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No.

No.  This can’t be happening.  This can’t be fucking happening.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this time.  I had it under control.  I gave Hyde a new purpose.  I avoided the fucking labyrinth.  I avoided her the entire time I was in Chicago.  Things weren’t supposed to go this way.

What the fuck do you want from me?  What was I supposed to do?  What did I do wrong this time?  There is no fucking reason that things should be happening the same way.

What do I have to do?  What do I have to fucking do to stop this?  She’s not supposed to talk to me about Marble Hornets.  She’s not supposed to get wrapped up in all this.  Why is she involved in all this again?

It’s crashing down around me.  Everything I’ve done this time is coming crashing down and there’s not a damn thing I can do to stop it.

If I couldn’t save her last time, what am I supposed to do this time?

…This isn’t how things are supposed to be.

-Jekyll

Jekyll’s Advice 6: Masks

 

We all wear masks, don’t we?

Sometimes they’re literal.  Sometimes they’re metaphorical.  But every single one of us is wearing a mask at this moment.  Hell, I’m a mask myself.  That’s not a typo, either.  I’m not wearing a mask.  What I mean is that I, Jekyll, am a mask.

Confused?  Let me explain.

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but Jekyll is just a persona, as is Hyde.  There’s a guy behind the personas, who will remain nameless because a mask is useless when it’s not being worn.  Personas are basically just invisible masks that we wear over our entire selves instead of our faces.  Ever try to behave in a certain way to impress a girl (or guy)?  That’s a persona.  Ever find yourself projecting a certain image online?  Again, a persona.  We all use personas without even trying to.  It’s just human nature to behave differently around different people.

So what do masks and personas have to do with the Slender Man?  Quite a bit.  After all, I’m not the first person to talk about the concept of masks.  M and Maduin have both mentioned masks, the former believing that they act as an eye to keep the Slender Man rooted to this plane, and the latter believing that they allow you to “take on a role” more easily.

While I don’t exactly trust M’s advice on this particular matter, it’s one that has merit, at least in theory.  As a result, I tend to carry a mask around with me at all times, stowed away in a backpack.  In practice, though, it can become a problem.  It’s much easier to go unnoticed than to go noticed, and if I’m going to go faceless, I’d prefer doing it by blending into a crowd instead of hiding my face behind something else.  Put on a mask in public, and people are just going to stand and stare.  But again, M’s theory does hold some weight, so it’s at very least worth trying out, though I’m not about to go out of my way to run any sort of tests.

As for Maduin’s masks, I think that they’re a great idea.  Again, I’d recommend not trying it out if it gets you weird looks, but it sounds like it works well for steeling your mind, and it’s something you can do privately.  When you put on a mask, you become an actor.  When you become an actor, you take on a persona.  When you take on a persona, even if it’s just another aspect of yourself, you become more focused, because you’re thinking about the persona and not just you in general.  A human is a vast concept.  A jumble of thoughts.  A miserable pile of secrets.  A soul endlessly seeking to understand.  Hell, I know myself better than anyone in the world, and even I barely know myself.  A persona, on the other hand, is much more defined.  It is, essentially, a mask in personality form.  When you’re in a particular persona, you’re much more focused.  So I’d highly recommend associating a mask with a persona, and then becoming the mask every time you put it on.

This is why you want to choose a name and an avatar carefully, as the image you choose for yourself is the one others will perceive you as.  Who am I to you?  Nothing but a name and two masks.  How would you recognize me if I walked down the street?  You wouldn’t.  But you’d recognize my persona instantly if I posted on your blog, just because you’d recognize the name, the image, and the writing style.  An avatar and a username is how you present yourself, and they become your mask, whether you intend for them to or not.  Make sure you make it a mask you like.

Finally, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these “proxies” are the ones who use masks the most.  My theory is that this is a defense mechanism.  Either establishing a more concrete (albeit narrower) personality allows them to hold a greater sense of self, or pretending to be someone else helps them live with themselves after doing the unspeakable.  Either way, it’s a defense mechanism.  Just an interesting thing to note, although I’m starting to slip more into Hyde with this philosophizing.

Well, that should do it for what I wanted to say.  Remember, stay safe, and stay sane.

-Jekyll