Ghosts in the Mirror

It has been months since I have seen myself, but here I am, finally removed from me and looking back in wonder. It’s not that I had forgotten who I was – it was that I didn’t know who I would be when the world was like this, and part of me didn’t want to see. I didn’t know how to see myself through this new lens of chaos, what inner world would erupt out of me as everything beyond me descended into darkness.

I had thought that in moments like this I would be valiant. It was easy for me to presuppose myself as a hero when heroics weren’t needed. But now, fraught in these moments, as depression creeps ups these walls and caves us all in – this is the moment wherein I learn who I really am when I am no longer the person that exists comfortably in the world I have always known. Now is when I become this other person, in these other circumstances, forced beyond my own sense of self in the trials of reality.

I have kept my eyes closed like a child frightened in the dark. I have been afraid of the monsters I might see when I looked at the world around me. I was afraid that I would see myself, and, I, too, would be a monster, not in some grizzled and snarling sense, but a monster like a coward clinging to the comfort of failure and defeat. I have kept my eyes closed, because I did not want to know – am I the villain guilty of apathy? Am I the one I have railed against for all this time?

But I can see myself now. Retching from the poison in the air. Still sick from this world, but not quite dying. I can see that I have been waiting for my hero, but now I know they are never coming. Instead, I am coughing willfully and wondering: now that I have gathered the strength to open my eyes, do I have the strength to get up and run?

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