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Be My Own Man.

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Christ, my head hurts, I think to myself. I start to rub my head. My eyes feel like they're glued shut, and my legs feel like they've never been used before. I mean, I really don't remember using them before. I don't remember anything. I don't remember my name. I open my eyes slowly and painfully. The glare I receive is incredible. It feels like my eyes are getting burnt into the back of my head.

Everything around me is white. I'm lying on white ground, and I'm naked. I look down and realise I'm a male. I don't know how I know that, but I do. A huge pink arrow appears above my head, blinking brightly. Since I don't really have anything better to do, I follow the arrow. I don't know why I'm following a line with a triangle on the end, but it seems like the right thing to do. Out of nowhere appears a large building, styled like an ancient Japanese dojo. A giant sign tells me to enter. I thank the sign and enter the building.

There's a small, Japanese man kneeling on the ground with his eyes closed, sipping a steaming cup of tea. He says something in a weird language, and big white words dance around me. I tell the words to calm down so I can understand them. They just laugh and continue to dance. I grab one of the words, and it tells me to sit down. I look up at the man and he nods. I sit down. A cup of tea appears in front of my and I take a sip. The man nods. I bow and thank him. He mouths something at me, and a question forms in my brain. What is your name?, the question says. I tell the man I don't have a name, that I don't remember where I come from or who I am. He opens his mouth and hums something, then shuts it again. My name is Lee. Lee for simplicity. The man sees that in me. Simplicity. I like simplicity. I like having a name like Lee. It gives me a warm feeling in my chest.

Suddenly I'm surrounded by words. New questions. Too many to make out. They're spinning and spinning and I'm getting kind of dizzy. They're all laughing at me, teasing me. I'm touched in the chest by something. It might be a hand, but it might not be a hand. It might be an object without a name. I feel sorry for the object, because I know how it feels to be nameless. I name the object blocky. Because it's like a block, and I can't just name it block, can I? Blocky understands me, he gets me. He makes me feel calm in the middle of all these rebellious words that refuse to make sense.

BANG. I'm hit with a new emotion. Anger, the words tell me. Get angry, angry, angry, angry..... Silly man with a silly body and a silly name. Get angry, silly man. The words are goading me. They're encouraging me. Listen, silly man. No old man can help you now, Listen to us. Silly man, get angry. I look down at blocky for his approval. He shakes his head, so I calm down. Calm, like my name. The words are angry now. Don't listen to stupid block, listen to us! We words know what's best! The words are telling me what to hate, what to like. They're telling me to conform. To join in with everyone. To be like everyone. Gee, being like everyone sounds just swell, I think to myself. Blocky is telling me not to. He says I'm Lee, like the old man said. I'm not like everyone else, I'm my own man. But I don't care about being my own man. I want to be an accepted man. I want to laugh and talk and sing with other men. No, blocky says. He tells me men that aren't their own men aren't worth the time.

Stupid, stupid, stupid! We know what's best, silly man! Without us, you are just another nobody! I drown out the sounds of the words chattering. Stupid words, blocky is smarter then them. I have to be my own man, just like blocky said, because blocky likes me for me, and the old man named me Lee because I'm Lee, not everybody. Gotta go out into the world, and be my own man! The words are getting discouraged. Fine, they say. Just try to survive without our advice. You're just a loser, silly man. You're a nobody! Those words are silly. I'm not a nobody. I'm Lee, and I'm my own man.





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