I don't really remember when I chose to use Kokadrille as my moniker on the internet. It probably looked cool, and it wasn't taken or contained a shit ton of numbers. I used this word to identify myself pretty much everywhere, but it's not intuitive to spell and unfamiliar to a lot of people, which means it makes it more difficult for people to find me on the interwebs. For someone who wants to be a comedian, that's not a smart thing to do. But this word is valuable to me. Kokadrille is a bastardization of the word Cocadrille, which is from a book called Pig Earth about French peasant farmers, in particular a young woman who is assigned that nickname by the people who look down on her. Later it becomes a kind of empowering pseudonym, something that makes her separateness a part of her own identity and not because she's socially shunned. Supposedly, it's from a real piece of folklore but even the internet has scarce detail about it.
"The cocadrille, he said, comes from a cocks egg, hatched in a dung heap. As soon as it hatches from its shell, it makes its way to the most unlikely place you can imagine. However, if it is seen on its journey by someone else who it hasn’t seen then it dies ! If however, it sees someone else before they see it, it has the power to kill any other animal or human EXCEPT a weasel . It kills by poison which comes from its eyes and travels along its gaze to its prey."
I like the idea of an awkward monster, something that defines you in a seemingly negative way, but has to be respected. We all feel outcast and alone at some point. Cocadrille is more considered a pest, an awkward creature with no real place in the world, but must be tolerated due to its ability to make death with its eyeballs. I can see other people viewing my monster that way.
I refer to having a monster pretty frequently if you get to know me. I don't know if going to an actual therapist would help and make me integrate this piece that I keep very separate, but I don't really believe that the monster is a part of me. We need each other for whatever reason and we coexist because we have to. I'm pretty sure that everyone has one, too, but their shapes and values are all different.
I have an anger problem. I have a sadness problem; I have emotional depth that disturbs me. I can be a very intense person, and there's times I wonder if what I'm doing borders on psychotic. I show a lot of emotional restraint because I believe if I didn't I'd end up alone. People who knew me when I was younger have seen what I'm talking about. Jay had to deal with the most of it. I don't really know why he did or how he wasn't scared of it. Maybe he has a kokadrille too.
Recently I have been trying to be more emotionally open and the results are mixed. Feeling vulnerable is one thing, feeling like I'm going to genuinely frighten someone, or that they're going to realize that I am out of my mind is a complete other. I connect to other people very deeply, and it takes me less time to do so than others. I can come off very clingy because of it or worse if I'm not careful. I can feel when I've attached too deeply to something that doesn't want it, too, but pulling away is tricky. Even though I'm aware of it, there's not a lot I know how to do to control it; that's why being emotionally open scares me, because there's a chance I will do something completely unreasonable.
I'm not talking about saying something awkward to someone, which happens, or being vulnerable and people finding that uncomfortable. I'm going darker. I let out a monster.
What I'm going to say is something that I don't admit very often, and if you are my friend and see me in person it's doubtful I'll want to talk about it.
When talking about getting possessed or "letting out my monster" the physical reality of what I do is some form of ritualized self harm. This usually involves a lot of screaming, crying, beating the shit out of something, occasionally myself, throwing myself into things, and other tantrumatic activities. It's doubtful that I can form words, if I do they'll probably be profanity. I will probably attack anyone who tries to stop me. I openly and honestly hate. I used to cut or scratch myself, but that had more to do with visuals I used to get when this happened. When I ended up in these states, I would see black leech like things under my skin. I thought they were the anger and they needed ways out.
If you catch me when I'm in this state there's no way that I won't involve you. There's no way for me not to. I lose my mind (or mindfulness); I am sort of conscious for what's happening but as I mentioned, my body is sometimes something separate from me, and occasionally I hand it over to the monster.
I am certain I am not the only one who does this, and I'm sure this falls into one of those "autism spectrum" criteria that I fit. The fact that I feel removed from my physical self when it happens may be a little less common, and the idea that I hand my body over to something else even less so, but I know I'm not alone in these states.
I do not like people to know that this is something that I do. I wouldn't be writing about it now except that I think I need to confront this if I want to stop a cycle I've started recently. I don't want people to be there because I don't want them to see me, much less do I want to involve or hurt anyone. The tantrum aspect is something I do alone. I am paralyzed by fear when I see that same madness seep into any interaction I have with someone else. My grip on it isn't very strong and I don't want it to take over. I've worked hard to get where I am and I don't want it undone by emotional instability. It's important to me not to be seen as "one of those crazy emotional women" and be dismissed. These feelings aren't me acting out, and it's important to me to have them, my monster is just as much my friend as my enemy. This fury is as much a part of my creative process and my intelligence as anything else.
Emotions of that intensity don't fit well into the social structure, and I understand that. We don't have a place for our dark ones, because they're hard to get along with. It's tough to imagine a functional society where people periodically start ripping at their clothes and bashing into boulders. I find it frustrating though, because having that much sadness that I can express and let go is something that makes me feel connected to everyone. I feel undeniably human.
When it's over and I am exhausted, I am filled with an amazing sense of peace. Not only that, Kokadrille settles itself back down and we go over what happens. I gain a lot from these introspections. You can breed a lot of insight with intelligence, but wisdom almost always comes after. It's easy to genuinely believe in what you say the moment you say it, but when you step a moment further away it becomes clear that there's no depth, no meaning. These rages help me come to an understanding with what I go through. They're horrible at the time but they contain a euphoria and a wisdom at the end, and I'm not afraid of them.
I have to reiterate something before I continue:
"Imagine your life as walking on a clay road, one that can only stretch so far into the past, the future, and now. To spend too much time clinging to what's behind you will make it impossible to reach your future. To spread it too far ahead will make you lose your footing and plummet to a chasm of uncertainty below you.
But what if we were to take that clay, and instead of spreading it around us, we use it to sculpt the space we were standing in? Wouldn't we have gained a stronger footing, have more ability to appreciate and create the moment that's around us? There is a past and a future, but there's little we can do to harness them productively. It's only the current moment that we can build upon, and it's only the current moment that you'll find any kind of meaning."
The concept of the clay road is something I came to a long time ago, and while in this particular introduction I was explaining it as a way to stay in the moment, it's incredibly important to recognize that you have to stretch your given material a little bit ahead and a little bit behind you. Context gives the meaning. To speak in the moment and without context is how you believe your own bullshit. That's how you hurt people.
I'm bringing this back up because emotions are an intrinsic part, not only of life but your way through it. When I let out my monster, I am only in the moment. I have no concept of where I came from or where I will be in ten minutes. These moments are painful. When it's over, and whatever it is that I let out is satisfied and goes back to rest, I am in equilibrium, and I have meaning from my outburst. The context changes, it's behind me. That's why I value darkness.
I'm not an easy person to deal with if I let you below the surface, and that's why I hate being open. I'm not worried you'll see my insecurity, I'm worried you'll see violence and suffering. There's a lot of turmoil that I keep with me, and for reasons someone will probably tell me are unhealthy, I value that turmoil and I accept that it's with me. I have a monster that sleeps near me at all times, and it raises its head whenever I make decisions or I'm unsure where to go in life. If I take the wrong turn, it wants out and sort of forces me to retrace my steps. There may not be a place for it in society, but there's definitely a place for it in my life.
Hearing someone talk about things like this, particular someone with my flair for the dramatic, is alarming to say the least, I imagine. Don't freak out. That's why it's so difficult for people who deal with these critters to talk about them. This isn't the kind of thing that gets better by being approached as a problem, it's a process.
Maybe there are better or more socially acceptable ways to work through problems and gain wisdom, but I don't have them yet. For now, I have the kokadrille; something that keeps me separate enough from things to work through them. So far, it's been enough.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.