So last night when I got sucked into an “Alex” hole and was picking my way through his discography, his voice blew out my speakers. That’s never happened before, and was fixed by a restart. However, in the interim, his voice became distorted and- let’s just say it- downright demonic.

I get a lot of displeased faces that invisibly surround me when I decide I’m going to listen to his music, and that sucks because I still really deeply love his music and wish it wasn’t like playing a pungi in front of a cobra. But I know it’s not wise, and that just makes me more indignant.

I can do whatever I want. Don’t try to warn me. Don’t try to be the boss of me.

I can’t really describe what it’s like when the veil between worlds gets sketchy, but I suddenly realized I’d done a foolish thing by listening to his music after midnight, in the dark, in my bed, slightly intoxicated (IMAGINE THAT, says absolutely no one). It’s almost like the sides of my vision rupture slightly, and shadows and tiny flashes of light like sequins on a dress burst all around me. I start hearing things that aren’t real. I start to feel a bit like plastic wrap has been draped over my mouth.

When I was brushing my teeth, rushing myself to bed, an oily little voice appeared in the back of my mind. That voice only has one source, the shadowy little confidence man that may or may not have greasily convinced people to cause trouble since literally the beginning of time. I haven’t heard that voice in at least seven years and immediately had a visceral response. But as always, after a moment or two, I started to get lulled into a kind of sedated confusion, and suddenly, my triumvirate protection system appeared.

Before I could say anything, they each sat on an edge of my mattress and said, “Just go to sleep. Go to sleep. Now. Go to sleep.”

This morning, I decided I should listen to him some more, because this is what I do, and also watched an interview with him I’d never seen before. Every time he looked into the camera I felt like I’d been pierced with a knife, but I think his eyes do that to everyone. His speaking voice also has the strangest effect on me. It’s not the same as the oily voice I heard last night, but it still brings out such interesting reactions from deep in my rib cage. Certain inflections and phrases, ways he flips his hands or twists his mouth…

I think I want to believe that there is a separation somewhere, that the man I loved and the one that tried to kill me are not the same. Is that Stockholm Syndrome? I don’t know. Is that the part of me that still loves him and is still actively trying to rehabilitate him? I guess we’ll find out.

Oh, I know it doesn’t matter, and maybe it’s not even real, but I forget sometimes how close I am to trouble, and no matter what anyone else believes, I have to protect myself at all times.

It’s never over.

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