I have lived my life on a rock at the end of the world, thinking I would be safe unseen. Maybe. In pure seclusion, hidden by poisonous mists, keeping company only with venomous, braided snakes, here in a place where you could never find me, accidentally, never stumble across me unwittingly, never come to know me unless you came looking, really looking, for trouble. I’m not lying in wait though, I’m sheltering in place, but you, you’re always so hungry to prove yourself.
I admit, I am not natural, I am artificial, I am a man-made monster, and you are my creator. Beauty is in your eye, beholder, and truly so is all vileness, you bring me into being as a monster. Without your inquisitions, your impositions, I wouldn’t even know myself as a malformation, now would I? I would probably think of myself as just another good-time-gorgon, and nothing more, if you didn’t make it clear to me, so clear to me, so constantly. So thank you, maybe I owe you more gratitude than I would like to admit?
To be what I am, a monster, I did not choose, to be what I am, but it is how I was made, all the same. It didn’t have to be like this, perhaps if I hadn’t disrespected certain aspects of my sex it wouldn’t have come to this, but it has. Change struck. But why not a Demi-goddess, a serpentine Elizabeth Taylor? Why not at least an enchantress worshipped for the snakes in her hair? They symbolise wisdom, creativity, rebirth after all. Why monster? A dead end, one story told one way. I who must be slayed; my destruction is my creation, the only reason for it, seemingly, ouroboros eternally, a snake eating its own tail.
A snake is a lizard that has “undergone structural reduction” (so says The Encyclopaedia Britannica) meaning that they have lost their limbs. Lost something (limbs), gained something (a new way of being). No fault of their own, nature’s plan, and still they are hated, and driven to places like this. To be what I am, a monster, means to be where I am, here on a rock at the end of a world. For my own preservation, for your safety, to spare us all the embarrassment of meeting like this. On a silver platter, you bring this to me, this choice beholder, your life or mine; visibility brings annihilation. Either I will freeze the blood in your veins or you will enforce on me one more “structural reduction”, and lop off my head.
But if I were given the option, would I choose differently now, for myself? Would I self-select mortal human female? No. I think time and isolation together have made me proud to be a monster. The world needs monsters. I have lived my life on a rock at the end of the world. Thinking I would be safe unseen. Maybe.