My Scars Don't Look Like Yours

By , Somewhere, NC
I am a migrant soul. I do not belong here, or there, or anywhere. Not now, not then, not ever.

I do not think like they do. I do not feel like you do. I cannot seize the world with passion, a reckless lover in the moonlight. I cannot hide myself beneath cloaks of normalcy and apathy and conformity. I float between worlds, cautious yet unpredictable, fearless and suspicious, cold but burning. Burning for something. I do not know what.

I’m not sure how the pieces of myself fit together, scraping and meshing like living puzzle pieces. I think about it sometimes, late at night. Believing there must be some pattern to it all – a great hand guiding me – but the very fact I cannot stop thinking about what I am fated to do proves that I am utterly unable to let fate sweep me away.

I march to the drums in my head, but they are battle drums. They are rhythmic and steady, solid, black and white. Not like yours. Does that make me strange in your eyes? Is it possible that I am too old to be one of You, to young to be one of Them? Maybe this is what limbo feels like. Maybe this is what lonliness feels like.

You do not try to exclude me. The opposite, actually. You smile at me, warmly, kindly, arms stretched for a hug. I’m not a cuddly person, I say. But I do it anyway, for you. For you, not for me. Never for me. And I tell myself it’s okay. I belong. It’s a cannibal thing.

But it’s not. It’s a me thing. Isn’t it always? Not ever a “we”. Never “us” and “them”. Because I am never one of “us”. I am never one of “them”. I am only myself, As I Am. Stuck in the middle with you, without You.

I didn’t know it until now. I guess I always harbored the hope that maybe I would be at home here, that you would all be strange too and we would understand each other, fit together in a way. Like fruit loops, or skittles, or scars. Then I came here and we’re not.

You’re all over, the freaks of the circus, the tortured souls. And I cannot match the unmatchedness. My pitch is not far enough out in left field, it’s too far from right, and nobody seems able to catch it. It sails over my head and into the stands. Watched like a performer, reached for, admired. They think they know where it will land, stretching for it, but it doesn’t. It drops from space into some old man’s drink, and they look at it in disgust. Fallen from grace and dripping with Diet Coke, they no longer want it. “It belongs with You,” They say, “we don’t understand it here.” And I am discarded again.

Too round for you, too square for them. Nobody to understand, say they know exactly how I feel. Destined to be distant, cloaked, searching for kinship not to find it. Alone, even among the lonely.





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