A Brief Questionnaire

Is your will to succeed overwhelming? Does it hold a knife to your throat? Ambition is endless violence, the cells in your body being replaced by new cells even hungrier for sustenance. Does the cumulative weight of all your imaginings suddenly drop on you every time you begin to fall asleep?

Do you envy movie characters that have compressed their entire person into a single hard line, so simple and folded in upon themselves they practically disappear? Think of Ryan Gosling in Drive, Clint Eastwood in spaghetti westerns, George Clooney in Up in the Air. Can anyone live like this? What do these people dream of? What would it feel like to move through the world as a predator? You would give anything to be cold and certain. To be made of something harder than all the metal and concrete around you. To be unknowable. Why can’t you be bulletproof?

Have you ever watched blood escape from under your skin and wondered if there was something damning in your DNA, something doomed from conception, more so than the usual? Have you ever fantasized about crossing out your entire life with a marker and writing redacted?

Do you imagine your car colliding with oncoming traffic, and visualize the accident from a free-floating perspective? Cars from the last couple decades are designed to find a reasonable accord between familiar and foreign metal. Negotiating with tragedy, bargaining for just a little sympathy. Do you wonder how the whole system of traffic doesn’t come unglued? Do you see the potential? Do you care?

Have you Googled “most dangerous careers” so you can simultaneously accumulate money and increase the likelihood of death, only to realize dormant medical issues make it impossible for you to become a firefighter and you’ll never be a lamentable loss? Do you laugh when girls say they want to fuck paramedics, but secretly wonder what it’s like to be touched by someone who has touched death? Then again, maybe you already have, and it didn’t matter. Skin is skin.

Have you stared at your reflection and thought about the replicants from Blade Runner? How would you know if you were an almost flawless imitation of a person? Will anyone ever apply the right kind of scrutiny, for the right amount of time? Will your iris betray you, your respiration? Will their eyes harden in disgust? No matter how many times you say I’m sorry and I don’t want to be this way, you will be broadcasting into dead air.

Do you doubt your ability to cry nowadays? Can you even fail properly? Will you always walk around so angry you are continually on the brink of implosion?

Have you felt the only way you could get married is to carefully peel away the skin from your face? Have you considered that once the skin is gone, it would make a lot of sense to pull away muscle and artery and bone, until you are only the invisible outline of a human? Nobody finds fault with an abyss. An abyss is agreeable. The same way miscarriages are perfect, like a puzzle box with no pieces inside. Do you wish you were a miscarriage? Do you believe there is beauty in a life unlived?

Have you faked a smile to the point your stupid grimace started to taste like cold coffee dregs? Have you spoken words so hollow you were surprised they could make a sentence without falling into confetti wisps?

If you could come one more time, would anything be different? Do you become frustrated because divinity is measurable only in seconds? The moment before you come the world is see-through. The moment after, heavy and settling back into the mundane. Promises of change linger unfulfilled, linger between your legs, snaking back up into your chest. Do you feel validated when people tolerate your naked body? Do you believe there is anything positive left to experience, or only all the permutations of disaster?

Are you a cute girl (esp. ages 18-25) reading this article? Does this appeal to your highly refined ennui palette? Do you operate under a cloud of existential uncertainty? Are you a bright star of narcissism looking for others to complete your little constellation? Does passably articulated self-loathing turn you on? You should send me naked pictures. We should date or something. TC mark

image – Shutterstock


More From Thought Catalog

  • Christine

    Perfect – well done..

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/a-brief-questionnaire/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • DD

    There’s something about you thats dark and twisted. in a good way. yea, we should date.

  • A Deer

    This is beautiful. Not what I’m used to with TC, but pleasantly different.

  • Nick

    I ate this up. Such are mornings

  • http://redlipsandcitylights.wordpress.com nnekaayana


    We want more.

  • http://ataraxiphilia.wordpress.com ataraxiphile


  • mgn

    One of the most honest things I’ve ever read.

  • laura

    I think I’m in love with you

  • JL

    more, more. write more

  • Amphx

    We’re the same age and I’d do anything to meet people who think like you, doesn’t happen where I live. This was fantastic.

  • Maya

    love, let’s date or something

  • MAJA

    Write to me at majatomovska@yahoo.com, if you like.
    I don’t guarantee any naked pictures, but I promise you’ll hate me. You have just described me.

    PS – Passably articulated doesn’t turn me on. But yours does. Reading this felt like slow-motion free falling. So smooth.

  • Owlett

    This was a very pleasant read. The last paragraph made me laugh out loud. And then I saw the comments. Just unreal. I had such a good laugh. Apparently if you simply suggest that women fall in love with you, they do. You should find a way to bank that. It’s a real power.

    • patrick easton

      i think banking on women’s love is called being a pimp

  • http://www.facebook.com/Peaches16 Christelle Villaester

    The writers here are starting to creep me out. Can they read minds? Including the subconscious layers of it?

    • http://twitter.com/ritikaaaaar Ritika Rakshit (@ritikaaaaar)


  • psstop

    Ooo…really liked this. Loved the questions you asked.

  • margo

    got me wet

  • Allie

    These words are the components of the haze that fills my mind

  • Charlene Sutherland

    Quite enjoyed this piece and cannot wait for more from you.

  • Elle


  • http://kmenas.tumblr.com Kassiani

    Date me

    • patrick easton

      that’s very flattering + i like the spongebob pictures on your tumblr

      • http://kmenas.tumblr.com Kassiani

        Thank you a lot- I am so happy about your response for so many reasons

  • Hannah

    Well that last paragraph sounds a lot like me. Let’s date. :)

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