Friday, July 13, 2007

Of mirrors & me

Sorry y'all, feeling a bit mopey. This spiel hit my brain so I had to exorcise the demon within.

Aside from my mother’s quadrant there are no mirrors in my house.

You are probably asking yourself, “Why?”

The answer is simple…I don’t like my reflection.

The reason I abhor my own image being shown back to me is two fold. One, the broken body that now houses my soul is such a departure from how I used to feel. That youthful exuberance has not left, only grown stronger. The trappings of youth adorn my psyche but my fairly dependent condition prevents most of the simple acts that made me young…riding a bike, roller blading, snowball fights, our annual pop-bottle rocket war, walking a flight of steps to get to a girl’s apartment, all these acts made me whole, made me feel true joy. Second, that joy died when I broke my neck. I’ve not felt truly happy in 17 years, and it is that unhappy visage that I shirk, spurning it like one would a rotten banana.

So how do I know true joy again? I don’t know.

When I was 19 I hardly respected anything or anyone. This attitude doomed me to a certain extent. Girls sensed it, my friends sensed it, so did my numerous bosses, my grandparents, my family, and most painfully of all, my mother. This irreverence cost me dearly. Because most of all I had no appreciation for my own mortality. Big mistake. This mistake and foolhardy attitude would eventually cost me my independence & freedom. I constantly threw others and myself into harm’s way seemingly with little to no regard for personal or societal safety. I drove drunk, I got in fights, I stole, I slept around, and I generally spat in the faces of those that cared for me. Dumbass.

Nothing is quite as tragic as lost youth. An even greater tragedy is youth squandered. Because of my idiocy, I missed out on what should’ve been the best and worst times of my life—the age between 19 & 25. This is the stage in life when we typically discover binge drinking, road trips, and fraternity life, among other time honored American traditions. During these years we’re also developing life tracks, job possibilities, and hopefully finding the one person who will share the rest of our lives with us. With the exception of the binge drinking and a fraternity membership (Sigma Chi all the way…In Hoc), I never got a chance to fully experience this period of self-discovery. I spent most of this time in & out of hospitals and rehabbing my broken body and damaged psyche.

I’m still working on the later. I cry myself to sleep more often than I’m comfortable with. I immerse myself into fantasy worlds and recollections of what was or what could’ve been. I find this easier than dealing with reality and the day-to-day bullshit.

My everyday existence is peppered with constant fear and misgiving. I question nearly every decision too critically. I’m constantly afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. My own mortality is also an all-encompassing thought.

The only time when I’m not painfully aware of my condition is when I’m asleep. Maybe tonight I’ll have one of those dreams where I’m just riding my bike. Soon I will be going to bed. To sleep, per chance to dream. Dreams are an escape, the playground for the subconscious soul. Dreams are when we have the ability to fly, and the only times when I feel just like everyone else. Only then will I dare to gaze in a mirror again.