Mirrored Perspective

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story that involves a reflection in a mirror.... view prompt

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Creative Nonfiction Contemporary

Mirrored Perspective

by George Key

If, the eyes are the window to our souls, then what I see in a mirror looking into my own eyes should likely be my inner self. However, what I see is what others have convinced me that I must be. I must be what they, them there those people have collectively concluded what and who I am.  No matter how much I convince myself that I do not give a damn what other people think, say, or do, it does matter. It matters because any deviation from acceptable societal norms labels individuals for the rest of their lives. Undifferentiated or not, early childhood exposures that lead to behavioral health DSM5 diagnosis can ride on an individual’s back their entire life. Despite the many limitations which society places upon these individuals, there remains a constant in the self-worth equation. The most relevant factor no matter one’s station which sums up the value of a human being is not secured in a bank vault, nor in holdings of property. A man that possesses integrity will find that the honorable humility of truth will righteously complete him.

If, I tell a beautiful woman, one that I see as the most perfect mate, that I love her, then, am I brave for having the courage to speak from my heart’s, honest feelings, or am I an old fool for making myself vulnerable. Is it best to remain silent and safe from the sneers of disgust, taunts of ridicule, or the stinging rejection of non-reciprocation? Safe is for blue chips and municipal bond investors. When I die, I certainly will be more at peace knowing I was honest about my true feelings of love. Waking up on the last sunrise of my life knowing, at least, in this case, I will be able to look into my mirror and see into the eyes of a man who has one less regret.

Wasted Time 

As precious time passes by, I witness,

deterioration of the mind. The spirit

sinks into the deep darkness of despair.

Troubled schismatic souls in this troubled world.

Unfavorably existing for this specific

instance. I remain struggling to simply be.

           Survival mode alters my actions to aid in the facilitation of all necessary orders of any given day. How human beings react to life’s little tragedies is defined in the minds of foolish onlookers. Often skewed, sometimes disheveled, the proper prioritization regarding the dissemination of valued need-to-know information is, found wandering aimlessly, lost in this world.

           The sexual defilement of my early childhood self was an experience forced upon me in the root cellar of a local television repairman. Under that house of Lloyd, a whiskey-induced blackout was the tool of non-wanted submission. Denial of the homo-phobic social norm pointed its pigeonhole finger of blame shame my direction. After all, when your elders conclude, “You must have had it coming”, a child of early age tends to believe it. Non-compliance of a victimized child is best swept under the soiled rug of, “Just the way it is”. The survivor’s guilt of the shame game was promulgated by friends that claim to mean well. The broken trust of their lies fed the anxious fear of ever-pending doom. Never again could I trust the word of those that for years I would have laid down my life for. I could no longer gaze into a mirror without reliving the deviant deed. The gloomy darkness of despair fogged my self-awareness. Seeing my reflection was seeing the ugliness. So, avoiding mirrors and many other reflective surfaces became ever more necessary, as I was repeatedly told,

“Get over it”,

“ You must have had it coming”,

‘ Just let it go”, it is just the way it was.

           Fortunately, getting over things comes easy to some, but unfortunately, no peace ever comes to some other victims. Sixty years later I tend to think, in my case, it could well be never. Yet, I continue to search for the coping mechanism that must exist, somewhere. My priority of self-preservation reversed decades of avoiding the hauntings of those mirrored images of childhood experiences. Shattered mirrors report the collateral damage from thrashing about while fighting the demons that live in the darkness of my night terrors.

Unfair Nightmares

I wake up alone. Thank God, she retreated

to the couch. Never fair but safer there.

Hot sweats, cold chills, salted eyes, my mind is fried.

Holes in walls, swollen knuckles, broken headboard

Torn sheets, blankets gone. Where did my pillow go?

Feathers everywhere, pulled out my chin hair.

I sit up, I stare into the darkness.

I glare there about, taking inventory.

What in HELL is broken besides just me?

           The dawn turned the night terrors into daytime disorders when fifty years of deceit by plastic friends met up with the truth. The sexual deviant whom I believed as being killed in prison showed up smiling in an overcrowded room of plastic friends.

            While isolating during the Covid19 pandemic in my two-hundred square-foot box, I discovered that I could see past the past demonic turmoil. I minimized the feeling of confinement by carefully placing small mirrors upon the walls of my box.  My box has by default become a shrine to those righteous friends who have passed on. Frozen in time the memories, of those whom I have survived, are revisited as my reflection joins their pictures amongst those scattered mirrors. Each of the twenty-seven mirrors not only creates the illusion of a larger space but also acts as portals to more positive, happier times. Reflections of a dream when the world was kind, and the people could be real. When things were cool, plastic friends stand nearby. When things heat up plastic friends quickly melt away.

It Would Be Nice

I don’t need

to be included.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to belong.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to be heard.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to be liked.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to feel respected.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to always feel good.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to be touched.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to always smile.

But, that would be nice.

I don’t need

to be loved.

But, that would be nice.

 I now find myself reflecting on those moments when true friends revealed to me the love and understanding that I starved for most of my life. I nourish my spirit by looking past the past. I clearly see now the true value of truth. I clearly recognize that righteous individuals (some who have long ago passed) passed on complying with the societal norm and stood in my corner when most others, turned away.

July 06, 2021 20:16

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