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22 September 2015 - 00:57

behind closed eyes

GRIZZLY: I don't consider myself the "original host." I am simply the Narrator, so sometimes it seems as though I was the First Born, the Core, whatever you wanna call it. I can guarantee, that is not the case. For one, I'm introspective, analytical, and dry. I have access to memories not my own where the person viewing the world does not possess those qualities. We were very young. I was not a frontrunner then. I have a strong suspicion that BB was. We were kinder then, but also weaker.

Also, we were seperate from each other. We thought we were One Person, and we felt alone. Alone, yet aware of the whispers we heard in our headspace. We have always heard one another speak, but for the longest time, we would hear the voices, but never listened. As young adults, when the voices began to sound more defined, we panicked at the thought of schizophrenia. We began this diary at the same time we started up a website on GeoCities (anyone remember GeoCities?), in order to both shed light upon our inner world and make light of it. I've always been a writer, a storyteller, a dreamer. We were still Seperate from one another. I was sure I was just One, and that I had full control of the others, who I viewed as just another set of characters in a story. Boy, was I ever wrong...!

The reason I'm bringing this up now is because I'm actually trying to answer a question. I was asked (or rather, all of us were) why our inner landscape is what it is, so bleak and plain. Though it wasn't directly said, I got the impression the person asking was a bit worried for my children, and how this inner world is affecting them. So, Amber, this entry's for you.

The first real journal we ever kept as seperate entities actually started out as a letter to our sister, who at the time was deployed in Kuwait. It evolved into something that terrified me, and I filled the entire notebook, never to be sent or shown to anyone. Across the cover of the single-subject spiral we wrote in black capital letters: THE RED. (Whenever we hear that song by Chevelle, it still makes the hair on our arms stand on end.) We were confused, angry. Terrified. I began to hear Ninja clearly during that time, but couldn't see his face, didn't know where the rage was coming from. A lot of his personality was slathered all over Piojo, who hadn't revealed to us his role as Protector. We were constantly blending and separating, but it felt more like collisions. BB cried a lot because she feared us, and I even threw a few punches at my brothers back then because I didn't recognize them as me. If you go back and read this diary from the beginning, you'll see a lot of that there. Yes, we had blackouts. Yes, we lost time. We almost melted down completely at one point. Piojo, in his cruel methods of protecting us from harm, would carve messages into the body's flesh, making us hurt, creating more scars for him to feed himself. He didn't know how else to make us shut up and listen to each other. Better to have us all unite in fear and loathing of him.

Right, right, so what does any of this have to do with a Closet? Why a Closet? Why not Paradise? Truth be, the word "Closet" is just that, a word. We use it to describe all of our inner mindscape. There are actually some places in here that have vegetation, a river, caverns, etc. We never mention them, because they are too private, and honestly, no one's ever really asked. So, yeah, thanks for asking. It was really nice of you. Originally, on GeoCities, we called ourself the Cavern Clan rather than the Closet Clan, but we got rid of that name because I felt it tied everyone too strongly to me, and implied once again, that I was the original One. Which, I cannot stress enough, I'm not. (Grizzlies belong in caverns, you see.) We chose the word Closet because in this, the physical world, we really do, literally, sleep in a closet. We live there. Our bedroom has a walk-in closet, but aside from keeping clothes there, we stuck our old iron-frame twin bed in there and are snug as a bug, happy to stay in. It is my sanctum, very cozy. Not everyone gets to lock both doors to their room shut when they want to be left alone!

The doorway to our Closet is also very symbolic to us. There is an old piece of parchment on the doorway, tacked to it with old iron nails that are blackened with age. In ink that can only be read in ultraviolet light, it reads: "I am the way into the doleful city. I am the way into eternal GRIEF..." This message is also written around the door frame to my closet in that same invisible ink. One thing is true, though: my Closet is not what many would consider homely, warm, welcoming, cozy or any other sappy word you can think of. The main entrance, where most of us stay in and gather in to commune with one another, is dim, cool and lacks any form of comfort. The walls are stone, the floor is smooth dirt where the children play. At first glance, it looks crowded and musky, tiny. However, if you walk towards the walls, they seem to pull away; they seem farther the more you try to catch them: all you catch are shadows. It's a huge, cavernous space. The dark walls are really only an optical illusion caused by the nubulous shadows. Voices sound hollow in here when we talk, and echo when Ninja or Yowlie let out feral screams.

There are many passages leading to the Closet, but we never really follow any of them. Sometimes whisps of vapor-like substance filters in from far away, Prophet, but we're not exactly sure which corridor it came from. Piojo refuses to speak.

Suffice it to say, that there is more to our Closet than meets the inner eye. We keep our surroundings meager and menacing in case any Outsider were to ever venture within.

If that last statement sounded hostile just now, please know that it is not. We're merely stating what is. Know also that, yes, our Closet is absolutely wonderous for us. The kids enjoy it very much, because it is safe. We grew up poor and would most likely get lost in a castle, and we don't have the skill to visualize an enire town. Whatever visual creations Sal has he usually directs towards the stories he and I create, which our kids enjoy a whole lot. So no palaces, mansions, or gardens for this clan. A hole in the ground - or wall! - is good enough for us.

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