he waxes & wanes between the words, hopping over syllables, darting between the letters. an old Irishman one minute, an English gentleman the next. but his flannel shirt & black leather loafers point to who he really is: a small town American.
but the jumping, the hopping, the stumbling & stopping…an unintentional habit of seraching. his “th” sound rings as an “f”. The “r” translates a “w”. and the “c” hangs in the air, repeated as an echoing stutter until the words flow smooth again.
the journey had run long, & his searching for self continued. in words. in letters. in syllables.
but isn’t that what we all do? we set out on a great search for self. trying. testing. experimenting. we mix. we scramble. we spin the compass. and then, ultimately, return to comfort.
we change ourselves. our looks. our clothes. our voice. the title of our vocation, even, to sound more impressive to those who air a “higher status”. longer words flow, more syllables. nervous laughter. head temporarily taut in a burst of faux-confidence. the falsity matching the illusory mink fur shawl wrapped around our necks. and dripping in sparkles, the painted smiles cascade down to bounce from our cubic zirconium & finally meet the new-age girdles we don to hide our flaws.
it all seems to be an unintentional habit of searching. trying. testing. experimenting. our accent lived out in real time, true color.
that is, until our lives are mixed up; pocketbooks a scramble of red & black. we spin the compass, pack up boxes & lives, & move to new places, new faces, new opportunities. starting fresh. never airing our own flannel shirt & black leather loafers for fear we’ll be discovered.
and then, ultimately, we return again to comfort. holed up in plastered walls. illusory mink fur shawls hung & sparkling zirconium removed, we finally let out real laughter. maybe for the funny man, the light box. maybe for the friendly spider.
we wax & wane. between the lines, the expectations, the built-up illusion that we have to meet the Jones’. we dart between realities barely missing the freight train of truth only to find raw, cold exposure in the wind it leaves behind.
but someday. someday we’ll be discovered.
who are you going to be?