new quest.
It feels, for the most part, like drama–or, more like a drama, as in something active, but far more immune to emotions invested by the active agents. They’re actions, but by actors. Depending on the method of acting, of course, it doesn’t always apply that drama is defined by the immunity to emotional investment by the actors or even a measured emotional investment by the audience. But when I write of Foxglove’s “tantrums and betrayals” it doesn’t feel nearly as real as the intense devotion (him to me, not me to him) with which he had concluded this latest quest of significance, and which is usually present in quests of other flavors.
Maybe that sort of affection is what I need (on, I hope, a deeper level than self-indulgent wish-fulfillment,) which is why he’s here. Maybe it’s unconsciously present but consciously rejected, which is why he’s here. Maybe death is symbolic of something less violent and final. Lady Wilde wrote about a particular affliction caused by fairies who called corporeal loved ones over to fairyland, and I’ve wondered if maybe I’ve been similarly fairy-struck. On the flip side, at least two spirit-workers out there (that I know of) have taken possibly similar surreal experiences as mine and understood that these surreal beings would meet them in the corporeal, by fate and reincarnation, or by walk-ins. I’d caught the same suggestion of that from Foxglove, and I couldn’t help searching passers-by on the commute route for a face I’ve only seen in dreams, but my better judgment recognizes that the sort of love he offers can’t be found in the corporeal. He couldn’t survive in this world if that was all there was to him, and if I met someone this dedicated then one of us must be mistaken.
What I’d really fallen for (although not from a situation of much greater levity) was a Prince Charming like figure, rescuer of the distressed, eros ex machina, and now apparently slayer of worse-than-dragons.
When I mentioned this to Foxglove, and what I thought it meant (that his unconditional love and, actually, the overwhelming serenity that he tended to carry with him when we weren’t all drama–was getting in the way of the corporeal life I wanted to live) the surreal that I’d grown used to swiftly blinked away. I hadn’t been on his ship in months, but I stood on that deck again as if I’d never left, or as if I’d come back to reality from a daydream. Of course, it was still a daydream or in the surreal, because I was on the deck of a pirate ship and could see the tips of icebergs all around in the waterscape, but I didn’t feel cold.
What does it all mean? Where do Foxglove and I go from here? I might find out, or I might not, but I thought I’d note it here.