From The Journal of Sebastian:
It feels like the theme that seems to be pervading my days this month is, “not everything that glitters is gold”
People see me strolling through the lobby at Bash Industries, walking the red carpet at a movie premiere, sipping champagne in the VIP section of the hottest club of the moment, and to their eyes I look smooth, polished, put together, and purely perfect in every way. No one sees the inner turmoil, and to be honest, I don’t want them to. Nothing sounds worse than being open and vulnerable, having my pain and shame on display for the world. Some high profile figures like to go on talk shows, shed a few tears, talk about their trauma, show how relatable they are; the thought makes me shudder. And yet, I do have trauma.
I’m being haunted by my past; no matter how fast I run, every time I turn a corner it’s there, in front of me. It’s almost ironic because I invented technology that can implant any memory into any brain, but I haven’t figured out how to remove memories yet. One day it will be possible, and when that day comes I will promptly erase the first fifteen years of my life. The fear of being alone and of being weak, the feel of cold concrete under my shivering body, the smell of the sewers steaming up from underground after a hot Summer rain, the sound of early morning vendors setting up their carts with rich coffee and sugary pastries, all while my stomach ached with emptiness.
It’s no wonder that I don’t feel the need to walk the streets of Corver City, I lived on them for years. Everyone thinks I chose this place to live, to work, to start my company, but the truth is, this city chose me. I became it’s unwilling victim, squeezed every last drop of humanity from my soul and I can’t pop out any late night talk show performative tears, because I cried myself dry long ago, as a small child in the belly of the unforgivable beast.
I do have emotions. I feel joy when I think that some of the same people who walked past me then, as I huddled in the door of some semi-warm building, without even a downward glance, they are now my puppets. A starved homeless boy who was worth less than nothing to them is now pulling their strings. I find a lot of satisfaction in that. I also feel vengeful, because I have a score to settle with Corver City and it’s glitterati. Just as I am not what I seem, I know they all hide their dirty underbellies, I’ve seen them, and soon the world will, too.