深夜獨白/Please Help Me

I asked Edesk to render one of the most important life experiences.

我再一次委託了 Edesk,請他描繪我人生中的一個很重要的時刻。

ShuLightsv2_LR
Please Help Me / 深夜獨白 by Edesk

Please Help Me

This artwork is my commission rendered by Edesk. I can not thank Edesk more.

As of the artwork, I can strongly feel part of myself living in both characters. They reflect my past-time depression and my yearning for a genuine partner that understand me very well. At the same time, they reflect my attempt to become the one who really cares about partners’ well-being, the one who supports at their vulnerable moments, and the one who soothes their deep sadness.

I hope the viewers could find part of themselves in this artwork. They deserve to know that they are not alone.

For those who are interested in the backstory, please read on.


It is strongly based on my story when I was graduated from my Master program and was desperately looking for a job.

Living abroad is never easy, especially when I always assumed that my colleagues, my friends, my family were expecting my successful life in the Silicon Valley — life as a software engineer with very high salary, thrives in a top-tier social network, and always talks about technical jargon, FLAG, start-ups, and creative ideas. During my job search, I always tried to keep up my practices: Leetcode, textbooks, composing a pitch for interviews, and so forth.

Yet by that time I was very confused with my furry identity. This confusion already affect my life for years. I have very few non-furry friends that slightly knows I have some interest in sexy handsome anthros, but they were way beyond my reach, like the other side of the earth. Well, even if I managed to get in touch with them in person, I believe they would not understand my struggle anyway.

I did try to blend in the furry conventions: FWA 14’ in Atlanta and FC 16’ in San Jose. Both cons are great, just that I went there mostly alone and I was so timid to talk to other furries. Large furcons to me almost feels like a job fair, intense and full of socializing. I also tried to attend a furmeet in Santa Clara, but I didn’t know how to even start a conversation with total strangers. The cultural difference was still there. I did make 2 friends though, thanks Rayting and Neil, you guys are awesome.

These struggles piled up and finally led to the breakdown moment shown in the artwork.

I had a displeasing talk with my long-distance girlfriend back then (not her fault, she’s cool, I was not). I hung up, and then I felt nothing — emptiness, null, senseless of self. My brain stopped working, and then my consciousness panicked. I never had such feeling before and that really frightened me.

“Why can’t I feel anything?”
“What should I do to deal with this emptiness?”
“Should I start feeling sad or keep monitoring myself like this?”
“Why I don’t feel like to cuddle wolfbro or play games now?”

“What is WRONG with me?”

Time was frozen, minutes was like forever. My consciousness finally suggested me to lay on the couch and cry.

And then I cried.

It was probably the worst moment in my life.

Then my consciousness suggested me to split myself into two characters, one as a psychiatrist, and one as a patient. I did that, and walked myself through the thick darkness and the long-lasting solitary.

Thank you for reading through this. I highly appreciate it. 🦊

* * *

深夜獨白

自從我得到 Edesk 替我設計的小灰狐設定稿之後,我就認定小灰狐的模樣就是這個樣子了——其他繪師所畫的只是他們眼中的小灰狐;只有 Edesk 所畫的,才是我心目中小灰狐的真正模樣。所以我一直很想要請他幫我描繪我人生中的一個重要節點。如今這個作品已經完成,算是了結了我的一個很大的心願吧。真的很謝謝 Edesk。

畫裡面的兩位小灰狐對我來說,有兩種不同的解讀方式。其中一種是從那位哭泣的小灰狐的觀點出發的:我其實到現在還是很渴求,有像左邊的小灰狐一般願意時時刻刻守護我的伴侶,可以同理我人生中的所有刻痕,可以看見我情緒起伏的根源,可以給予我溫暖而毛茸茸的懷抱。

另外一種則是從那位安詳的小灰狐的觀點:我很希望能夠將我的肩膀給予那些我所珍視的人。用最誠摯最溫和的眼神看見他們內心的糾結,用最細心最開放的思維理解他們遭遇的困難。我知道他們只是需要有人陪他們度過人生中難以忍受的時刻,而我會靜靜地,聽他們把話說完,然後給予溫柔的擁抱。

我希望欣賞這幅畫的朋友,也可以在這幅畫中看見自己的人生中某些相似的切片。我想要你們知道,你們不是孤獨的。

後面我想說一說這個作品的背景故事。有興趣的話再看吧。


那是發生在 2015 年到 2016 年之間的事情。

在我唸碩士班畢業之後,就像系上其他同學一樣,我很希望能夠找到一份好的工作,成為人人稱羨的人生勝利組。

「找到一份工作」聽起來輕描淡寫,但實際上這並不是一件輕鬆的事情——面試前的口條練習、複習自己之前的學經歷、持續複習以前所學、收到拒絕信的心情調適等。何況我自己總是會認為我的朋友、我的同儕、我的家人,一定非常期待收到我成功進入某高科技公司的喜訊,所以我不能辜負他們的期待。

除了上面的壓力來源之外,當時的我自覺浪費了太多時間在與自己的獸認同對抗。我想要把這股強烈的糾結釋放給理解獸認同的人:「你看!我為了大家好,投入了這麼多時間努力把自己鎖在櫃子裡!我真的好累!」,但誰會想要去聽一個陌生人說一些與他們人生無關的故事?於是當時的我依然沒有辦法對其他人敞開心胸,於是明明肩負著這樣的壓力,卻因為跟自己的心理過不去,所以還是把找工作的壓力往肚子裡吞。

我長久以來,真的是所謂的獸圈邊緣人。我完全沒有勇氣去與在論壇上的其他人交流,因為我很玻璃心,很容易被論壇上粗線條的發言給戳到痛點。同時我在圈內也沒什麼社交的本錢,我沒設定、沒繪畫天分、沒獸裝、也沒人脈,完全沒有吸引人的點。所以獸圈對當時的我來講並不是個避風港,只是個會貼很多獸圖的地方而已——在心靈層面上,我完全沒有從中獲得滿足。

後來我的確在 2015 年的春夏左右在巴哈姆特的一個獸迷論壇開始貢獻我的翻譯文章,以及做一些獸迷相關的探討。這讓我開始很初步地與其他獸迷互動。其中跟我聊最多的大概就是 Buwalki 吧。很感謝他當時願意跟我這個邊緣人定期的電子郵件來往。

不過到最後,要面對人生困境的人依舊只會、只能是自己。

在畫裡的那個夜晚,我與我當時的女友透過 Skype 起了一些爭執(其實她挺好的,是我自己出了問題)。掛了通話之後,我發現自己進入了一個很神奇的狀態。我變得毫無情緒、毫無想法。我的腦袋是空的,像是在深不見底的黑洞裡持續下墜著。

我的意識注意到了這件事情,非常地不知所措,因為我從來沒有經歷過空殼般的精神狀態。我什麼事情也不想做:我不想抱狼葛格,我不想要打電玩,我不想要洗澡,我就是什麼事情也不想做。我就倚靠在牆邊,一面墜落,一面恐慌。

「我該怎麼辦?」
「我該繼續這樣監看自己的狀態嗎?」
「這個時候是不是應該要生氣還是難過?」
「我到底是哪裡出了問題?」

這個墜落,好漫長。

最後,我的意識告訴我,不然去沙發那裡哭一下好了?

然後我躺下。
然後,我哭了。

然後,我的意識告訴我,不然我們來扮演心理醫師與病人好了?我們一個當醫師,負責聆聽;一個當病人,負責把垃圾倒出來。然後,就如同這幅作品所呈現的,一場深夜獨白。

非常謝謝你的閱讀。希望你也喜歡這段故事。 🦊

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