Instructions on How to Be Dead Inside

For tylerfriend

1. As a young child, practice in the mirror in the middle of the night reacting to the passing of your friends & family. Do this so if & when death occurs, people do not whisper behind your back how how calmly you look into the face of it. 

 

2. Go out to the field beyond right-doing & wrong-doing and lay there, as Rumi said. Everything will make sense out there, where you stop trying to make the world understand your selfishness. 

 

3. Be selfish. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first & only assist other passengers if you want to, if you need to. Without a moral compass, you have no moral obligation to do what is expected of a normal person. 

 

4. Let go of the idea of normal. It doesn't exist. You only barely exist. Find metaphors for your half-life & use them. Be a plant growing where nothing grows. Be a fish where the sun doesn't reach. Be ignorant to the cold like you are to warmth. 

 

5. Do not spend time making people understand how & why you do what you do. Let them assume their own motives for your actions. Let them assume you care about how things turn out for them without regard for yourself. Let them assume what they will & don’t spend time making them understand. They won’t understand. 

 

6. Spends evenings in as many beds not your own as you can. Let the bodies of others contain hearts you can’t know enough to break. Spend evenings with bodies more alive than yours, doing things that make you feel alive. Don’t listen when they tell you they didn't call again was because of your “fuck off & run vibe.” Find new bodies. 

 

7. When you find yourself waking up to another person, don’t kiss their neck to wake them up. Let the hair fall in their face. Leave their bare skin uncovered and wrap the blankets around yourself. Don’t notice the sunlight pouring in through the window & don’t ask about coffee. Find your underwear before they feel you getting up & find your way into the snow. 

 

8. Learn from the ice & snow, that does not ask you before it falls. Feign only the emotions you need to get what you want. Lie. Cheat. Steal. These words mean nothing to you. You mean nothing. You do what you need, though you need nothing. Do not smile when he tells you to, unless he has something for you. Then smile until the corners of your mouth bleed. 

 

9. Unless they bleed like you do, pay them no mind. Teach women about their bodies, about wanting themselves, about wanting like men do. Teach them to look into the eyes of others with a storm looming, with the appearance of boiling water, & the feeling of the universe contracting. Teach them so they, too, don’t hear the men on the street calling after all of them, goddesses. 

 

10. Remind yourself of every death you've ever suffered & then remember you've suffered worse then death. Cram your fingers into the empty spaces of your body & search for something you won’t find: the climax, the bottom, the afterlife. Put your fingers into yourself regularly & don’t stop when they tell you to, they don’t know you. Don’t let them know you. 

 

11. When at last you think you are close to death, stop believing in death, stop believing the sun will rise, stop believe people will do the things they say, & stop believing your heart will beat again after each beat. The less you believe, the more space you will have inside you, let it stay empty. Become emptier still until even the weeds do not grow between your cracks & the fish carcasses rot in your gut & you don’t feel the cold because you are the cold.