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But now he’s back and he’s brand new. He saw the darkness, the fear, but he survived and came back to tell the tale like we all do after we rise. He thought it’d be intriguing, inviting, but he jumped right out of it, and he’s relieved he’s back in the light, he doesn’t find the surface boring, not anymore. There is no truth down there, he says, no fairy tale, no wonders, because he thought he’d have fun, like there was a carnival, a mystic place only a few know and he’d meet Alice, and magic, and interesting creatures, but he only met demons and monsters and me.

But now he’s back and he is safe. He feigns innocence, normalcy, ignores the memory, like he never went down, he waves at people and smiles like he means it, he asks, how was your day, like he cares, he nods and says, I’m fine, but he’s a mess, he’s not like them but he pretends, he plays this funny game of assumptions, one boring cliché after another, like he’s mastered the game, and he’s better than people who play for years, like he was born talented at being inauthentic, but it’s a talent much appreciated, like looks, useless but, oh, so precious.

My boyfriend went down the rabbit hole, but now he’s back and he can’t stand sad songs, or frowns, or tears, not anymore, he won’t dare take another glimpse and he is eager to close that hole forever, or make believe it doesn’t exist and he doesn’t believe me when I tell him that not all of us can pretend the way he does. Not all of us went there as tourists or are good liars, and some of us are trapped for good.