There once was a person named Sparrow Wilson. And Sparrow Wilson did not see the world as a round mass of earth and water. He did not see how human life was a miracle. He felt guilty every time he sat behind that wheel. Guilty. And invisible. He turned into just another nobody on their way to work, to home, to play. All headed wherever they wanted to be on those filthy blacktop roads, painted zebra. He hated the sight of all those automobiles and roads and gas stations and restaurants. Sparrow was not the type, however, to put ‘save the planet’ bumper stickers on his car. He knew that there was nothing wrong with the planet, but rather the people.
No, Sparrow did not see the world as a round mass of earth. All he saw were boxes with labels and every person resided within a certain box that described them most. But he stood alone, surrounded by these containers. Able to move between them, but not without being pressed between a certain two or three as society tried to pluck him and place him within a box that defined him most. But what was the point? If everyone was a nobody, how could anyone be a somebody?
This was the question that haunted Sparrow.
If society simply boxes one up and labels its own people, how will anything fresh come about? Sparrow could be placed in many different boxes, but most were confused where to put such a person.
Sparrow was told many times that he was living a lie. But in truth, his body was a lie. His true name was the lie. His ideas and how he acted were the truth. The hardest question on an application would be, ‘Male or female?’ Why is it so important to know? If you’re not looking into having babies with me, it shouldn’t matter.
Oh, but it does, Sparrow.
We don’t realize it, but gender is just another form of discrimination. Pink and blues. Barbies and Hotwheels. Conformity at its highest.
Sparrow avoided public restrooms, because he never knew which one to go in.
Because he was really a she. Or was it the other way around now? Not even he knew and the public seemed to think they did.
Duct tape truly does fix everything. But it leaves a mighty crease on one’s ribcage.
Every night when Sparrow arrived home, she would throw off her shirt and peel the adhesive from her skin. She would feel raw, but she was used to this by now. She’d take a deep breath, throw on a baggy tee, step out of her jeans and fall into bed. Transformation complete.
This was the first time Sparrow slept without that old blanket rolled up beside her, pretending it was him. It was the first night she gained the courage to let go. But she had no other choice. Her favorite lie was unearthed. Daniel was not real. He was figment of someones imagination. Two and a half years gone to waste. All of it was a lie, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. For the dishonesty was on both sides. So it was like they weren’t even lying at all.
The truth is her cage…
The truth that not everything can be a fantasy. The truth that she was really a woman, and not her invented character. The truth that this applied to the person she loved across the internet.
But she hated it.
She wanted to return to her fantasy world.
Return to what? Lies and deceit? She would argue with herself.
It wasn’t. Not if we both believed.
But she doesn’t believe anymore. You’re alone. You’re alone.
I’m not alone!
You’re alone. You’re alone. You’re alone.
And it was the truth.
Sparrow Wilson was alone.
All she had left were useless memories and useless dreams.
She dreamed she would escape and move away where no one knew her. She would be a he.
And she would never touch the internet again.