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256 pages, Hardcover
First published September 29, 2020
Damien: How do you not get it? Look, I know you’re curious about me, Mark, so let me do what you want and tell you- I’ve lived my whole life with people doing what I want and then instantly regretting it. Do you know what that’s like? People having buyer’s remorse about you? (Mini episode 8, “September 30th, 2016”)
Mark: Is that all you wanted?
Mark: All you wanted was a friend. Someone to connect to.
Damien: What else would I have wanted?
“I don’t know,” I say again quietly, the irony of it all hitting home. The boy whose wants infect everyone else can’t even articulate what he wants, even though it’s as simple as wanting to be wrapped up in someone’s arms. To feel loved. To feel safe, for just one goddamned second.Which is, of course, exactly what happens and in the following scene he’s completely unsure again if he used his ability at all even when Neon tells him that he very much obviously did. It’s easily my favourite scene in the book because it shows how many layers of messed-up Damien is and how few things he’s able to admit to himself. Like the deep desire to be understood, held, feel safe and part of a group that cares about you is deeply human and nothing to be ashamed of. Though when the therapist he sees briefly points that out, Damien only sneers that he’s not human. Mark surely didn’t buy it when Damien admitted this as his motivation to him.
"Of course I tried! You had my ability for all of what, a week, Mark? Don’t pretend that you were perfect at it. That it wouldn’t eat away at you if you’d had it for your whole life.“He admits that he sees himself as corrupted by power on some level, and in a way I reluctantly agree. To redeem this character, there’s dozens of versions where he’s either stripped from his power, where he doesn’t bounce back from the rebound event with Mark, where he’s run over while on the roadtrip, … but not a plausible in-character story where he still holds all the cards.
“I got tired of wondering what people actually mean, what they actually want so I decided a long time ago that it doesn’t matter. If people don’t want me with them, then I will be above them. The power matters - it’s the one thing in my life that’s always been real. The power is mine and mine alone and it never lies. “ (Mini episode 8, “September 30th, 2016”)