Manni’s Self-Aware Escape

Manni liked to escape. If life was boring for a moment Manni would just go. He didn’t physically leave, at first. Just his mind would wander. When life got too hard, too full of feeling, or it seemed like no one was seeing things his way; Manni would go where life was easy, feeling was defined, no one else was around.

One of Manni’s favorite places was a grassy hill just above Tokyo in an animated series: Neon Genesis Evangelion. He didn’t go there to live as Shinji and fight giant monsters in a huge biomech. Although that would be sweet! The three main characters are kids. At one point one or more of them are laying on their back in the grass on that hill watching clouds float by. The streets of Tokyo are void of any life, everyone being evacuated or dead. (It was an apocalypse story.) There was a lonely silence blanketed all around the kids broken only by the singing of cicadas; a familiar sound from perfect summer days. In this place Manni felt at peace; two perspectives existing side by side making easy sense of life. One where he could see everything, the big picture, how everything and everyone worked together to make life happen. In the other part of his mind was the single song of the cicada, one life being, fighting against horrible odds to fulfill his understood purpose. Everything snapping into place like Legos, making sense of the big wide world; or a single being fighting like hell to find where it belongs. Both scenes conveying real purpose.

Here’s the rub. Sometimes, when Manni was content and relaxed, reality would steal away into his escape. The voices would start in; from Reginald B Barlingstonworth or May Kasahara, but mostly from Manni himself. Why are you here? Do you even know the rules? You’re doing it wrong. Why do you try? How did you make friends? Nobody likes you. Why are you alive? Shouldn’t you be dead? Why don’t you contribute to anything? You suck. Your life is too hard. You aren’t good enough. Why do you look like that? You should probably exercise. You are white as a bone. Your laugh is dumb. You’re ugly when you smile.

That’s when Manni would physically escape. In the beginning closets would work, or under a table surrounded by chairs. When that stopped working he found the drink: socially acceptable, even promoted oblivion. Manni started cutting after that. He found harder drugs. Manni was escaping all the time.