Mine was a long slow creep, dying by inches over years. It was a low grade daily torment that I believed I could not escape. I have an idea what caused it now, but back then, I had no clue. It was just how life was. I would show the enemy no weakness. I put on the stone face. My ability to feel also turned to stone. My “enemies,” concerned teachers who were mostly just trying to do their jobs, pushed even harder to get through to me. By the time I graduated, I was completely burned out at a time when I should have been revving to go. My grand ambition was to find a mountain somewhere and sit on it. I’d had enough of the mix of praise and shame that battered me from both sides and seemed false on either end.
I kept walking because I had nothing better to do. I kept pace with the people closest to me, but I had no real volition of my own.
Then Wakinyan, the Thunder Being, found me. It took a couple years before I gave in to its stalker ways, but finally I realized I was being stalked for a reason. I gave in about the time I realized that the very worst thing that could happen to me was nothing. Anything, even the madness that Waki promised, was better than the continued nothing of my life. I told him that I would not run.
Wakinyan gave me pain. He taught me to yell and to fight. She taught me to embrace all things and all people equally. I embraced my enemies and fought with my friends and realized that there wasn’t a huge difference between them. She taught me to take joy in all of these things. He taught me to scream in pain, and pleasure, and passion, and rage, and joy. They taught me to live again.
Eventually the day came when he tricked me into killing my self. I killed her in the most horribly brutal way possible. She was the one who wanted to die. I gave her what she wanted. I remember sitting on a rock, sharing the cheapest, nastiest cigarette Waki could find, as we watched her body sink into the ground. It was over. I wasn’t sure if we were celebrating or mourning. It was both.
Ra came looking for me next. He hit even harder than Waki ever did. Lightning strikes where the path is open. The sun does not discriminate. It burns everything. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I wanted to die again. I grew afraid again. I thought I’d lost everything Waki taught me. “The Thunder Being made you strong enough to receive my gift,” Ra said. I had a hard time swallowing the word “gift.”
Six years later, and I finally feel like I’m getting back on my feet. I realize that sun and storm are both part of who I am. I am lightning and fire. I am passion and purity. Netjer brought me here, practically against my will. What about it was so important that it had to be that way?
I’m here, so now what? I’m at the edges, and on the edges I will probably stay. The gods are full of fire and passion and blood and tears, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the Kemetic community. Where is the life behind the stone faces? Why bring me here, to this place where I will always feel like an awkward outsider?