1. What it the soul?
I'd known for as long as I could remember that I was being controlled...manipulated. The cold, hard thing inside my head dictated my actions, made me feel things I never wanted to feel; do things I never wanted to do.
I'd asked my father once. What the thing inside me was called. The thing that makes you feel certain ways, the thing that controls your body and tells it what to do. He'd knelt down to my level and, voice hoarse, said "There are lots of answers to that question. It's been contested for...a long time. Some would say it's the mind; others would tell you it was the soul." Then for a short time my father's expression had grown distant, thoughtful; a look of remorse, of empathy, of acceptance. His next words came out in a choked sob: "I know what you're going through and what you will go through." A tear had slipped out of his eye then and carefully traced its way down his cheek. "I'm so sorry, David. I'm sorry I brought this on you; I'm sorry I can't ever be there for you." Gentle as a morning breeze, he had kissed my forehead and embraced me. "I love you, son." Then he had stood abruptly and turned away. He opened the door and turned back just once, his eyes searching my face. "Goodbye," he said at last, before stepping out of the room and walking away.
I had never seen him again.
I had been so young.
Back then, I had thought it was my friend, my ally; I saw its strength and I cherished it, envied it even. I'd wanted us to be whole, so I had fed it, given it water and shelter. Some part of me had hoped it would be grateful later; that by helping it we might be together forever.
But I couldn’t have been further from the truth.