My therapist told me I should keep a journal to help me process my emotions, so I guess this is it. Hi, Nobody. I just want you not to feel so bad about whatever it is you’re going through right now: reality is a nebulous thing, shit happens for no reason sometimes. Nothing is as it seems.
I might as well just start with getting the boring ‘empirical’ stuff out of the way. I was born with something called Sudden Intrinsic Attribute-Displacement Syndrome (SIADs) or Keypress’ Syndrome (the doctor who discovered and performed the most research on it so far). Not much is known about it right now, other than it is a completely unknown medical phenomenon. I was born to Alex and Amanda Phillips on March 23rd, 1996. When I was born, the nurses noticed an unusual and terrifying circumstance that may not be seen again for some time. As my mother went into labor, they discovered that half of my leg was poking through her stomach, as if intangible. This is the first property of SIADs, sudden mass dissipation.
They tried to pull me out but the other half of my leg was still tangible apparently and got stuck inside her: at first they thought I had somehow punted my way through her stomach, until they tried touching my foot and saw it was immaterial. I am told there was lots of confused shouting and scrambling during this period. After struggling for some time with this medical anomaly, the worst happened: my leg solidified while still cross sectioned with my mother’s stomach. They had to perform impromptu surgery to get me out. Amanda Phillips died at 2am on a Saturday.
For a huge period of my childhood I wasn’t allowed to go to school and spent most of my time in a large grey building being taught by Dr. Keypress, the man I mentioned earlier. He was very kind to me: I remember the first day I spoke to him, when I was 6, he offered to play Smash Bros Melee with me. He didn’t seem remotely surprised when my hand spontaneously phased through my controller, instead taking me by the other hand into a room where he could give me a physical exam, complete with a collection of rainbow lollipops at the end.
Dr. Keypress had his theories on my condition, but much of it was based on purely theoretical and philosophical ideas. His main thesis says something like, there is a fundamental “reality” intrinsic to every person born, and this is tied together by the physical limitations of a living body. Something tying together that reality - perhaps my limiter - must have broken in order for my being to be so random, so gossamer. That's all I remember at the moment, frankly I was always too distracted by everything going on to really look into his theories.
My childhood was rough on my dad, who constantly felt like he needed to walk on eggshells around me. He would safety-proof everything from windows to my bed to the basement, worrying I’d spontaneously fall through the floor. But even after the full body intangibility started hitting me during my sleep, it seems I didn’t really need it, I’d just float where I was for up to 20 minutes and then suddenly plop down onto my bed which was only a few inches below me. Even if I did fall through the floor into the concrete below, I doubt there would be much he could do about it. At some point, during one of my doctor’s visits at the age of 10, dad simply got up and left the house. I came home that day to find that he moved away, possessions and furniture and all, and left his entire savings account info for me to help fund research into my condition in hopes of finding a cure. I guess the stress of not knowing how to protect his own child got to him. I don’t blame him… and Dad, if you ever get to read this in my memoirs, don’t be sad. I still love you, and hope we can talk after this is all over.
Starting from that year onward, I was sort of adopted by Dr. Keypress and treated to many mind-boggling tests. It was during this period of roughly 3-4 years that my SIADs began evolving in ways nobody could’ve foreseen.
I remember there was the first big team of leading scientists in the room at the time when I began my first set of random tests. They had me do things like fake emotions to see if it correlated to my shifts. Eat different types of cereal. Do jumping jacks for 30 minutes. Read Of Mice and Men. Try to shove my hand through cement walls and sandbags. Too many tests to count. And then the morphing started. Instead of becoming intangible, random parts of my body would morph into other things. I think we called it a transmog event. At first patches of my skin would harden or become incredibly soft and discolored. Then it began mimicking materials, turning into plastic or metal or cloth. Then they’d start turning into actual objects. My hands may have turned into a toy train. Or my ears became speakers. Or my legs would meld into a single marble column. That one was kinda funny, I fell onto my face and smashed my nose into a bloody pulp during that one. I remember being in the hospital and laughing maniacally when they showed me my bent nose afterward. The doctors were stunned and had no words for these events, and many ended up quitting the first few days. But I do have a loyal team pushing me forward with Dr. Keypress at the head, whom I call Father nowadays.
I was finally allowed to go to school when I was 15. By that point everyone knew who I was since my condition was being broadcasted 24/7 to the world. When there wasn’t a cameraman in the distance watching me leave the schoolbus, there were newscasters and annoying journalists trying to ask if I felt like I was “human”. I was taught to ignore them, but I also kinda liked being a celebrity. I liked feeling special.
I remember the kids being nice enough, surprisingly. Nobody ever tried to bully me, and even a few kids would help me eat lunch when my torso became that of a barrel and I couldn’t move my limbs. It was the teachers who gave me awkward side glances and spoke in hushed tones when I walked by, afraid that I’d somehow give them a disease when in all honesty, there wasn’t even a scientific notion that my condition was infectious. I don’t know, maybe everyone secretly thought that and that's why I generally sat alone in class.
I met my first and last girlfriend around 17. Her name was Clarrise and she was lovely, a very squeaky and tiny girl with large eyes. I still remember the first time we kissed, the first time I held her tiny hand in my own. She didn’t even care when it phased and wobbled into the form of a dinner plate. She didn’t care when we first tried to have sex and my privates shifted into a wooden modeling doll. And she didn’t care when I tried saying “I love you” but couldn’t get the syllables out as my head kept spinning in the form of a Klaxon alarm.
She started to care when my shifting not only included objects, but grotesque animal traits. One minute I’d be totally normal, the next minute my torso and limbs began to shift into that of a dog’s, or a bird’s, or even into a crab’s. Skittering about sideways might’ve been funny too, but I saw pain in her eyes when she realized she’d have to deal with this forever if she cared enough to stay with me. I still think about the day we were making out, and my body shifted and fell into that of a massive pink worm, writhing about on the floor and leaving a trail of mucous. She looked down at my remaining human eyes, and said “I love you so much. Please understand, I love you so much”. I wanted to respond but as far as I’m aware, worms don’t make sounds and instead I made squelching noises. We stopped seeing each other a week later.
That was the day I realized my life may just be a giant metaphor for Hell. Even writing this out is a chore as my body flickers between man and beast, extremities and pencils, head and computer screens.
Its now 2015. I’m 19 years old and they still haven’t found a cure for me. I spend most of my time in a testing chamber to observe my shifts, where at least I have a variety of books, games and other things to see if it affects anything. When those results come back inconclusive, I get hooked up to the magnetic tables and head scanners and x-rays machines. I get electric shocks and small surgeries, and it's all in the name of science. I’m happy for that reason alone.
The shifts have begun mixing to the point I am an amalgamate of elements, animal parts and even immaterial things. Last night I changed into a sphere of indeterminate mass, with my hands orbiting like electrons and cephalopod tendrils sprouting from the spaces between the overlapping trails. I had no head, but I could still think. I wasn’t in pain, but I felt the changes nonetheless and I think had I not shifted back to normal 15 minutes later I might’ve gone insane. Additionally, I came back missing a portion of my right toe which has permanently shifted into a black stone of some sort: it glows at odd intervals of the night and is warm to the touch. The doctors consider this a breakthrough, and Father is looking into grabbing some samples to study later.
On one hand, I hope this condition never inflicts another living being again. But on the other, I hope if it does...we’ll at least be able to find a cure for it. Currently the technology and medicinal branches of research are looking into some sort of ‘entity-anchor’ that keeps my body from morphing. I don’t know if I’ll last that long: my dreams have become increasingly hazy lately, a blur of rainbow sorbets and fuzzy static, of whispers in the light and a darkness that orbits my skull at high speeds.
I dream of a world that’s constantly shifting around me, a pudding of shapes and noises that don’t make sense. Textures are reversed and people are pulsing masses of multicolored flesh. They shriek in numbers and chemical bubbles. Animals grow from the ground like Venusian flowers and skyrocket upwards, filled with helium and unknowing of their fate.
I alone remain, an unchanging statue, until eventually the chaos and noise swallows me up and my consciousness is but a one dimensional cloud. I am intrahuman, I am nebulous, and I don’t have a place in this world.
Written by William See