I poured my heart out in pages, and it was my blood that was in my ink. I loved everything that was intertwined with writing: I loved the smell of ink, the rustle of paper, the dust that accumulated on the jackets of books. I loved creating: my characters were marionettes that danced on my string but like Pinocchio came into marvelous life at times….I loved them at those times. I strived to improve, day in and day out. It was the one thing that made me happy, the one thing I did with all my heart and soul and the one thing which nearly always alienated me from the rest of the world. It was a harmless, wonderful talent: that was what I’d thought.
I was wrong.
Life seemed like a masquerade ball most of the times: nearly always I hid under masks carefully created by society and put into frames of acceptability and normalcy. Nearly always tears filled my eyes as people walked in and out of my life seeing only the hard masks that society imposed on me, and not what I was or who I was. Nearly always only those kinds of people did walk into my life.
I made choices, not choices I’m proud of or choices I truly wanted for myself; not choices that I would have made if I had some kind of a free will of my own but choices. Those choices too were not my fault: deviating from that tightrope string pulled taut by a world of competition would surely mean death, so I kept to it. I was weak in mind, but worse, I was restricted by love.
To love some people in your life so much that their word is, as Macbeth said “the be-all and the end-all” is surely not a crime? But I felt it was a crime I was committing on me. Still I did not deviate and so I walk that one tightrope string with a pole in my slack fingers, the pole of my individuality which could slip any minute and twist my centre of gravity, and leave me for the dark abyss of uncertainty to swallow.
People did not like me without my masks so I wore them at all times. When I wanted to scream I smiled; when I wanted to tell someone I can’t I said I will. When I wished and prayed and hoped that some people would at least try to understand me I kept smiling and agreeing to all they said, even when those things they said about me was all wrong.
You know who I fear? I fear that voice in Poe’s Red Death, the voice in King’s Shining, the voice that screamed “Unmask, unmask, unmask”.
Because now I myself don’t know what I am under my iron masks. I don’t know if I am fragile enough beneath those masks of hard metal that I could break or crumble to dust. I don’t know if the pole I mentioned- yes, that pole of individuality- would snap along with my masks.
You know who I admire? People who can deviate from that tightrope string. Take a chance, and don’t give a damn if they are despised for not wearing their masks, as deemed right by the bleeding society’s norms.
I am not one of those people. I will never be.
So all I ask is a simple thing: understand me. Try to see through those carefully constructed masks I hide under. Because I am blood. I am flesh. I am bone.
I am just like you, and I deserve to be understood.
My passion deserves to be understood.