It is a difficult task for me to explain. Because this is about perspectives and their transformation. Because your truth even though different from mine, is just as true and because you cannot know because you don’t know.
You are happy. You are like a child visiting the circus for the first time. You are so damn involved, so busy being enraptured, you don’t see and know anything else, least of all the many tiny and diverse abnormalities that lie in the background hidden enough for you to ignore. But I am on the other side of the road. I am watching the circus too but I am the unsure, scared orphan sitting at the back. I don’t mean to imply that in a literal sense. Its just that you have something given to you by virtue of your birth and I don’t. It’s a truth that took me some time to realize but may be something that you’ll never have the need to know.
You see, in the beginning, I didn’t know our general differences and our separate realities. I did not know that the world had been designed for you – the general lines of your feelings, ambitions and compulsions were to be addressed. I was just a black dot floating about in the milieu of your and others’ white. I was not critical. I was not important. You probably saw me and thought, I was a white-black dot or if you were kind and considerate enough, a black-white one. I had to be either like you or like you. There was no other option. But, of course no one said that in my face. So, I thought, I was like you and I yearned to be like you. I could see that you were happy and you really DO have the power to experience all the magical feelings that make life worth living. You ARE capable of believing and being mesmerized; capable of feeling that fresh, warm glow of hope in your heart that helps you trust yourself and you probably don’t even know what that happening to you means. I wanted that. I wanted to like the circus too.
But, how could I have had? I was the “something-less” orphan that just couldn’t because I was different. I had in my mind the memory of darker, more terrible places. The dirty alleyways of filth and vermin that you would never have business knowing – I lived there sometime ago. And that is why, while we both watched in those temporary moment of togetherness this circus that life is, I had the knowledge and memory of a sinister past. While you laughed gaily and lauded the artists’ work I was sometimes reminded that just like everyday, SHE’D be waiting when the circus ends and I go back. That cadaverous, old, graying woman cloaked and hooded in black, a stick in her knotty hands would be there to welcome me to my alley with her empty whispers and relentless mumblings that gave you this unsure feeling of not belonging, her scents and smells of emptiness, of being different and not knowing how to understand it. As you went back to you warm room and snug bed on those nights, I too crept into mine and beside me, just like every other day, lay SHE – her cold, wet, syrupy blackness seeping into me, leaking into my mind.
Therefore you might not know what THIS is, you might not recognize that there is a divide between us today. We are similar but we are not at all the same and even if you try you WILL NOT know, where I come from. I was born with a curse, a millstone around my neck and I live, sleep, play, dance, laugh and cry with its weight. Hence my joy is different from yours and my love is not your love and our pasts and futures are different. I could call this reality a curse but THAT would be weak of me. I HAVE to wake up every morning and TELL myself that I am normal, I am right and you, the smiling, laughing, understanding and important one out there, you are crazy, you are abnormal. I do not respect your life and your tastes, because if I do I won’t survive. I won’t have the belief and hope to live. I have chosen to fight – to live this life with God’s special gift. I have promised myself – I will be honest and I will commit to nothing but myself and my potential to grow and change.
I will not stop,
I will not cry.
And if I loose
Or if, vanquished I die,
I will know at least,
That I did not fail.
Because I was brave enough to try.