This would be the hundredth time that I’ve uttered those words-told the truth- but, comparatively, just one of the few times that I haven’t lied. It doesn’t matter who’s on the receiving end of my story, the words feel just the same: a cold slinking feeling inside my throat, the burn as they nestle in my cheeks as I delay their utterance, and the final bitter sting before they spring from my tongue…But this time is a little different; I clamp my lips to hold onto the syllables a moment longer, as if I can bleed dry their cruel story. Now, as never before, the hand that encases mine is soft with youth, the eyes are a startling ginger-root shade, and the ear into which I will whisper is the threshold to a foreign mind. I’ve looped the impending situation in my head scores of times, and yet, I cannot predict the outcome. I can’t conceive the potential crater that will bloom in this poor soul’s wits; will this person have words for me after this secret of mine sidles over the threshold and makes its debut on the stage of awareness? This person in front of me, who stares with such loving concern, will not respond with the firm love of a parent or with the frantic panic of a brother; I’m wading, throat-deep, into alien waters. When I finally do speak, when I wrestle away from that golden glance and the warm hands to walk away, will this person still love me? Or will this secret become my face, the name by which to call me?
Just a Piece of Me
February 25, 2010