I’m skimming just under the surface of dark waters, trying to get my bearings. Every now and then I pop my head out and survey the scene above, looking for just one landmark that I recognize. But nothing takes. More swimming, more scoping, and still, the complete unknown. Each dip, farther and farther from home.
What happens when you lose the thing that defines you?
It’s not like a search party is ever going to find me. They’ve been trying that shit for years with all of their latest contraptions. I guess when you are an introverted sea monster who makes sporadic appearances, it’s sort of in your nature to be missing for long stretches.
Meanwhile, my therapist says I need to stop calling myself a monster. She hates that word and says it’s loaded with preconceived scorn. “Nessie,” she scolds at every session, “The first step in others seeing you as a caring being, deserving of love, is for you to see yourself as a caring being, deserving of love. Stop calling yourself a monster.”
She talks a lot about the way I carry myself, arching my neck higher, to present more grace and confidence. But I just wonder how much she really listens to me. I’m a swimming, talking, state secret, so obviously “presenting myself” isn’t really my thing. I mean I’ve done enough reading into celebrity social media strategy to understand that I still need to make enough appearances to garner curiosity and attention. I wouldn’t dare come out far enough to draw a line in the sand, but if I did, that’d be it.
Instead of presenting myself, maybe, I need to be rebranding. And if I’m rebranding, maybe I’ve been looking at it all wrong. Instead of ditching the monster part, I embrace this new scenery, this new lake. Maybe I become one of those people who relocates to Colorado Springs and suddenly my whole life looks like a Patagonia ad. The Loch Ness Monster is a blurry question. A thesis. Barely even a conversation. I guess I could give people a little bit more of a taste of what they want. Civilization probably only has a few more generations anyways.
But Nessie, the Traveling Sea Monster could be HUGE. A couple high-def photos around the United Kingdom, and the papers may start using words like “gallant” and “quixotic” to describe me. My therapist might ask me: Is that how I truly am? Or just how I want to be seen?
OK, new plan. Step one: Find out where the hell I am. Step two: get to London, where they have the most intrepid paparazzi. Step three: Quick glow up. Step four: Talk to Ted Lasso’s people about a guest starring stint. Step five: reclaim the throne of most beloved natural mystery.