Today I learned that some people think they’re made of glass.
It is an illness called the glass delusion, one of the more famous sufferers being the late (mad) King Charles VI of France; it was said that he would wrap his whole body in blankets so as to prevent his whole body from shattering. It should go without saying that the condition is psychological in nature because of the fact that people obviously aren’t and never will be made of glass, but it does bring one into thinking about what makes people think that they are made of fragile, transparent sand. King Charles VI didn’t want people to touch him, and while one may assume that this behaviour comes naturally for kings, his own reasons for acting like so were based on the fear that he would break and disappear.
Now, I actually am kind of embarrassed to state my next point because I feel that it would belittle the actual condition the king had (and I don’t want that), but what the hell, take from it what you will: while some people don’t literally think they’re made of glass, they feel like one. I’m sure many others could tell stories about how they feel this way, too. These could be for a myriad of reasons, all calling into active metaphors the intrinsic properties of glass. Its being temporary. Its almost-invisibility.
Its own sense of beauty, where beauty is mostly defined and justified within its fragility.
Being afraid to let people get too close because you might break. Fearing the crowds because you might shatter into a million pieces and wound the people around you with your brokenness — your broken parts being, ironically, the sharpest. Your broken parts being the things that make others bleed.
Being at home with your lonely transparency. Being okay with wishing people would one day look past your exterior, seeing the brightly-blooming sunlight beyond the grime-stained windowpane.
I actually had a somewhat lengthy conversation with a friend regarding these thoughts, and we just agreed and came to a conclusion that while people don’t exactly have the glass delusion, most people live like they’re made of glass. The fear is real, and it’s there — it’s even kind of funny, because once you realize you’re living like this, you’ll ask yourself a very simple question: why?
I won’t pretend to know or understand.
It’s just today I realized that some people are made of glass.