I never thought I’d understand it. Everyone I’ve ever known that has owned a cat has had a story of it, one day, killing some field mouse, or small bird. It would kill this animal, and then it would bring into its house, and softly lay it down at its master’s feet, as if it were expecting praise. What the cat gets in turn however, is a scolding. A scolding for bring that filth into the house, for killing the animal, for doing something so horrifying
I can’t remember when it got to the point that attention was something I craved over everything else. Something I craved more than air, something I craved more than water, something I craved more than food. Good or bad, who cares? It’s all the same to me. I do know one thing: bad attention is a lot easier to get than good attention. Good attention requires skills; it requires finesse; it requires effort.
I got lazy, I gave up trying to get praise, nothing seemed to work, and what seemed worse was that nothing was going my way. What happens when things don’t go your way? You bitch, you moan, you rant on and on about how everything sucks and nothing will get better. And then eventually you give into your better instincts and work through it, and things do get better. You compromise; things start to go your way. I got tired of bitching, I got tired of moaning, and nothing would get better, optimism had no place in my life, “fate” had proved that much. As soon as things got back to normal, something else would happen to destroy what we spent so much time building up so well.
Let me elaborate on life for a second. This is the washed down, censored view on life that’s shot at you by TV, magazines; media that you believe and trust in every day of your life. Media raised you, not your parents, sure they had something to do with the whole process, but at a certain point, you begin to rely more and more on media as your view into the world. How things are supposed to be, it’s all summed up for you; in the humorous and wholesome sitcoms, brush your teeth with us, you’ll look best in our pants. This is the portrayed life.
You are born, hurrah for you. Mommy loves you; Daddy kisses your head; cue the upbeat, happy theme song. Few years later; first day of school; meet the teacher; eat Mommy’s carefully packed lunch; make some friends, have some laughs; here’s that cheesy music again. Few more years pass; you’re in high school; your girlfriend kisses you as she leaves for class; you walk with your best friend and talk about life, and laugh and think about how happy you are; same music, introduce the guitar…gives it a more rebellious, teenage like sense, doesn’t it? Fast forward; you’re on your death bed; your wife kisses you goodbye; you slowly fade out like a star, happy and without regret; the music…its different this time…a bittersweet, violin solo concludes the last chapter of your life. Ratings are high, everyone is happy, money is made, and things are great.
That’s not life. Life doesn’t work that way, life isn’t full of cheesy, upbeat theme songs and happiness to boot. Things happen that affect you more than you probably even realize at the time. People get hurt, you get hurt. You scream, you’re fighting, you tell your parents you hate them. You hate them because they haven’t given you the “picket fence and house with the red door” dream promised to you by the television. Later, you end up regretting that thought ever crossing your mind, when you hear the words “ambulance” and “mom” in the same sentence. They’re fighting again…why can’t they just stop? You can’t take it; you have to leave whenever it happens. You see how it’s affecting your siblings, and you know how it affects you. You have to leave before you break, you can’t take it.
Everything you’ve done is for the good of everyone else. You don’t think about yourself at all, nothing is good unless everyone else is happy, and who cares if you’re not? You learned how to fake it a long time ago. People know how to manipulate others, and guess what? You’re their prime target. A nice, honest, trusting person like yourself is definitely easy to take advantage of. You spend so much time ensuring everyone around you is happy and “comfortable” that you forget about yourself altogether.
When it reaches that point, the point where you crave so badly to be treated the way you treat everyone else, you won’t care what it takes. This is your goal; nothing will stop you from achieving it.
It doesn’t matter what it takes, you don’t want praise anymore. Fuck praise, all you want is attention. It doesn’t matter what kind anymore, you’re desperate; you’ll do anything. Never underestimate your ability to get the attention you want, you’ll go as far as you’re willing to go for it, and then when you get it, you’ll want more.
Less and less each day; you cut down, and binge on occasion. People notice, you’re intrigued. You’ve noticed something: you’re killing two birds with one stone. The thing you’re doing for control over something, if not anything at all, in your life…is also getting you a lot of attention.
Congratulations, now you have a far more pressing reason. A little control is fine for you; you need no more than you’ve gained. This attention though…this is interesting. You want it, and you know you want it. Of course, you’ll deny it. People will ask you, you’ll say nothing is wrong, you’ll tell them you do not crave any attention what so ever. You’re tired, you’re sick, you’re having trouble focusing.
It gets worse; you’re getting a lot of attention now. You want more. You love it. You love the rumbling and you love when people hear it. You black out, more and more frequently now. This is better than praise, these people seem to care. Actually care, they give you support, they say they love you; this is more than you could ever ask for.
I understand the cat. It wants the attention. It holds the dead animal in between its teeth as if it were a trophy. “Here master, look what I’ve done. Love me for it. This was all for you.”
Look Daddy, look what I’ve done. Mommy, mommy, look, look what I’ve done. Hey Johnny, Hey Lisa! Look, look at my beautiful trophy. This is it. This was all for you.