I’ve got that dammed feeling again. like there’s a roaring ocean of silence inside of me. Emotional catatonia. when I was little and I got very upset I would pretend I was catatonic to keep from lashing out. I got very good at it. In my teenage years it lead to a disturbing unresponsiveness whenever I got in trouble or experienced some sort of social humiliation (of which there was a lot). Total shut-down. My mom called it my “dead face” and it disturbed her greatly; “I can’t stand that dead face of yours”. She would do everything she could short of beating me to try to get a reaction. What she didn’t realize is that it WAS the reaction. A reaction to a life time of stress and abuses she wasn’t aware of, all pounding against the walls of my head to come screaming out… And I was terrified of myself. Terrified of being crazy, and terrified of what would come out of me if I opened up, so I pushed it away. Pushed it away and in until the only external sign were the hidden bandages on my upper thigh and an incredibly inanimate expression hidden behind a curtain of hair. Except when things were OK and there were no stressors. And when things were OK, I could fake it. The puppet sprung to life, wild & vivacious. “Real-life simulated human emotion, folks!”… I got better at it eventually, and I refined the dead mask. It’s fully animated now, and there is rarely a gap in the performance. I don’t know I’m speaking plainly about it… Save that I don’t have the energy for cryptically framing and layering a verse, and the little glowy screen before me offers up a different type of wall and separation.