Memories From the Balcony – Mr. Mirror

When you find yourself looking up at the sky, trust me.
I am too.
When you see yourself and you wonder if there’s anyone out there who gets it and I mean if there’s anyone out there who really gets it. Please, add me to the list.

When the wind is cold or the rain is heavy and you find yourself looking out of the window, or when you’re lost in thought or somehow drifting like the blanket of gray clouds overhead, just know this, know that you’re not the only one out there.
Know that you’re not alone. Not now.
At least not anymore.

Know that there’s me. I’m here.
I’m in this world too.
I’m right beside you no matter where you are.
Know that I’m looking up. I’m looking around. I’m waiting to see what’s coming next.

Know that I have dreams. I have needs just like anyone else.
I have ideas. I have some really good ones too.

I have thoughts on random things, like what a sheet can do while hanging on a clothesline in the springtime.
I can think of different things to do, like just after sunset for example.
We could buy an old projector and hook up speakers to give the movie some sound.
We could set up the bedsheet outdoors and hang it just so. This way, we can make it into a big movie screen.
We can have a special movie night in a field
(in my field if I get my way).
We can have popcorn. We can have snacks and candy. We can enjoy the end of a summer’s day the way people are supposed to – together. Do you know what I mean?
Enjoying the moment. No hassle. No worries.
No anxiety about the next day’s business.
There’d be nothing like that at all.

I like these things.
I always have only I never dared to tell people.
I never dared to tell anyone because, in fairness, I was always worried about being laughed at or picked on.
Even more, I was always afraid of what I’d be perceived as if I were less than a man.
Am I a man? Because, if I am, then what makes me a man? By the way, what is manhood anyway?

I know what the definition is. At least, I know what the dictionary tells me.
I know what the denotation of the word means; but as for the connotation, what about this?
What does it mean to be a man?
Safe to say that I’ve heard different versions of this throughout my life.
Safe to say that I have been taught about the typical routines and the ball-grabbing, tough-guy nonsense.
I’ve heard the thug-life versions on what it means to be a man.
I’ve heard about the barroom brawls and the scars and the bloodstained shirts.
I’ve played chicken before.
But so what?
What does a man do anyway?
Aside from being biological; aside from being able to reproduce; aside from packaging the necessary equipment to penetrate or have sex; hence, or make love in this style; what else is there about a person that makes them a man?

I am a man, by the way.
But I want to be more.

Just know this, whether I am man or otherwise; or whether I am afraid or otherwise; whether I am brave or whether I have the ability to see clearly or, if I have the strength to lift up a thousand pounds or not even an ounce; all I know is what I have which is this – right here and right now. I have this, a moment between us and sitting before you with my heart on my sleeve; dare I say it, but I am this.

I am more than my body and more than flesh and bone. I am more than a beating heart which, fortunately up until now, has yet to fail me. I am more than the breath in my lungs which, fortunately up until now, hasn’t stopped yet either.

I am more than my pulse because I am my pulse. I am my life. I am me in a thousand different scenarios.
I am my history and equally, I am my future. I am my background and my culture but I am also new to this world.
I am brand new, fresh out the box! Each and every day and so are you, by the way.

Just know that when you look up at the sky at night or when you watch the sunset or the sunrise or when you see something so extraordinary like a random thing, like an old car that reminds you of a time when you were young and driving on the highway with your family; just know, I think about these things too.

There is something so amazing about this world. There is something beautiful at every turn yet it is easy to lose ourselves or to lose sight of such amazing things.

It’s easy to forget what it was like to take a lick from your first ice cream cone at the beginning of summer. 

It’s amazing too because there is so much in the world.
There is so much to see, right in front of us.
But somehow, we lose sight.
Somehow, we forget to notice the sky or how pretty it is at sunset.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe I overthink too much.
Maybe I forget to celebrate the simple things and honor my little success, which are plentiful by the way. 

It’s true.
Tiny successes add up and can be plentiful if we notice them.
If we think about this, we are succeeding right now.
The fact that we’re here; the fact that somehow we survived life itself; the fact that we survived our own thinking and the fact that we have the ability to stand up or face the next day is a major achievement. 
We need to start noticing this.

I know that the days can get lonely.
I know that the crowd can be a bit annoying.
I know that life can be a bitch sometimes.
And so can I.
So can you.
So can anyone.

I think what I find most amazing is the soul’s need to be pure and free. 

I think this is beautiful.
I swear, the ability to be you and I mean to be exactly who you are without an image to hide behind (for safety) or to be yourself without decorations is truly the most amazing thing.
I believe this is the most beautiful a person can be. 

I don’t say this is easy.
I don’t say this is always comfortable.
I only say there is beauty in truth and beauty in natural light, unfiltered, which is unlike most of the typical “selfies” we see that are all doctored and changed. No one gets it.
No one gets how people degrade the truth of beauty in order to hide flaws and embellish their dishonesty,

But me, I say fuck it.
Be you.
Be you to the core.
Be true to this which is why I admire you so much.

I have lived most of my life in accordance with popular or outside opinions.
Much of my life has been spent trying to find the right fit for me.
I’ve tried on different uniforms, so-to-speak.
I’ve worn different outfits and tried on different personalities.
I tried a little of this and a little of that.
In truth and fairness, I am saying this to you now as bravely and as honestly as I can be.
I never quite knew who I was or how I fit in. I never assigned myself.

I was never brave enough to say what I like or don’t like
Who’s beautiful and who’s not?
What do I really like?
What is my true fashion?
Who do I want to be?

All questions that are basic and simple; yet, nothing is so basic or simple except, of course, the opposites.
I say the opposite because I know what I don’t want. I know that I can’t lose this touch right now or this feeling I have.
I can’t let go.
I can’t lose this because what I have and what I feel right now is no different than catching the tail of a rainbow and being able to make a wish
(so we can dream).
I know that I have so many things inside of me.
These things were trapped or pent up but the guards are all gone now and the cage door is open. 
All a person has to do is walk out – and be free.

There is no penitentiary like the prison of the mind because here, above all places, these are the hardest dungeons to escape.

I don’t know if I am writing this to you or for you.
I don’t know if I am writing this for you or if this is for me, just so I see the words on paper or just so I can reread this and say it outloud. 

I have faults and flaws too.
I have differences. I have features which I would consider to be otherwise undesirable.
I have a soft side. I have a gentle side.
I have a weak side. To be clear, this is my strongest side because here I am now, literally telling you everything there is that keeps me from being strong – or at least strong in my own eyes. This takes strength to do because the fact is that I am strongest when I am meek. I am honest when I am humble and I am accurate when I am modest.

The rest is all bullshit. . . .
In the grand scheme of it all, we only get one turn in this shell we call a body.
I’m only going to have this morning, right here, one time and one time only.
So, if you don’t mind – I’d like to make this count.

I grew up questioning myself throughout my entire life.
What am I?
Who am I?
What do I really want?
Who do I want to be in this world?
More importantly, why the hell do I give a shit what other people think or say?

In the end, there’s only one reflection looking at me in the mirror.
At the end of the day, I have to face my reflection in the mirror and come to a constructive conclusion.

At sunrise, I have to put my feet on the floor and whether I’m tired or hurt or whether I’m not sure of myself or if I can do it or not; I have to get up and try otherwise I will just be dying alive. 

I don’t want to lose sight of this.
I don’t want to let go of this platform or this place which I’ve built for us.
This is ours. Yours and mine.
Whether I am a man, a boy, or somehow different; or whether I am tough or strong or weak or insignificant; I know that there’s something out there for me. I know that I have something in the cards for me. I have a destiny to attend.

I have a farm to build and field which is where I plan to hang that sheet I was telling you about.
I have a school to create. I have a place that I want to build which will be safe for us or for anyone who’s like us.

The other week when I was standing in front of a roomful of kids and teaching them about what I do – I thought about this.
I thought about my reasons for coming forward about me and who I am in the realms of depression. As for being a man, I am more than than this. I am more than my history. I am more than a job title and more than a corporate position.
I’m an author. I’m a poet.
I’m a dreamer. I’m the blade of a double-edged sword.
I am a shield. I am a searcher and eager to find this thing we call happiness.
I am a captain. I am hopeful yet I am also hesitant at times because yes, I am afraid.
The world’s a big place which is why it’s always good to have someone with you to hold hands with, of course . . . 

I know that Moms can’t be around forever.
And Dads, well, neither can they.
I know that sometimes, we look up at the sky and we wonder if any of this will ever make sense.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know the answer to this.
Maybe I’m not supposed to.
Maybe it’ll spoil the surprise.

All I know is that who you are and where you are; how you look, how you dress, how you talk and how you laugh, how you think and how you smile is all perfect to me. 

Your eyes are perfect. Your ears as well. Everything about you is perfectly accurate to you and who you are, which is beautiful.


Do you?
Good . . .

Hello, Mirror.
It’s me again.

Thanks for showing me the truth.

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