I sat there, alone, watching as these people are living their lives in complete oblivion. Do they not see or understand what this world is? They all seem so happy even though their lives seem so mundane and redundant. I am sitting on this bench judging them, but the truth is I envy them. If given the choice, I would do anything to live that mundane and redundant life, but as luck would have it, that is a choice that I do have.
I don’t have an exact name as to what I am. I just know that every person in my family are descendants from this being that isn’t human. I have been raised to hate humans. To despise everything that they are. Humans strive for happiness even though they live in a world of hatred, sadness, and despair. I often wonder why they just don’t succumb to the negativity. I see these people in the darkest of times still looking for that light at the end of the tunnel as they are grasping onto every ounce of hope that they find. This world is a nasty world, filled to the brim of terrible intents and horrors of fates, and yet these people are still walking around with smiles on their faces like all is well in the world. I don’t know know what it feels like to smile, since I never have been able to have one.
I hear people say that to survive in this life you just need to be strong. That you just need to put positivity out into the universe and that positivity will be reflected back on to you. That having hope and faith will bring you comfort in the worst of times. I can’t fathom what any of that feels like since I can’t feel any form of positivity or happiness. I feel sorrow, anger, and hatred. I swim in a pool of negative thoughts, hostility, and jealousy. Everything that I am embodies everything that humans try not to be, and I can’t help but contemplate who has it worse.
Luckily the spot where I tend to people watch is near my home, so the walk back is quick. As I approach my front door I see that my entire family is home, even my great aunt, and I just sigh. Our family is large, so that means a lot of noise is going to be made this evening. I hate my family. I have a mom, a dad, three brothers and a great aunt who all reside at the home with me, which forces us to all to be around each other even when I am seeking solitude.
“Hello daughter. Human watching again I am sure.”
“What a waste of time. Humans are a pathetic waste of energy if you were to ask me.”
“What do you want me to say, brother? I can’t be locked up in this house like the rest of you.”
“Those people out there are just a bunch of liars. Their smiles and laughter are masks for the pain that they are truly feeling. At least we are honest about who we are.”
“Well mother, I frankly don’t really care what any of you have to say. Your opinions mean next to nothing to me, so do me a favor and keep your words where they belong. To yourself.”
As I walk away towards my room, I realize that the irony behind my brother telling me that humans are a waste of energy when they just wasted a bunch of mine is blinding.
“Great niece, is that you?”
My great aunt resides in a room that is adjacent to mine, so she always hears me as I approach my room.
“Hello great aunt. How are you.”
“How are you.”
“Well I feel as if I want to isolate and ponder the idea of death but my family will not allow me to do that.”
“Would you like to carry on with that?”
“It is fine great aunt. Is there something that you wanted to speak to me about?”
“Actually yes. Why have you been watching the humans so much lately?”
“I don’t know. I guess I don’t understand why they fight so hard for happiness when this world is so dull and terrible.”
“So you watch them? That is ridiculous. What will watching them do? Are you studying them?”
“I am just observing.”
“Okay can I go now?”
“Did you know that you once had a grandfather many generations ago that found his humanity?”
“Yes mother had mentioned that in passing before.”
“Yes, yes. This world is so shameful that he no longer wanted to be apart of it the way that he was.”
“The way that he was? What are you talking about?”
“Great niece, I want you to listen and listen well. We are indeed descendants from a being that formed numerous generations ago. But haven’t you ever wondered what that being was?”
“I said to listen! No interruptions please!”
I was confused as to if I should reply to her or not, so I opted to just sit there.
“Anyways, legend has it that the descendant that we come from was human. This particular human was consumed with everything that we are. Every negative emotion ran through this human until they couldn’t take it anymore, so the human made the decision to end their own life. They took a knife and did what they did, thinking that it would all be over, however, their plan did not go the way they had anticipated. They woke up to all of those emotions, however, they were all amplified. There was not a single ounce of positive emotion in them, and their humanity had vanished.”
“Yes. Now fast forward to your grandfather from many generations past. He was just like us, being unable to see any positivity, to only see the negative in everything. Now I don’t know what possessed him to do this, but he took a knife that was a family heirloom and stuck his finger with it. He claims that the moment that he stabbed the knife into his finger is when his life began. He still had some of the negative emotions, however, they weren’t as strong as they once were. He said that the wound was draining the negativity out of his body, and positive emotions started making their way in. He said the first time he ever felt joy was when he saw a dog run past him. The first time he felt love and admiration was when he started courting some human woman. The first time he felt trust was when he made his first friend through his work. The man was even smiling! He said that his life had completely changed and that he could feel his humanity, and that there was no greater feeling in the world. Now of course the family found that everything that he had said was complete and utter rubbish, and he eventually stopped communicating with our ancestors, but I have always found that tale to be intriguing.”
“Whatever happened to that knife, great aunt?”
“Why, it just so happens that it has been passed down to me. It is in my closet in some box somewhere.”
I couldn’t help but think about that story. The intensity of it all had my mind swirling. Is there really a chance that my humanity could be restored? Or is the whole thing just rubbish, like my great aunt had said? After searching my great aunt’s closet for what seemed like forever, I finally came across the knife. It was about eight inches long and was plated in gold. It looked simple, and yet you could tell that it yielded so much power.
“Don’t fool around with that now!”
“Okay great aunt.”
I then took the knife into my room, set it on a side table that was next to my bed, and just thought about the information that my aunt just told me.
The next morning I went back to my bench. There were many humans there with their standard smiles communicating with one another and laughing. Even their tiny offspring seemed to find joy in the little things, like the grass for instance. I sat there for hours, just wondering what that would feel like. That is when something came over me, and I just started walking back home.
“Back home from people watching yet again. When are you going to give it a break?”
I didn’t have the energy to have this conversation again.
I walked upstairs and walked straight to my room, ignoring my great aunt’s call. I picked up the knife, and just pricked my finger with its sharp tip. The moment the first drop of blood started spilling out of my body I just collapsed on the bed. Every negative feeling that has consumed me for my entire life felt as if they were slowly leaving me. I still felt them, but they were much more manageable. My sadness and anger no longer felt overwhelming, and I no longer felt hatred or despair.
Once I gathered myself I decided to go back outside. As soon as I opened the door and felt the same air that I had always felt caress my face I felt a strange spark within me. I walked to my bench and just sat down. What was that knife? Did it actually do something to me or am I imagining it? Moments later a dog ran up to me and gave me a kiss on my hand, and that was when I experienced something I never thought I would be able to experience. A smile.
I have found balance in my emotions. I have found my humanity.