Do You Know Me? | TeenInk

Do You Know Me?

May 16, 2015
By Shadowboxer SILVER, Charlotte, Vermont
Shadowboxer SILVER, Charlotte, Vermont
7 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what you feel in you heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

I’m sure you know quite a lot about me by now.  Don’t speak, just nod, just move your chin up and down.  Good, thank you.  You think you know everything about who I am, because you know me; you know it.  If this were a test, you’d ace it.  No flashcards, just your eyes in the genius way you know your facts and your vocabulary.  Congratulations.  Yes, I am congratulating you, thank me for it.  Well, you’re welcome.  However the test of knowing who I am is a piece of paper, yes?  Quite.  Some ink dribbled here and there, your pencil that oddly doesn’t fit with the white and black shades of the words (grey is so indistinct, isn’t it?) you created for me like a reflection of your mind.  The questions you answer tirelessly are those about me, but are they…me?  Oh, don’t worry, you don’t have to nod this time, it’s okay.
     Because you know me.  You’ve seen what I wear, what I look like; you’ve heard what I’ve said; you’ve witnessed what I’ve done, what grades I’ve gotten and how I respond to running long distances and throwing heavy objects.  You’ve probably seen me cry once, maybe seen me bleed or laugh or spit or eat and drink or everything.  You know me.  You’ve been there.  Yet what you’ve failed to realize is that none of that applies to the question I am asking you:  Do you know who I am?
    Now I see, don’t nod.  Don’t speak.  Don’t shake your head.  Because you don’t know.  You’re not sure, because you’ve surely never seen me like this before.  Poised.  Angry.  In control over you, in control over this, in control over what I’m saying.  No, you do not know what I am talking about because you’ve never heard these words before.  You’ve never known this part of me before, unlike how you think you know the rest.
     I am in control – yes, I really am – do not interrupt me.  I have shaken off all the ties you have tossed on me.  You do not harness me anymore.  You do not control me anymore.  You do not know me, anymore.  You never did.  The wounds you inflicted (yes, I am talking to you) on me have not healed but have burned, and now I use that fuel myself towards burning the ropes that tie me down to you.  All the things you know about me?  Those have been the clips you have chained my arms to the dirt with, the metal that has kept me to your mercy.  But I have learned how to burn metal.  I have learned that rage can melt it, but only with strategy.
     You once held me down with the gazes you flung at me, the words you tossed and the arrows you shot in my direction.  The knife you held to my skin, the water you poured down my back, down my throat.  The flame you held to me nose, the chair you’ve pinned me against.  Don’t recognize this past?  Don’t speak, just shake your head, back and forth, please.  Thank you.  Perfect.  Let me help you, as you do not think you know.  You are simply looking through the wrong set of eyes. 
     You barraged me with your opinion, the gift of humanity, leaving me to wrestle with it as you sometimes watched and sometimes turned to other things.  Were they greater than watching your victim thrash in the cage?  Just nod or shake your head.  Make up your mind!  Okay, thank you.  You promised to be nice, because you thought you had always been nice.  You signed the contract to stand up, to be patriotic, to be original, yet somehow you decided to go the opposite direction with it.  Oh, come on, no questions here, wait for the end.  Don’t you know your manners?  Anyway.  The way you taunted me with the light of friendship, of respect, only to put a snare down whenever I hoped to follow you.
    In a way, I want to thank you for never letting me go anywhere.  Yes, shake of hands, thank you very much.  I say this because if you had let me follow anyone, I know that I would have never gotten to say this to you now, to let the power sink into my veins and let you see what I have been keeping myself up to as you caged me in and let me to die.  The carcass you hoped me to become has only added to my hunger, my striving to become more alive, more desperately alive, before your eyes, until fasting to the point of starve.  I never did starve, merely stalled with the purpose of making the want to become one of you disappear.
    Yes – “one of you” – I said it.  We are that different, you see, and we are that alike as well.  But you do not know me.  You have torn apart my character and soul in order for me to lose who I was, but your claws could not scratch my inner core.  Or maybe they could, and maybe I am still ruined, but maybe not too.  Honestly, I do not know this myself.  Do not look so surprised.  Do not speak.  Please.  Thank you. 
    So do not say you know who I am, because I hope you know now that you really do not.  A plus, check check check, golden star for you.  Because, you - my peers, my audience – you will never, truly know who I am.

The author's comments:

To some (not all, graciously) of the identities in my life who think they know who I am. 

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