002.

She assumed it existed as a way to keep her ego in check, to remind her that she had a tendency to want too much, to need too much, to feel too much. It was all too messy, this wanting and needing and feeling, and most of the time she didn’t know what it actually was that she wanted or needed or felt anyway.

If you could just kill off all that confusion, existing became more tolerable. Confusion and uncertainty were bad; that was a lesson she was taught very early in life. Knowing who you were, and for what (if anything) you could be useful, were very important. Knowing those things earned you the right to exist without shame.

Perhaps that’s why every time life began to offer her options, opportunities to expand her existence, she shrunk into herself and found a singular goal: self-purification. How could you possibly go wrong there? Distilling yourself into the bare minimum of what comprised the human essence. So straightforward and uncomplicated. Purposeful. Utilitarian.

It was rather paradoxical, she had come to realise, as what she perceived as a survival tactic was really nothing more than a slow death. So undignified and useless, when the intention was always precisely the opposite.

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