“Twisting Intersections” by Noel Sol; May 8, 2021

Being both neosuchian and dragon, both simultaneously and separately, is an experience I struggle to speak about without a “human-baseline.” My baseline is dragon; my human is learned. Such is the existence of a nonhuman systemmate.

The benefit of being part of a system is that I know what I am and have always known what I am, much in the same way most people intrinsically know they are human. I look down in the system’s mindscape and see myself as a white European dragon, fundamentally unchanging in the details of my physicalities. My systemmates, similarly, look at me and see a white dragon. On the occasions I front, I experience a phantom body and phantom limbs that match my internal image perfectly. There has never been a question about what I am.

Being neosuchian is a part of being dragon: it rises in the way my basest instincts manifest. The urge to carry my theoretical young in my mouth. The hisses and rumbles I am inclined to make around my partners, who I am most comfortable with. The type of nests I seek, the water-surrounded landscapes I find myself drawn to. But it exists outside of being dragon, as well—the way I feel when looking at other neosuchians, as though I am looking into a mirror, and the unexpected gut-wrenching emotions I find inside me in relation to what they can do in comparison. I am not physically an extinct nor extant species of neosuchian, but the way my heart tugs it often feels as though I should be. And, within the mindscape, I do have the ability to look like species of neosuchian for extended periods of time: why I can do this, I do not know, as such metaphysical transformative attempts have proved fruitless with any other species outside of those.

Sometimes it feels as though I am divided by my history, my past life as a tamed (though not, I would say, domesticated) dragon of war, and my current life as a feral, scarred dragon and neosuchian and not-quite-human. The aspects of my draconic self are often wild in a humantouched way, in a way which is buried deep beneath memories and levels of trained selfhood, either because of my past life, my current life trapped in a human body, or a mixture of the two. The aspects of my neosuchian self are wild in an ancient, untouched way, in a way which has never known to be anything but its authentic self. There is some of my wild draconity buried beneath that, farther down and mixed together in ways I cannot see, but it is like a word on the tip of my tongue: somethings so close, yet almost always frustratingly out of reach.

Re-discovering the long-hidden inherent wildness of my draconity is part of what lead me to unveiling my neosuchian nature. For the longest time, I’d thought some parts of myself permanently lost (or perhaps, never there in the first place), destined to exist only in the glimpses of memories I have. Ironically, it was other dragons that brought these parts of me to the surface—solitary animals or social animals, whatever various kinds of dragons are or aren’t and whatever my specific species is or isn’t, just being around others of my kind helped me to discover instincts and desires that I just simply did not have towards nondragon individuals. And in discovering those instincts, I was able to draw startling lines between my experiences and that of the alligators I was so familiar with, leading me to further conclusions and connections from there.

It was a difficult part of myself to accept, in some ways. I wanted to be singularly dragon, not both dragon and a vast, complex network of instincts, appearances, and associations that aligned into one singular, definable clade. But it was well worth facing the truth of my combined experiences, and I certainly don’t regret it; knowledge over oneself is the ultimate form of self-actualized and self-affecting power and influence. Even if my identity may be complicated to explain with simplicity, being both one thing and many things, all at the same time, it is something I could not conceive of myself without.