My Enemy, My Friend

What is it in your heart that waters the seeds of kindness and cruelty? What is it that throws your personality into a raging inferno, then lets it flicker down into a most welcoming and illuminating flame? How can it be that you will look on at me with care and contempt?
And how can it be that I do the very same?
I remember when you asked me to sing for you. How you said that you had never heard my voice--Mine! I, who walked the vacant halls all the days of my life with a song on my lips and a rhythm in my heart!
So maybe when you pulled me aside and asked me to sing, maybe I complied with a faint sort of extra color to my cheeks--not for love of you, but for the ludicrous air that nature-given this situation. And I watched as your head nodded along to the tune, and at the end you simple said, “Good.” No more, no less.
And today, so many months later, I sang again. I did not sing to you, nor did I sing to or for anyone. I sang because my heart cried out to the song with a need like an inextinguishable flame. And came you calling from across the room, “Who sings that?” And I, being ever the fool and assuming, perhaps, a sincere inquiry, answered you the name of the songwriter. You said, “Good. Let’s keep it that way.”
You were answered by a chorus of rude remarks by others, yet I sat silently.
I wondered briefly why you would say it? Is it for the same reason that you repeat my jokes when nobody hears them? Or why you admire my talents, then mock them openly and publicly? Why you question the obscure ways I carry out tasks? Why you take everything I say at face value and not delve into the world my words come from? Is this another of your jokes?
Nobody’s laughing.
And you have complimented me and you have dragged me to hell and back. I sat there silently. But I am silent no longer.
I am here to deliver a message from my braver self:
You can do what you like with my feelings. You can play them like a harp or beat them like the broken keys of an old piano and pray to elicit a response. You can take my words and fill me with that disapproving stare. I will take every beating. I will bear every burden. I will love you like a brother. Maybe I am close to you as the sun is close to the moon, but still you can be my brother in heart.
But with or without you, I will sing. I will sing to the stars if no one else will listen. I will sing to the beasts that roam the earth and those that wander the skies above. But I will not sing to the walls of the box you try to put me in. I will shine like fine crystal and glow under the boundless sky in the world that I have created for myself.
So you see, Sir, that however horrible my voice may be, and however long you disapprove, I refuse to bow to you. You see, I’ve stopped with moot question like “Why?” or “How?” and moved on to “Who will I become?” and “What now?”
In history, I’ve noticed, there is no pity for the oppressor. Likewise, there is no oppression that can stop someone who would set out to change the world. As I have. As I will.





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