Without standing here from my view, no one would know how difficult his life truly is. The warmth that he radiates distracts from any sign of the truth that he struggles every minute of every day to fight for a chance at life. If he wouldn’t openly offer the truth, no one would have a clue. His living room portrays the life of a lively man who loves to entertain at night. But once the scene changes and the fresh lights of a new day creep between the cracks in the curtains, the living room is his secret hospital room, hidden from the view of those he cares the most about. His need to seem alive, to embrace his last moments, overcome his need to reveal the harsh truth that his life throws at him. His well-worn recliner with the faded material that only comes with hours of use looks like the perfect place to relax and watch TV from, which is exactly what it is for, except that the TV is on all day. His fragile body sits helplessly in it day after day, not really enjoying what he is watching, wishing he could still do the normal activities that he once was able to do; the activities that kept him happy and free-spirited, creating a fire in him that once burned bright with a need to experience life like a child, innocent and naïve, adrenaline flowing through his veins. But now he is trapped within four colorless walls, separated from the nature that his heart beats so loudly for; the reason why his smile is still imprinted on his face, his eleventh fingerprint, unique and never able to be erased. If it wasn’t for his vivid past memories of his life that once was, he would have nothing to hold on to, nothing that kept the blood pulsing through his veins, allowing his heart to beat. Despite his disheartening situation, he remains in that chair with the same smile that will never fade, that smile that we all know and love, untouched by any sign of grief or adversity. If it wasn’t for my active involvement in his life, I would have never known the truth behind the smile that is hidden so well underneath the surface.
The Man Behind the Smile
October 10, 2010