lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
[personal profile] lb_lee
Incog has been asked which face is the real one.  Whenever that happens, Incog points at the mask and says, “This one.”

Incog enjoys the irony.  Other vigilantes use masks to conceal their faces; Incog uses masks to make one.

When your body changes constantly, no one guise feels more real or natural than any other.  Big or small, weak or strong, they’re all Incog’s body—for now.  Some are more challenging than others, some Incog hopes not to have to deal with again, but none have had features Incog wanted forever.  Looks are looks; more important is health.  Incog believes beauty as primarily internal.  Incog must, or go mad chasing something that will never stay stronger than three weeks.

Incog understands that this is a personal opinion.  People respond differently, depending on Incog’s body.  Incog takes advantage of it sometimes, using a larger body to intimidate, a smoother voice to charm.

Once, Incog used certain bodies to seduce.  But that was a long time ago, wilder days, back when it was fun.  Back when Incog had spent six nights a week out in the open air, laughing at everything, fearless and invincible.  Sometimes a foppish rogue, sometimes a blazing beauty, sometimes something else entirely.  Back when the changes had been kinder.  Back when it had seemed risqué and outré to take on a body, a gender, and a lover one night, only to vanish by morning.

Incog’s older now, though, and slowing down, in spirit if not in body.  Incog’s doing the one thing Incog swore never to do: settle.

Things change.

Incog doesn’t go out much anymore.  Over the years, Incog’s body has slowly gotten more rickety, and spreading information, gathering intelligence, feels like a better, more satisfying use of time. (And less harrowing.)

Incog doesn’t chase lovers anymore either.  Too many have left, unable to stand the changes, needing permanency.  They grow attached to certain bodies, to certain preconceptions.  They desire a body that is recognizable from one week to another.  It is a natural human desire, of course, and Incog doesn’t bear them any ill will.  These things happen.  But it hurts every time.  Nowadays, Incog is solitary.

Except for Mig, wiry and far-sighted, who can live on a can of tuna, a tin of beans, and crackers for a week.  Who’s spent so many nights under bridges, over rooftops, and on the road that he can’t stand to live in a house anymore, but will sometimes accept a bed for the night.  Incog doesn’t know what sin he’s paying for, but it’s obviously a life sentence.

Mig has never asked Incog to remove the mask.  And for that, Incog loves him.

Date: 2011-01-04 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd reply to this properly but I seem to have melted into a puddle of bittersweet warm feelings.
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