A year ago, I looked at the mirror and felt distressed. If I am so angry seeing the me in the mirror wearing hateful eyes, Who’s left?

I found deeper eyes in the mirror two days ago. Sad eyes, angry eyes, fragmented eyes, in which I could not find my love. I could not accompany my gaze with tenderness.

Maeva puts three wooden chairs facing each other.

In one chair I step into my emotional self. Hot tears, when they dare to come. Volcanos and balls of fire, galaxies imploding, puking super novas. Do super novas even hurt?

In my body the density increases, it weights me down. I shrink, while I feel as fat as a whale, cause all these things must take up space.

Breath, step out of it, stand up, shake it off. Sit on the next chair. 

This is the functional me, the Public Relations Gioel, the one that floats the whole boat, the one that gets me out of bed in the morning, the one that carries out interviews, that schedule meetings, that keeps up the google calendar, that carries out the tasks Jena writes on the board. It’s also the same one who wants connection and that searches it by being reliable first of all, by making sure other can trust I’m there. The one that, despite all efforts, feels lonely too, feels unseen, feels angry, feels insufficient.

I’m uncomfortable with a different quality on this chair. Is not as deep, not as heavy. It’s bitter, like a half lemon squeezed on a fried fish and then left on a table. It’s both functional and empty.

Breath, step out of it, stand up, shake it off.

On the third chair, I feel nostalgic. Here I am skinny, dreamy, hairy, talented, and shallow.

Breath, step out of it, stand up, shake it off.

I stand up, and in the shaking I peak at these three versions of myself which I struggle to respect. Towards which I feel little pity, none of them I want to be.  I want to be none of them.  I want to run away. 

Maeva invites me to lay down on the mattress. Now is Julia who asks me to breathe deeply. She starts touching two points behind my neck and it hurts. She asks me to make a tone and I scream. She moves her hands to my belly, she is pushing at my exhales and the pain becomes sharper, and so my screams. There is a part of me that disconnects and lightly becomes aware of the scene, the way my body lays on the mattress, the way my screams are sounding, what is that force screaming? Another part of me is riding with the pain like a furious dragon shaking me, and my screams come from a place deeper than my throat, deeper than my belly, they are desperate and I know somewhere that this pain is not physical, it’s something else that screams through it. I don’t know how long I am screaming for – 5? 30 minutes? When the pain ends my body surrenders, relaxes. What survived? Now what?

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I get up wet of sweat and go back to the thee chairs.

I’m now the emotional-whale-super-nova still sitting helpless, half folded. I’m flirting between victimising and blaming the other two. 

You are both fake. You are empty without me: I am the depth and you are both ashamed of me. 

I’m mournful in this. And I don’t like this weight, this heaviness, but I don’t know what to do.  

As I implode you deny me.

I am particularly pissed at the PR version of me. 

What is the point of all this energy?

You worry so much about what others ask you and I’m here imploding. You abandon me. 

The PR from this chair looks sweaty, anxious, desperate, driven. And seeing her, legs opened, attentive and tilted forward, hurts because inside of my whale there is nowhere to go. I can only sit with the painful impossibility of staying, watching, witnessing. And I’m overwhelmed. I am not managing. It hurts so much and I don’t have anybody to ask for help. The artist is sitting leg crossed, tilted towards the side… she has a cool hat on, but feels distant, annoyed, disconnected, uninterested. She is denying me.

Breath, step out of it, stand up, shake it off.

I step into the PR version. And I look at the chair in front of me with the whale-supernova covered in moco, lost in the impossibility of her inner world, and I feel anger. 

I am doing so much to help, to support us. I pay the bills. I try to be fair. I work efficiently to give you time, to give you more space. But I’m also ashamed of you. I need to put a lot of work just to make you seem freaking presentable, to protect you, to make sure you don’t fuck it up, bang your head against the wall, break everything. I also struggle, can I have the permission to struggle as well?

And you? You are sitting there lost in your dreams contemplating butterfly. Do you think we are here to pet dolls? Do you think I get the time for chilling? For playing by the river like you do? You both need me, without me you cannot.

I get up and I shake it off.

In the third chair I feel more distant. 

I’m also angry. All this drama, the whale-supernova takes all the space – there is so little for me. The we’ve got the manager booking all the rest of the time. Fuck you both. 

I’ve got something to offer here. Maybe I have something to offer, but you want all the space, all the attention. You don’t permit me.

Maeva comes closer and holds my hand. She speaks and asks me to repeat. 

“I need empathy. I am empathy. It is beautiful to give and to receive empathy. I need empathy, and you also do…” 

She asks me to lightly tap my chest with the index and middle finger of my right hand. She taps on my face as we speak. Then she squeezes the palm of my left hand and says ‘peace’. 

I repeat, ‘peace’. 

When I open my eyes again, I am looking at the PR. I see her on the chair legs opened, trying to keep composed, and I am invaded by a wave of deep sadness. 

I feel sad. I see you tired. I see you trying, I see you trying. I see you lonely. I see you sad. 

Breath, step out of it, stand up, shake it off.

I step into the PR me. I feel a softening and tears come easy. I inhale my tiredness, my effort, my pain. It runs through me and, as I permit this pain, I recognise that I am more than the cold PR person I judge myself to be.

My desire is to create a connection, to accompany, to serve, to enjoy with others. And yet, despite this inner desire, I cannot even hold the pain of the super-nova whale in front of me. I cannot hold my own. I escape from my own. I control it. And this awareness sinks and hurts, like acid.

Breath, step out of it, stand up, shake it off.

The whale-super-nova looks at the other two. It asks for permission to be with them. For permission to let herself speak through. To be together. What would it look like?

It might look like letting the supernova-whale play with art, giving her the possibility to appear with her fullness, giving space for all of them to grow. It could look like staying together in silence, holding space for their growth. And then eventually exploding, and merging and flowing together. 

I breath in, close my yes, imagine inhaling them three together. 

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At sunset we find the river alone and we swim.

The three of us, naked.

One sings sitting on a rock. The other stays in the water, playing with currents to massage that blob of emotions. The third is not used to loneliness.

You ask who am I, here, when nobody is around?

But now it’s three of us, can you feel our company?

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