You are Valor Neige. Your phone pings, followed a second later by the Telemet chime on your PC.
AlternianDidact: Hey, can we talk?AlternianDidact: Myrrah said she would give you notice that I was coming.KnifeWretch: Yeah she told me all of five minutes agoKnifeWretch: You don't waste timeAlternianDidact: I was very curious about you.KnifeWretch: Yeah I kinda figured by the way you could not take your eyes off meAlternianDidact: I'm sorry. I was rude for staring.KnifeWretch: Like fuck you were and I loved itKnifeWretch: Do you think in a place where I can take any shape I damn well please I would look exactly like my flesh body if my flesh body didn't look exactly how I wanted it toKnifeWretch: Do you think you can do anything to me with your eyes that I do not want you to do?
You are Valor Neige. You've stared at the screen for longer than feels comfortable, and you're starting to suspect that you went a little too hard in the paint.
KnifeWretch: You've been quiet for like ten minutes now and I feel like that might be my faultKnifeWretch: Sorry I have this habit of being very intense and maybe it seems a bit edgy or cold idkKnifeWretch: To clarifyKnifeWretch: You have not annoyed me and in fact I really liked how you couldn't take your eyes off meKnifeWretch: Also I think you're cute especially when you blush and try to hide your attraction to people
You are Valor Neige. You hope that what you just said was extremely suave and cool and totally rescued the dumbass situation you may just have gotten yourself into.
AlternianDidact: I wanted to understand something Myrrah said you said.KnifeWretch: Yeah?AlternianDidact: She says you pushed her to talk to me about dysphoria because if you got the Myrrah that saved you, I definitely deserved her too?KnifeWretch: Yeah that's a thing I saidKnifeWretch: And I meant itAlternianDidact: But what does that mean?
You are Valor Neige. A thing that both you and your girlfriend Katie refer to as "the Darkness" wells up inside you.
KnifeWretch: Hahaha oh manKnifeWretch: Buckle up LucasKnifeWretch: If you want to understand this we're gonna get into some heavy shit just so you knowKnifeWretch: Mistress trusts you so that means I'm willing to try trusting you tooKnifeWretch: When I say I'm taking you into confidence that doesn't mean you're getting any sort of secret I want to keep from the worldKnifeWretch: So even if you break my trust nothing I tell you could be used to hurt meKnifeWretch: But if the world finds out BECAUSE of you I want you to understand you will be dead to meAlternianDidact: I will never tell another soul without your permission.
You are Valor Neige. You are taking your heart out of your chest and putting it in the hands of this weird boy from London, and you can't fully explain why.
KnifeWretch: GoodKnifeWretch: So basically I'm gonna need three things from youKnifeWretch: Firstly that you are okay hearing about some absolutely wild sex stuffKnifeWretch: Secondly that you are okay hearing about some incredibly depressing stuffKnifeWretch: Thirdly that you just shut the fuck up and just listen until I'm finishedKnifeWretch: Are we good on all three countsAlternianDidact: Yes, on all three.KnifeWretch: Okay good now get in the car loser we're gonna be miserable
You are Nathan DeMarco. You are thirteen, and you're reading a document from a clinic one town over. You know its name because it's always in the local news for getting bricks through its windows.
KnifeWretch: I only found this out much later but my mom tried to terminate my pregnancyKnifeWretch: So likeKnifeWretch: I feel as if that was a bad omen
You are Nathan DeMarco. You are having the best month and a half of your life. It will end very soon.
KnifeWretch: The boy I had my first kiss with is now one of those fascist tradcore Christian conservative influencersKnifeWretch: Which is incredibly tragic but also very very funnyKnifeWretch: A year before I met Myrrah he threatened to sue me for defamation after I outed him on Tumult until I pointed out thatKnifeWretch: a. saying we dated for six weeks did not constitute legal defamation even if it was falseKnifeWretch: b. all the bland missionary sex in his loveless tradwife marriage would never excite him the way kissing me had and deep down he knew itKnifeWretch: c. both our full names were still carved into a tree in our hometown's park with a love heart around them in his handwritingKnifeWretch: d. here was a photo of thatKnifeWretch: He never sued me but a few weeks later that whole half of the park burnt down
You are Nathan DeMarco, standing on the porch of the house you've lived in for one and a half decades for the very last time.
KnifeWretch: I was homeless for the first time at 16 because my dad "couldn't have a faggot for a son"KnifeWretch: Mom didn't do shit to stop him and could barely be bothered to slip me gas money on my way out the doorKnifeWretch: I spent three months basically living in my car while trying to finish schoolKnifeWretch: Which was not fucking easy given that it was a small town in the rural midwestKnifeWretch: And everyone knew my dad had thrown me out and whyKnifeWretch: Eventually just couldn't stand living there anymore given that I also wasn't doing very much livingKnifeWretch: So I got mom to give me money one last time and just left one nightKnifeWretch: Honestly didn't really expect to last a week and didn't want toKnifeWretch: Just picked a direction off the top of my headKnifeWretch: There's probably a bunch of timelines where 16-year-old me went north or west and probably just offed himselfKnifeWretch: Instead I went eastKnifeWretch: I drove for two days
You are Nathan DeMarco, and you "live" in a ratty little apartment off the I-80. There is a knock at the door.
KnifeWretch: The time I was homeless at 19 I had to move in with this disgusting shitfuck in his 40s who took rent in blowjobs and interstate weed runs because I had no moneyKnifeWretch: He basically never talked to me because my voice was too deep and it hurt the illusion of me being a girlKnifeWretch: He convinced himself it wasn't gay if he didn't know I wasn't a girl which of course he fucking knew because he had to keep doing this make-believe bullshitKnifeWretch: He took hands to me a few times for reminding him too much that I had a penisKnifeWretch: Despite all of that I have to say the blowjobs were by far the least stressful part of the dealKnifeWretch: To this day I still cannot believe I did not wind up in jail running dimebags across state linesKnifeWretch: I guess when you're a skinny white kid you can get away with anything
You are Val DeMarco, and you are opening a package that arrived in the mail from a country you're absolutely certain you couldn't find on a map.
KnifeWretch: I was popping mail order hormones by 21 just to see what all the fuss was aboutKnifeWretch: With nobody doing endo it's a miracle I didn't fuck my dosages up and explode my liver
You are Val DeMarco, and you're three edibles into the day wearing somebody else's costume. Twenty minutes ago, you had a conversation about economics with some dude from Australia and when you were done he looked like he'd experienced the second coming of Christ.
KnifeWretch: Living in Pittsburgh sucked immense ass except for the gay scene and the furriesKnifeWretch: Every decent queer person knows how to party but Yinzer queers know how to FUCKING party for real furries put them both to shame and the room parties the furries threw during the con were fucking litKnifeWretch: You simply have not lived until you've made a twink nut so hard he tears a seam in his fursuitKnifeWretch: But any time it wasn't queers or furries it was hills high rents and hhhhhshitty architectureKnifeWretch: You know how we're like two decades into the 2000s but "turn of the century" still means 1900s?KnifeWretch: Yeah the shitty apartment block I lived in was built "at the turn of the century"KnifeWretch: I still hit PGH up once a year for the furcon but fuck that city forever otherwise
You are Val DeMarco and you are tired and it's raining and there is no-one here and you have had enough had enough had enough had enough had enough had enough
KnifeWretch: By the time I got to Philly I had fifty bucks only enough hormones for a week one change of clothes and a phone number a divorced soccer mom from Wilmington gave me after I ate her out in a bar in ClevelandKnifeWretch: But that turned out to be for a Chinese takeout in AnnapolisKnifeWretch: So I was homeless again and at that point I was basically ready to say fuck it and jump off a bridgeKnifeWretch: But I didn't want to die on an empty stomach and there was no way takeout from Annapolis was going to arrive in time so I went somewhere local insteadKnifeWretch: And who the fuck else was ordering Chinese at 2 in the morning but Myrrah
You are Val DeMarco and you have literally seen beauty worth staying alive for.
KnifeWretch: Straight people talk about gaydar all the time but it's half rightKnifeWretch: Queers do have an instinctive sense for each other and me and Myrrah clocked one another on sightKnifeWretch: It's likeKnifeWretch: "hey girl you look like a sapphic angel"KnifeWretch: "oh thanks you look like a scumbeast from double hell but you accessorize decently"KnifeWretch: Myrrah has this thing you've experienced it yourselfKnifeWretch: Where she instantly understands you're hurting badKnifeWretch: And she feels compelled to risk everything to help you
You are Val DeMarco and you are not worthy of this.
KnifeWretch: She had absolutely no reason to trust that I wasn't some junkie who'd steal her stuff or stab her in her sleepKnifeWretch: And honestly I had absolutely no reason to trust that she wasn't some serial killer looking for a victimKnifeWretch: But she took me into her home and gave me a place to stayKnifeWretch: It was only supposed to be for a nightKnifeWretch: But then she found out I only had a week's hormones left so of course I had to stay at least until she got that sorted outKnifeWretch: And then she discovered I'd never actually had bloods done so that added another two weeks so I could see an endoKnifeWretch: Which she paid forKnifeWretch: And don't you dare even think she was inappropriate at any pointKnifeWretch: She was a perfect lady and gave me all the space I needed
You are Val DeMarco and you have a roof over your head and food in your belly and this must all cost something, how much money is it costing her?
KnifeWretch: Weeks passed byKnifeWretch: And at first I wanted to leaveKnifeWretch: I didn't feel like I deserved her kindnessKnifeWretch: Or that it was some kind of trickKnifeWretch: Like she was making fun of meKnifeWretch: Because after my whole life why would anyone want to waste time on me right?KnifeWretch: I kept looking for the punchline and not finding it.
You are Val DeMarco and you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden, you are a burden.
KnifeWretch: After a while there was no actual need for me to stayKnifeWretch: I got bloods done and... well they were bad but not irreversibly fucked like I had thoughtKnifeWretch: I had a stable supply of actual good meds that worked and were dosed correctlyKnifeWretch: I kind of had a job and there were places I could rent maybeKnifeWretch: But she never tried to get rid of meKnifeWretch: After a while she didn't even bother making excuses for why I needed to stick aroundKnifeWretch: She just very obviously did not set a deadline for me to leave
You are Val DeMarco and you have to do something, anything, not to feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden, feel like a burden.
KnifeWretch: I started doing things around the apartment cleaning upKnifeWretch: just so we were "even"KnifeWretch: so we were "square"KnifeWretch: So I didn't feel like I owed herKnifeWretch: Even when she told me I didn't owe her shitKnifeWretch: Maybe she could believe that but I couldn'tKnifeWretch: How was this girl who saved me from ending it all not owed somethingKnifeWretch: But instead of collecting she just invited me deeper into her weird lifeKnifeWretch: She'd have friends over and introduce me and ask if I wanted to chillKnifeWretch: When she went out she'd try to get me to come with herKnifeWretch: I felt like I was just racking up more debt
It all starts to fall away.
KnifeWretch: Eventually I just worked up the courage to ask her when she wanted me to goKnifeWretch: And she looked confused like wtf was I talking aboutKnifeWretch: She didn'tKnifeWretch: And so I started crying and yelling because what did she want from me if not for me to leaveKnifeWretch: Was I supposed to give her money like did she want backpaid rentKnifeWretch: What was my stake in the transaction that was occurring between usKnifeWretch: And she looked confused again like wtf was I talking aboutKnifeWretch: She said she just liked having me aroundKnifeWretch: And so I looked confused at her like wtf was SHE talking about
It all falls away. It all falls away. It all falls away. Everything FALLS into the VOID you see when you LOOK AT YOURSELF because there's NOTHING TO LOOK AT.
KnifeWretch: Lucas you have to understandKnifeWretch: Since basically I can remember I was trashKnifeWretch: Like in the literal senseKnifeWretch: Something you throw away because it's no longer usefulKnifeWretch: My folks didn't want me because I was a fagKnifeWretch: My first boyfriend wanted to erase the memory of our love so bad it (unprovably) drove him to arsonKnifeWretch: Shitty blowjob landlord kicked me out when he couldn't pretend I was a girl anymoreKnifeWretch: Which was kind of discarding me after a long period of discarding me in a different wayKnifeWretch: Double discardKnifeWretch: Every group I'd fallen in with got tired of me because I was too gross or weird or sickKnifeWretch: (except for the Pittsburgh Marxist Art Collective that was because I fucked both the chairman's girlfriends and then accidentally tipped them off about each other)KnifeWretch: Even that milf from Wilmington just used me to get off and then gave me a fake numberKnifeWretch: And why wouldn't she
It all falls away. It doesn't even slip through your fingers, there was never anything to catch in the first place and you never even had fingers to catch it with.
KnifeWretch: There was literally no reason for me to believe that Myrrah would not do the sameKnifeWretch: Because what could she possibly see in me that was good and worthwhileKnifeWretch: What stunning insight into the value of my existence did she have that everyone else in the world had somehow overlookedKnifeWretch: Whatever purpose I was serving to her would eventually be expended and she would throw me awayKnifeWretch: Or worse worse what if she was genuinely delusional and gods forbid thought I had actual value as a personKnifeWretch: Whatever misconception she had about me I couldn't possibly live up to itKnifeWretch: So I lashed out
You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing. You are nothing.
You have to be nothing.
If you weren't nothing you would be something and if you were something that something would have to be defended and you've never been able to defend anything in your life. If you weren't nothing then you would be responsible for protecting something. You would be responsible for yourself. If you weren't nothing, the world wouldn't make sense anymore.
KnifeWretch: I figured if I could make her hate me if I could make her give up on meKnifeWretch: I could at least suffer the pain and shame of being discarded again all at once instead of slowly by degreesKnifeWretch: So I called her every terrible thing I could think ofKnifeWretch: I made threatsKnifeWretch: I accused her of a dozen different contradictory thingsKnifeWretch: And finally when none of that workedKnifeWretch: I told her she should have just left me to kill myself that nightKnifeWretch: Then she did something weirdKnifeWretch: The first and only time she ever touched me without permissionKnifeWretch: She just hugged me
Why does she have to be so nice?
KnifeWretch: I can't actually remember how long I criedKnifeWretch: It must've been hours
Why won't she just let you fail?
KnifeWretch: I told her everythingKnifeWretch: I told her my whole life storyKnifeWretch: Not this abridged version you're gettingKnifeWretch: Everything from start to finishKnifeWretch: If I couldn't scream her away if I couldn't make her hate me through abuse I'd disgust herKnifeWretch: I'd make her see I was nothingKnifeWretch: I'd make her see she was wrong to value me
Why won't she just let you die?
KnifeWretch: She didn't stop hugging me the whole time I was talkingKnifeWretch: She just listened occasionally asked questionsKnifeWretch: I wanted to ask her to stop but I didn't actually want her to stopKnifeWretch: It felt niceKnifeWretch: It was the first thing I'd felt other than numb purposeless grief in longer than I could remember
The river within you has run dry. There are no tears left to cry.
KnifeWretch: And after it all came out every sin every fuck-up every mistake every abandonmentKnifeWretch: After I'd unfurled my whole sorry existence and laid it before herKnifeWretch: She asked me what I wantedKnifeWretch: Not what the world told me I should wantKnifeWretch: Not what I thought I was entitled toKnifeWretch: Not what I thought I deservedKnifeWretch: What I wantedKnifeWretch: I said I wanted to stay with her
You want to stay with her.
KnifeWretch: She said yes
SHE SAID YES!
KnifeWretch: To understand me you have to know that broken things exist and I'm one of themKnifeWretch: That's not self pity that's not despair that's not me devaluing myselfKnifeWretch: That's just a statement of factKnifeWretch: You don't live a life like mine and come out of it with all your pieces in place and pristineKnifeWretch: The identity I have sought to create for myself is one of new purposeKnifeWretch: There's not much happiness to reconcile with or reclaim from my past that's a write-offKnifeWretch: I was a broken thing that was useless to society and constantly thrown awayKnifeWretch: But I was found and though I can't be put back together the way I was beforeKnifeWretch: I can make myself into something new that has purposeKnifeWretch: I'm not trash I'm recyclable
You are Valor Neige. You just relived all the worst experiences of your life for someone two steps removed from a total stranger. You figure, hell, we're way past the point of worrying about oversharing, let's overshare some more.
KnifeWretch: You might not get how "wretched disgusting filthy ratwhore THING" could possibly be an uplifting, empowering and entirely positive sexual identity for meKnifeWretch: Especially after what I've been throughKnifeWretch: And I don't fucking blame youKnifeWretch: Sometimes I still don't quite understand it myselfKnifeWretch: But I think it can be broken down to the concept of choice
You are Valor Neige. You're currently answering questions about yourself you're pretty sure the person you're talking to didn't and probably would never ask.
KnifeWretch: You might think the way I like to be called a thing or a wretch or a rat is demeaningKnifeWretch: And it can be when I choose to be vulnerable with the people I loveKnifeWretch: But it is also armorKnifeWretch: I'm not evil for being brokenKnifeWretch: It's the society that broke me and discarded me that's evilKnifeWretch: If I'm disgusting to that society then good I hope they feel sick when they look at meKnifeWretch: It actually owns to think I'm making some conservative scumbag miserable when he sees meKnifeWretch: I made a Nazi so mad he maybe did arson just by being very good at kissingKnifeWretch: Imagine the sheer power of your mere existence giving objectively bad people brain aneurisms
You are Valor Neige. You are, if nothing else, very good at kissing.
KnifeWretch: And you also might think it's fucking weird for me to get horny over being treated like dirtKnifeWretch: Especially by the people I love and trust the most in my lifeKnifeWretch: And don't get me wrong it absolutely is fucking weirdKnifeWretch: But it's a way of reclaiming agency over what I went throughKnifeWretch: I am not being tortured by an uncaring universeKnifeWretch: I am choosing to experience pain on my own termsKnifeWretch: It stops when I want it to stopKnifeWretch: It is inflicted only by the people I allowKnifeWretch: It has no power over me anymoreKnifeWretch: I have power over itKnifeWretch: Also look being called a filthy ratwhore and having my mouth spat in just SLAPS okay I make no apologies for what turns my crank
You are Valor Neige. You hold no illusions about that.
KnifeWretch: Think of it like a sword that I carry but can only give to othersKnifeWretch: When my enemies wield it it cannot cut meKnifeWretch: When my friends wield it it can cut meKnifeWretch: But I know my friends will only cut me in good waysKnifeWretch: In a very literal way because I am kinky af and love painKnifeWretch: But also in an allegorical way which is like spiritually fulfilling or something idk this metaphor is getting away from me
You are Valor Neige. You have a habit of talking like this.
KnifeWretch: So like my gender identity is wretchKnifeWretch: My pronouns are it/itsKnifeWretch: And what this means is with the people I love and trustKnifeWretch: I am to be treated as a thingKnifeWretch: A vessel to be reshaped and imbued by them with purpose because that is what I want from themKnifeWretch: And to the whole rest of the world it means I am to be left the fuck alone because it had its chance with me and it blew itKnifeWretch: I've seen what the rest of the world values and it's more disgusting than I could ever beKnifeWretch: You are currently part of the rest of the worldKnifeWretch: But I think with time and effort you could be someone I love and trustKnifeWretch: If that's what you wantedKnifeWretch: Don't get me wrong it'd be weird to packbond with some rando from London who my mistress accidentally dreamwalked into during a major depressive episodeKnifeWretch: But all the genuine love in my life has come from unexpected places in weird ways so why the fuck should you be any less viable a candidate
You are Valor Neige. You've said a lot of presumptuous and overly forward things in your life - and in this conversation - but this one is certainly up there.
KnifeWretch: I never suffered that much with gender dysphoriaKnifeWretch: I started popping girlpills half as a jokeKnifeWretch: As a big fuck you to societyKnifeWretch: Fuck your gender norms I'm gonna have a fat cock and fat tits and give an evangelical christian a sexual awakening so traumatic it becomes an urban legendKnifeWretch: Fuck you dad not only do you have a faggot for a son now you have a tranny hope you get a heart attack you shitbastardKnifeWretch: Fuck you Phillip you're not just gay for me you're like double reacharound extra gay for me your wife could neverKnifeWretch: I sometimes feel as if I became trans sort of as the ultimate act of shitty early-20s spite and only discovered that I liked it laterKnifeWretch: But then again "hahaha what if I began taking illegally-sourced HRT for the meme" is probably not a thought that occurs to every spiteful 21-year-old emo kidKnifeWretch: There was definitely some deeper shit to that decision that I maybe still have not fully unpacked years laterKnifeWretch: But I guess what I'm saying with all this is that our experiences are not identical
You are Valor Neige. You feel a kinship with this strange British person, for reasons that you cannot adequately explain, even to yourself.
KnifeWretch: But most assuredly you are suffering from SOMETHINGKnifeWretch: Mistress hasn't told us what you've been through because she keeps your confidenceKnifeWretch: But trust me six queer as hell genderfucked heavily traumatized trans people sitting around a table felt kinship with youKnifeWretch: We're not sure on what because you haven't told us your life story and you don't have toKnifeWretch: And maybe you're trans maybe you're not transKnifeWretch: (FWIW you're probably trans but that's just my opinion)
You are Valor Neige. You just poured your entire heart out to a stranger in the hopes that it'd... do something for them, you're not even sure what, and you're feeling really raw right now, and this was meant to be about them, not you, and, and, and god you hope they're on the same wavelength or this is gonna be the worst thing you're ever going to say.
KnifeWretch: Sorry Jesus Christ I've been talking at you for like an hour now without letting you get a word in edgewaysKnifeWretch: UmKnifeWretch: Do you wanna likeKnifeWretch: Fuck itKnifeWretch: Fuck itKnifeWretch: FUCK ITKnifeWretch: Do you wanna meet up in the dream and fuck like the world's going to endAlternianDidact: GOD YES.
You are Valor Neige, and you've still got it.