Thursday, February 24, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Now that I reflect back on what had occurred, I realize I could never quite recall how this unimaginable, ghastly journey began. Nay, I can tell exactly how it happened, yet I am unable to diagnose the exact moment that my entire existence became my own customized hell. Was it when I discovered my legitimate identity? When I discovered my own disgusting actions? Or can the origins be pursued back to when I was a lonely child? Or perhaps it was when he pushed his way into my life- pushed as much as I begged him to enter.
I first encountered him at my favorite bookshop; I was seated in the centre of an aisle slowly digesting a marvelous compilation of theology essays. I was so captivated by the text that I barely noticed him until he was sprawled across my feet; my immediate reaction was to spring to my feet, helping the poor soul that had tripped over me, apologizes already gushing from my tongue.
The gentleman stood with an elegance that I was instantly envious of, discarding my apologizes with a confident air. Once he had regained his balance, the man's golden eyes studied me curiously, lingering especially on the crumpled essays still clutched within my fingers.
"Are you a fan of theology sir?" the man enquired in a soft voice.
"Oh, I suppose you could say that," I replied, "I'm more interested in what tales they come up with."
The gentleman's grin was luminous.
"I'm Lawson Milam." He thrust out a hand.
"William Mason." I received his hand firmly.
And so began our friendship, our first conversation on the floor of my favorite bookstore, about the various gods of the ancient Incas. It was quite a vigorous discussion if I do say so myself.
The following two years were the finest of my life, I can declare this with absolutely, no doubt in my mind, and I recognize that my bliss had everything to do with meeting Mr Lawson Milam.
In a minute space of time Lawson transformed into the twin I never had- and I really do mean twin. Lawson conceived me in a way I had never experienced, our relationship intimate like one could ever envision. He would know, truly, what I was thinking and I for him. It was one of God's greatest marvels our relationship was, genuinely astounding. He was my ‘true friend’, my friend that I would keep forever- I’d never beheld such a vision as this; never thought I’d acquire something so beautiful.
Albeit, over time my 'true friend' slowly disintegrated; it was slow, so slow that I almost didn't note the difference. Yet it was definitely present, he would be a bit harsher to the waitress, more judging towards a new acquaintance, impatient with children.
I remember the Lawson I first welcomed, and compared him with the Lawson of the present- there was an unbearably harsh contrast. Yet, curiously Lawson was just sweet and caring as he always was around me, but me alone. It was on the morn of a Wednesday however, that I genuinely comprehended how much my friend had transformed.
Let it be known that I am a righteous man, a god-fearing man, I place justice deep in my heart and know it shall be delivered, either now or on the eve of the lamb's return. It is because I hold on to this so strongly that the Wednesday morn disturbed me to the core.
Lawson had brought me to our customary cafe; we took our usual seats- situated in the back corner, next to the window with an engaging panorama of the aged street.
I was staring into the tiny lane-way when I heard a sound akin to that of disgust emerge from Lawson's throat, my gaze translated to my dear friend.
"Is something the matter Lawson?" I enquired; he didn't lift his stare from the man seated on the opposite wall, a regular at the cafe I recognized.
"Lawson?" I hedged, as he did not answer me the first time.
He lifted his gaze to look at me, "yes William?"
"What ever is the matter?" I questioned him for the third time, "Your staring is giving the poor man the shakes."
In truth, the gentleman opposite us had yet to observe my friend's stare- but I’m sure if he did the intensity of it would give him night-horrors for evenings to come.
The only acknowledgment from Lawson was the shaking of his head, and him saying that he had no wish to discuss the matter, so I should just leave it well alone.
I frowned but shut my lips, knowing that Lawson would eventually expose his secret to me, so I sipped my drink turning to examine the street once again. I was correct in my assumption, as a few minutes later Lawson called for my attention.
"William, if you uncovered an abominable act, and you knew who was responsible- what would you do?" He started cautiously, his eyes subject to the swirls decorating his teacup.
The question caught me off guard, I pondered for a minute before replying to him, that I would try to uncover all that I could before reporting it to the law.
"I can't do that." I almost cut him off before he continued, "They already know- they don't care."
Again I was caught off guard, "They don't care? Lawson, what deed did you uncover?" I demanded.
Lawson tore at his lips before a word slipped almost silently past them, "Murder."
All forms of speech had left me, I could almost not comprehend it, murder- and the law didn't care. At the time my mind was incapable of the thought of a man getting away with his evil deed.
Lawson knuckled his eyes, "And the murderer is sitting right over there, sipping his tea like nothing ever occurred!" He pointed discretely to the man against the wall. "He murdered his entire family with absolutely no reason! He's a psychopath!"
When I’d heard of his deed my blood rushed, roaring in my ears, my hands shook, spilling tea over the table- trying to contain my anger. How dare he? How dare he have a family and repay them with death? He was the unadulterated being of scum! Worse then the bottom of my shoe- and he had to be punished.
"He has to be punished," Lawson leaned across the wooden table, "And he has to be punished now- by us." He paused before continuing, "we have to kill him."
I stopped short, kill him? No! Then we would be more atrocious then him- there had to be an alternate way!
"He’s forced us Will- we must!" Lawson was quick to read me, "there is no alternative - he has to be punished!"
I shook my head viciously, "No! Murder is not an option! we'd be even worse then him! I dissent!"
Darkness overtook Lawson's features - it perturbed me.
"Will you need to understand- he needs to accept justice, and there is simply no other way. I will kill him, even if you are despicable enough not to help me."
The look in his eye terrified me, I’d never seen him that way, my blood froze. However the only thing I said was, "I will have no part in this."
I quickly fled the cafe, not twisting back to check if Lawson was pursuing me.
I remember being utterly horrified after that conversation, how could Lawson even perceive such a thought? I trusted him- thought I knew him, obviously I was mistaken.
I was still vertiginous from the shock a few mornings later when I noticed something out of place. I was sitting in the cafe when I realized the murderer-man was missing.
I felt nauseous, and escaped the cafe immediately.
Needless to state that day was the most horrible of my life- I knew, in my heart of hearts that Lawson was responsible, so when I found the murderer's face on the front page of the newspapers I was anything but surprised, besides myself- but not surprised.
It would have been more then a week before I saw Lawson again. He appeared on my doorstep, sad faced and apologetic. I asked his business with the door still between us, my face a blank sheet. Lawson fell on his knees begging me to let him inside, to forgive him because he was so very sorry. I folded instantly against my will and opened the door wide, letting him into my life once again.
When he was seated in one of the armchairs- his favorite I remember, I asked him stiffly if he wanted a beverage, he refused softly, looking more and more like a kicked dog. I remember that fact annoyed me greatly- he was the one that had done me wrong.
I said this to him, he winced slightly in his chair, relentlessly I plowed forward inquiring again why he had come to me.
"I've come to apologize, I'm so, so sorry." Lawson looked defeated, "I'll never again do anything of the sort- I miss you Will. I hate it that you can't bear the sight of me."
"Lawson, you killed someone! That can't go away so quickly!" I was almost shouting.
"But it can go away? Will I love you, you're my best friend I would be nothing without you, please forgive me, I have repented, I have done my penance!"
Our conversation went like so for quite a while, the sun was shining high when I let Lawson back in, it was low when I finally forgave him- however dull-witted the act may have been. That day was full of crying and shouting, harsh words and hugs- but in the end I realized that I had missed Lawson, I didn't really want to continue to live without him, to enjoy my life without him.
That was when I saw it- blood. It was smudged on his handkerchief peaking out of his pocket. I ripped at the cloth, I began shouting again.
"What is this?! You said you'd repented! This is definitely not "repented!"
Betrayal burned deep in my stomach, he hadn't stopped, the realization came to me so suddenly I almost swooned, he had done this to other people. I could feel the nausea rising in my throat.
"Get out." I told Lawson quietly, "Get out- and I never want to see your face again."
It pained me to say these words greatly. So when Lawson refused I started screaming again, my emotions fueling me; I slapped him square in the face before he finally edged towards the door. I wanted nothing more then to kill him at that very instant- I thought I knew him, I thought he loved me, I thought he was my true friend.
Lawson was at the door but before he stepped through I asked him "How many more?"
He turned to look back at me but only the back faced him, “I'll leave that you for to find out."
They were his final words to me before he slammed the door. I collapsed into a sobbing heap across my bed trying to bury myself in the covers as they turned dark, wet and salty.
I must have fallen asleep on my bed because the next thing I remember was be forcefully ripped from it. It was dark and but I could feel hands grabbing at my arms and legs, I struggled, screamed and shouted before a small colourful explosion went off behind my eyes and I remembered no more.
The next time I awoke it was to a throbbing headache, a metal desk and cold dark room. Naturally it scared me to wits end. Someone cleared their throat behind me, in my speed to twist around my neck cracked, the pain blinding me for a few moments. A man stepped into my view, his heels clicking crisply on the varnished floors. He was a tall man, dressed smartly in a waist coat and a blinding white shirt, and he was obviously police.
His eyes were amazing I remember, almond shaped but had the most vivid blue buried within them, it felt like he could see straight through me. He continued walking around me, his heels clicking at the same intervals until it had the desired effect, my nerves frayed and me feeling like some kind of animal, he then took his seat at the other end of the table. The only light in the room was a drop light, situated directly above the table, it only gave off the bare minimum of light, and the man used this to his advantage, eerie shadows hollowing his face.
On the table he slapped a file then asked me a simple question, "Do you know why you're here?"
The only answer I could give him truthfully was, "No."
My answer seemed to aggravate him, "Yes you do. You sir, have been charged with the murder of over 5 different people- tell me, did you know that?"
His voice was menacing as his hands threw down five photos from the file on the metal table, each making a resounding slap.
I frowned, "Murder? Five people?"
At the time I was in shock, I was in a strange room, being interrogated and being accused of murder- my mind had yet to comprehend the entire situation.
My gaze flicked down to the pictures.
“Oh God" I gasped, one of them was the man from the cafe, and I'd seen the other four in the recent news, I remember being utterly scared at the way they'd been murdered, only their teeth could identify them as they'd been so disgustingly mutilated.
The man was talking again, I strained to listen past the blood in my ears. He pulled out a handkerchief, smudged with blood- Lawson's handkerchief.
I jumped up, "That's not mine!" I shouted, "And I didn't do any of this! - but I know who did." The words came tumbling out of my mouth too quickly for me to change them- I was about to turn Lawson in, the thought made me cold.
The inspector raised one cool eyebrow, "Do you really?" he questioned, "Who did it then if not you? We have witnesses and evidence all pointing to you sir."
I shook my head, "No- I didn't do anything it was someone else, I knew him." I paused, was I really about to condemn Lawson, the best friend I'd ever had; yes- I knew I had to. "The person you’re looking for is Lawson Milam, he owns that handkerchief- and I know for a fact that he killed that man." I picked up the picture of the man from the cafe.
The inspector froze at my words, looking at me questionably, "Lawson Milam did this?" he asked.
"Yes! I had nothing to do with it- I tried to persuade him otherwise but he didn't listen to me." I said to the inspector.
"What’s your name?" the inspector asked suddenly, the question caught me off guard.
"William Mason, I thought you knew that already."
"Tell me, do you know what Lawson Milam looks like?" Again, this question also surprised me.
"Yes of course I've know him for years." I knew he was leading this somewhere but I just had no inkling where to.
"Turn around for me, Mr Mason."
Confused I did as he said looking into a mirror- but I wasn't in the picture. I wasn't anywhere on the mirror- I reeled back smashing into the table, shock coursing through my body. The only people in that mirror were Lawson Milam and the inspector.
Texts take us on a journey to different worlds while encouraging us to reflect on our own.
Texts take us far enough away from reality to be considered fiction, but not far away to not make a statement on our current world/reality. Or if statement is the wrong word then let me use question- texts make us question our own reality in a way that we probably never would have had we not come into contact with that particular text. The ‘good of society’ course showed us many texts that made me question my own reality, some of these questions were good, others not so good or very easy to answer. Thos essay will be showing some of the questions that were raised in the duration of this course, and will hopefully leave you with a few questions of your own.
The world of 1984 was bland, dark and miserable; the government was all powerful- watching the people 24/7. The society was kept submissive and blinded by its own social system/ hierarchy and more the 80% of the population lived way below to poverty line- and these are just a few examples. When reading 1984 you become so immersed in the book; you can practically feel the chains that Winston fights against chafing your own wrists, and when you finally put the book down- glad to be rid of the iron manacles you see that they are still there, they’d always been there- you’d just never realised it before. Most people don’t acknowledge it, but our current world is so similar to that of 1984 when you look at it from a different light. George Orwell had littered his book with similarities trying to get our world to realise, to reflect, on just how close we are to becoming a society that functions like the society in 1984. The government has almost full control of our lives; we are under 24/7 watch by all the cameras on every street corner, our credit cards can say exactly where we are and when we were there, our home address, our telephone number, our job, our date of birth- all accessible to the government with a few taps on a computer keyboard. If they so wanted they could completely erase our very existence; our word for this is ‘identity theft’, the Party’s word for it is ‘vaporise’.
The Matrix, instead of showing us a different social world, depicted a different world entirely; a different physical look, a different social system, a different mindset. Based in a world where over 95% of the world’s population has no idea that they’re in a computer simulated reality; after watching that text its not surprising that you also begin to question the ‘realness’ of your own reality. What proof do we have that we’re not just mental projections of our consciousness? Because really it does make sense doesn’t it; where do we go after we die? - back to the ‘the source’? And what about possessions- is that the devil, or the agents? The Matrix targets certain beliefs and creates an explanation, one that actually fits with a little imagination. Coupled with the fact that everyone that was under was completely oblivious to the fact that they were simply human batteries provides that little bit extra- that little question of ‘how do we know?’ Most people would consider themselves Neo, but what if we’re really just those random people on the street that have no idea how stupid they are. It’s a horrible thought isn’t it?
Adding on from the last paragraph- the question of ‘do we really exist here?’ then comes another question- one that popped up in the text The Island- ‘if we do exist- what’s the purpose?’ Now, I realise that a lot of people have asked that question before- in fact probably everyone has asked that question at some point in their lives; however The Island brought up a rather dark theory on the meaning of life. The characters in the text are clones- their purpose in life was to die. The fact that the characters, which the audience forms a relationship to, have such a dark meaning to their life makes you question weather your own meaning is meant to be just as dark, or ever worse, no meaning at all. Because, think about it, this is the average human being’s life cycle; you are born, you grow up, you go to school, you get a job, you get married, you start a family, you retire, you die. Does that not seem a little pointless to you? One could think that its better to be used to save people- or better to be used as a battery to power something because at least then we’ll have a purpose that’s more then just continuing the Homo sapien species.
So really, I would say that texts do take you away from your own world- where you’re free of responsibility, of your teachers, your boss, your problems- they take you to a place where nothing is real, nothing is painful; except then they drop you back into your own world again and you realise that the ‘fictional world’ is actually not so different from your own. You’re left with the knowledge that your world is just as bad as the one that you’d left behind. Or maybe its not, because maybe your world doesn’t exist at all?
This is number 3 of my awesome Lit essays ;D
How does the Lord of the Flies relate to studies in psychology?
There are many different experiments that relate to the plotline of this movie, some of them include the Milgram experiment and the Robber’s cave experiment. This movie explores such behaviours as obedience, social hierarchy and Human instinct or we could call it the hierarchy of human need, and many other social behaviours which we will look at in this essay, this text is going to simply link experiments with they’re parts in the movie.
Humans are social creatures, and therefore have a need to be accepted and loved, one of the easiest ways of getting accepted is to act like the group that you want to be accepted by, this act goes by another name: conformity. The most well-known conformity experiment was done by Solomon Asch; He gathered a bunch of boys into a room to ask a series of questions- except for one all the boys were actors, and being instructed to say the wrong answer. The results would come from the lone authentic boy if he would give the obvious correct answer, or follow the social code and give the wrong answer. More often then not the person would give the wrong answer, and prove Asch’s conformity theory. The boys in Lord of the Flies did the exact same thing, it was either all for Ralph or all for Jack, they took social cues from each other to chose either boy.
The fact that the boys did follow social cues, or didn’t want to stand out, can be linked back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs; as I said before humans feel the need to be accepted and loved.
However before that level comes the levels of Physiology, or in layman’s terms survival and the level of safety; after that comes love/belonging, esteem then self-actualisation which is the level of knowing who you are, and how you work. The boys in the text did go through this hierarchy, they went through it in order, first getting things to survive, then reassuring themselves with shelter and safety, creating a loving group (bar Jack and his group) where each boy had a place in. Most of them even made it through to the higher levels of the triangle, becoming the leaders and figuring out, or trying to figure out the problems in the society.
Another experiment that was very closely linked to this text was the Robber’s cave experiment. In this experiment two groups of boy, around the same age as the character in the book were left to their own devices in a isolated camp. The boys created hierarchy and took care of their survival needs, overall it was almost mirror image to what the children in Lord of the Flies had done, bar the murder.
Another role-play experiment similar to Robber’s cave and thus to Lord of the Flies is the Stanford prison experiment, where students got divided into “prisoners” and “guards”. The result recieved from this controversial experiment is akin to the plot line of the text. Basically when a person is put in a certain situation, they would act accordingly. For example Jack, fell into the role of defying Ralph and becoming the rebel leader, through out the course of the book Jack became more and more sadistic, and more and more power drunk. The Stanford Prison experiment had the same reaction, the guards would become sadistic and do things that would have never thought to have done if in their right minds.
Overall Lord of the Flies is a very interesting book, its focus on human behaviour when left on its own is striking and unnerving. It relates to many experiments done in the psychology arena, experiments such as Robber’s cave, the Stanford Prison experiment and Maslow’s experiments. All of these describe a side of human nature that all of us know exist, but few wish to understand.
by Taxi xoxo
Number 1, or really 2 of my new found literature :D
Its true, mankind needs some form of control to operate peacefully, however I disagree that that was the ultimate point of George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four. In truth I believe that his ultimate point was something a little different; instead he was trying to deliver a message from between the lines of his book. A warning that is; if humanity continues to progress as we are doing so now, our future generations will suffer the consequences, the existence of a society controlled and bound down by its own mind, and by its own ‘free will’. Orwell has littered Nineteen Eighty-Four with evidence of this theory, and hopefully this essay will convince you that Nineteen Eighty-Four is actually spelling out a warning and not convincing us to become a totalitarian society.
One of the most chilling aspects of this book is the fact that it’s not hard to see Winston’s reality becoming our reality in the near future; Orwell makes definite links between the society of Nineteen Eighty-Four and our modern society, making the book feel very personal, and the effect is enhanced as we are looking through the eyes of Winston, who has a similar mindset to that of the reader. Would you agree that in our society you rarely have any privacy? Your credit card allows people to know exactly where you are at what time, there are atleast 2 or 3 cameras on every semi busy street, be it ATM cameras, security cameras, phone cameras and not even to mention the giant satellites floating around- like the one that does the footage for Google Earth. Mankind is under watch 24/7 and we aren’t even aware of it. The only difference between the society in 1984 and the society we have now is that the people in Nineteen Eighty-Four are aware of how watched they are; they know the uses of the telescreens, they know that the thought police are always right around the corner, they know that your greatest enemy could be your own flesh and blood- it was common for children to turn in their parents to the thought police, they were praised for it. Can you really see much of a difference between the two societies? CIA vs the Thought Police, Telescreens vs Cameras; there is hardly a difference anymore- Orwell made and uses those common traits to the point that they feel almost familiar with them when you read the book, and its only when you take a step back that you realize that, if we can be so similar in that way, how much of a leap is it to be similar in the other parts of our lives? How far away can a totalitarian government be, where control lives only at the top of the hierarchy pyramid, oh wait do we already have that?
Nineteen Eighty-Four was a warning, it was telling us of how we will turn out if our society continues on as it’s going - I believe it is also trying to scare us away from that reality by showing us the worst possible outcome, and by scare I mean literally freak us out enough to change. Orwell seemed to always be discomforting the reader, adding in scenes or language that are uncomfortable to read about. One of the most obvious examples of this is perhaps when Winston is walking around the prole district and a bomb is fired into the area, this an everyday occurrence so the whole experience blows over in a matter of minutes, as Winston walks away from the scene he sees a hand, “Apart from the bloody stump, the hand was so completely whitened as to resemble a plaster cast. He kicked the thing into the gutter, and then, to avoid the crowd, turned down a side-street to the right.” Usually a human is not that nonchalant when it comes to stranded body parts, the fact that Winston was unnerves the reader, the act is found almost inhumane and we put so much emphasis on being a normal human, and seeing some one that is practically a psychopath, it scares us- we shy away from that part of humanity and I believe that is what Orwell wanted us to feel all along- a fear of becoming that society.
There is also the fact that the entire society that is portrayed in Nineteen Eighty-Four is dystopic, if Orwell’s goal were to say that humanity needs control then he would most certainly not portray this ideal society from that dystopian point of view. Orwell uses a number of different techniques to express this idea of a dystopian society, most of them being based around the atmosphere and setting. Oceania in the year Nineteen Eighty-Four has a distinct feeling of Europe during the mid 1940’s, that is to say a state of war, or just post war; and what are war and dystopia if not synonyms? The whole setting/atmosphere in Nineteen Eighty-Four is bleak, there are grey, eroding buildings that smell like cabbage, 85% of the population in Nineteen Eighty-Four live in the ghetto and there are limited-nil supplies of boots and razors those things alone make you think of a barren, unhappy place where everyone has holes in their winter jackets. Well everyone except the 2% of the population that live in every dystopian society that have their winter jackets made out of the finest quality mink fur, drink the finest quality of red wine while the rest drink mass produced ‘victory gin’ and have the most luxurious of living areas that don’t smell of cabbage; there is a distinct hierarchy system set up in this society, one that is impossible to change. Orwell uses these themes to display the dystopian-ness of Nineteen Eighty-Four; the society is physically portrayed as dystopian to mirror the way that is dystopian mentally. Mentally it is a society that is oppressed by the use of their own mind, by the process called ‘doublethink’ and it seems that even at the very top of the hierarchy pyramid there is no escape, there is no leader anymore, it’s a vicious cycle.
A warning- that is what Nineteen Eighty-Four is, there is no way that Orwell is trying to convince his readers that the world would be a better place when humanity is controlled, if that was his goal he would not have written his book portrayed in such a negative light, full of unnerving characters with psychopathic tendencies, atmospheres that feel like everything is dead or dying and then making it feel like this future is right around the corner, that if only we went a little bit more the right or the left our society could end up just like the one that Winston tries and fails to escape with the only thing he is left with are the horrifying consequences. We can only hope that Orwell wrote his book soon enough that humanity might take some heed and maybe be able to scrape past that future that we seem to be heading for anyway.
by Taxi xoxo
Friday, February 11, 2011
Our greatest pretences are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there. – Eric Hoffer
The Art of the Pretender
I am empty.
The thought, let alone the truth, of that statement terrifies me. Three small insignificant words, apart they hold no threat, yet together they provide me with a bone deep chill that was impossible to warm away.
The chill drops into my belly, hanging writhing like a little lead dragon, tendrils of flame escaping its tiny snout. The fire seeps through the lining of my gut, entering my bloodstream in painful ohsopainful bursts; flooding through my capillaries until I can’t tell the difference between blood and fire. Between me and the Fear. Wheredoiexist?
Except then, mercifully, it recedes; the fire loosens it grip on my veins, returning them to a cool blue. My toes tingle, like pins and needles, spreading to my calves, my thighs. My chest escapes if flaming vice and breath returns haggardly to my burnt lungs. And everything’s ok, everything is going to be fine I’llbeok; except then I realise, its not dissolving away, it was compounding.
The fire gets thicker- tar like in its consistency- slugging up my neck, through my skull, only to reside, pulsing deftly against the back of my mind, niggling and biting at my synapses, like an insect desperately scurrying for food.
My fingers shake, residue of the fire pulsing softly softly through them; the pen gripped between their tips quivers. I press it to the pristine paper in an effort to quell the shaking, but my wrist does not sweep, my fingers do not move, and I realise once again- I am empty. A gut wrenching cry fills the air whyhowplease! and the pen is ripped from the paper, just as I fall from the table, throwing myself away. My tears evaporate before they could even form, the flames still beating in my veins almost never unnoticeable.
There was a time when I could write weavecreateimagine page after page of written art, I could compose beauty with only a swish of fingertips. But now… my eyes were drawn to the soiled paper, askew on the desk. All I could fathom was a little black evil mark- there was no beauty, there was grace, there was no awe- there was nothing nothingleftofme that I could put onto paper, nothing left, there was only a black hole, glaring up at me from what I had considered my only friend, my saviour.
The dragon unfurled its tail, stretched it wings, dug its claws into my belly and it was all I could can’t do to ignore it, to hide it, to pretend. Because the only worse thing then being empty is other people knowing that you’re empty. Helpme!