Oh, how we love our tortured boys.
(At Hair Fair, Here Comes Trouble's booth, after purchasing the "Candy" braided ponies from Wilted Rose.)
It's been a saying for a very long time. I don't spend the bulk of my time overanalyzing--for that particular saying, at least. And I also know women affect me differently--a woman in pain, I want to bandage the worst wounds and lift her up again, arm her and send her out fighting.
(ReignShadow Walker learns the trick of making books in Avaria.)
Men, though...men in deep pain fold me in around my core of adamant, pull me farther out of myself, sometimes, than I'm comfortable going. Sometimes that's frightening, sometimes I'm so far beyond understanding, in that moment, what's going on that I'm left blind by the riptide draw.
(Using copper ore and crushed quartz in ginger jars, SubGirl lays the groundwork for the assembly line system in Avaria.)
I want to help, I need to help, I've moved heaven and earth and planets in their orbits, anything to free them, even for a single moment, of whatever it is that's shredding them inside. I shouldn't say just men pull this out of me--anyone I love, I'd destroy sinew and bone, put all of me to one side, to help any way I can--but men pull strongest. Men in pain, wounded men, if there's a way, I have to help. I have to help. Denial of self, perhaps annihilation of self, but I can't not reach out.
(The thought did occur the night I took this--what particular game in SL requires dressing up as a bloodspattered, punked-out Paris Hilton while wielding a nail-studded plank? Sadly, the world may never know, but at least Miss ame Meili had fun beating the sockets out of the Lucky Fortune game at Sugar Mill Poses.)
Even when I tell myself not to reach out, I still find ways to extend my reach. Even if they're only visible from my perspective. Even if I'm the only one who knows.
(Apparently there is a Torley version of the Facelight 3000. I have fear.)
Some of it, I know, comes from my particular version of loyalty. It's not mindless, it's not instinctive, I do think about the things, the ideals, the people to which I'm loyal. But once I am, once I exist in that moment, it takes a tremendous effort to wrest my loyalty away. Wrong or right, I will defend those I've chosen, unless they turn on me.
(Sometimes, you just can't trust labels.)
And even then, even then, my loyalty tends to hold. I may not walk with them longer, I may not be a focus in their lives...but in my own way, I watch, I listen, I guard. As much as I am able, as much as I'm allowed. It takes a very, very long time for that sense of loyalty to dissipate. Loyalty, I've found, lasts even longer than love.
(Ow pain ow burning ow. Scavenger hunts should not require self-immolation.)
Perhaps it does make sense--after all, those I love, those I've befriended, those I've chosen are my shields. Why shouldn't I shield them in return, as much as I'm able? It's not perfect--as I've said, I do make mistakes, I stumble, I lag behind and lose the path--but it's the free gift of my heart, no recompense requested or required.
(There's such a thing as too much glow. Occasionally, Bare Rose forgets this.)
Even when it binds me further to those I've left behind, those who've left me behind. So far, it's the price I'm willing to pay. Though, admittedly...of late, that price has grown costly indeed.
(There is no death ray in Morgaine.)
Perhaps it's time to seek a new path, make different choices. Listen to the voices of the future, not the past. As frightening as that sounds to me...