Stephen Fahey: The Voice in Your Head

Everyone has their work life and social commitments, their parental responsibilities and medical checkups and residents’ association meetings. But no matter how old a person becomes there remains eternal the inner sanctum of their individual self. Deep down, where no one else can reach, beyond the childhood baggage, through the swamp of teenage years of old and past the landfills of adult experiences, we all possess a true self that is, to varying degrees, unspoiled.

Society teaches us to suppress this oasis of humanity, to pump it full of anxiety and politics, knowledge and hangovers, fantasy and subsequent self-loathing derived from the depravity of our fantasies. But still it remains, like a wasp in our bedrooms while we try to sleep. Like a cat in heat on a neighbours roof while we try to enjoy a civil barbecue with the in-laws.

It is inescapable. It has more power than often we like to admit. And yet, we do not bring it to the canal in a canvas bag. We secretly nurture it and slip it cookies under the table when nobody is looking. We shield it from the knowing eyes of the world, in part in fear and in part to preserve our sanity. But, whatever our reasons, we cannot kill that part of ourselves.

That wildness in us chokes on the smog of polite conversation and howls with glee when a situation seems hopeless. It even pops up into full view of others from time to time, and always at the most inappropriate moments. But it is ours, none the less. We outwardly think it a burden, especially when we find that it has led us down a dark alleyway of a weekend night, spilled kebab sauce on our best suit and somehow misplaced our pants.

But we err when we deny that creature. We err when we don’t pull out a chair and sit it at the table as if it wasn’t a secret. We hide it, for fear. Plain, vanilla flavoured fear. But we need not. That special little voice in the backs of our heads is not a demon. It’s not some inner terror that wants to cause us harm. It is just the last spasm of the wildness of our spirits.

It is trapped inside us, behind closed doors. And it is dying, with every day that passes. It wants to strip naked and chase down cars and bark at them and pee on the rug and eat foods makes it puke glitter. It is not wrong or dishonest. It is we who pretend. And that is our undoing, day by day. We are not a species of refinement. We are not spiritual beings. Those are just made up things we us to lie to ourselves about how right that little voice really is. We are little more than that thing inside us all, for just about most of the time. And we would all do well to listen to it more often. 

Stephen Fahey

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